The resume is the first thing people work on when they start their job search, and rightfully so; your resume is your first impression with hiring managers. The next place hiring managers go? Your LinkedIn page. You need to make sure it looks amazing, so let’s break down the keys to a stand-out profile.
The obvious stuff:
- Get a professional picture; no carefully cropped pictures from the party last weekend. Get a clean head-shot of you in your business attire. And smile. Nobody wants to hire a grouch.
- Make sure your work history matches what you have on your resume. Any inconsistencies are going to be red flags for employers.
- Create a quality headline. If you want to keep it simple it can be your current role and company. If you want something more unique you can make it more goal or skill oriented.
- Optimize your location and industry information. Hiring managers and recruiters often use this info in their searches for talent, and if this is missing or inaccurate you’re making yourself more difficult to be found.
These steps should be the minimum you do before you begin applying for jobs. This small investment in time will ensure you leave a positive impression on anyone visiting your page.
Looking to go from good to great? LinkedIn has built in tons of features over the years, and while some may take more time and effort, they can yield big results.
- Build your network. Take some time looking for as many people (that you actually know) as possible and connect with them. Look for colleagues you’ve worked with, volunteered with, or even went to school with. Having an extensive network helps give the impression that you are a well connected member of the business community.
- Join Groups. There are a staggering number of groups on LinkedIn. Find groups within your industry, your community, and fields in which you have an interested. If you want to go the extra mile and add to conversations that’s even better, but just joining groups will enhance your profile and extend your network.
- Get Endorsements. The easiest way to get endorsements? Give endorsements. Manage them to make sure you are being endorsed for relevant skills. These will also affect how you appear in LinkedIn search results
- Ask for recommendations. These are far harder to get, but they say a lot, especially if you can get endorsements from current or former managers. These can really enhance your credibility.
Having a strong LinkedIn profile is a must in today’s job market. Some even argue it is more important than your resume. Make sure you do everything you can to build a complete profile that leaves a strong impression.