Here’s a starting point for shaping up your LinkedIn profile. Taking a few minutes to tweak what you have will make a big difference in potentially landing an interview or phone call with a prospective employer.
- Upload a professional headshot.
- Personalize your profile by uploading a background image.
- Answer the question: Why do you matter to the reader?
- Your headline must stand out; make it memorable; use keywords; use certs; if you’re comfortable with it: use humor or wit where appropriate. What separates you from the crowd of qualified candidates next to you in line?
- Decide how you want to use LinkedIn. Answer the question: Do I want to be viewed as entrepreneurial? Executive? Job seeker? Networker? Marketer? Thought leader? This will dictate the tone of your narrative.
- Optimize the order of your respective LinkedIn sections to align with how you want to be perceived.
- Update status or post once a week (stats show Tuesday is the best day to post – in general, between 9-11 a.m.). This will help drive traffic to your profile.
- Organize experience throughout individual job categories using headers to help recruiters find what they need more easily.
- Personalize your LinkedIn URL.
- Be enthusiastic.
- Include contact info in contact area AND in narrative.
- List promotions, leadership roles, and examples where you led a team.
- Narrative should include a career summary written in first person; list of specialties; call to action; website if applicable; contact info; willingness to refer others.
- Types of narratives: amusing, anecdotal, or serious. Focus on what your passion is; summarize what you do well and what you’re interested in.
- Tie narrative to headline if appropriate.
- Request recommendations and endorsements from respected colleagues.
- Organize endorsements according to how you want to position yourself and how you want people to perceive/think of you.
- Evaluate, refine, and reorder your skills and endorsements.
- Turn off the “Notify your network?” option while you’re updating your profile so as to not announce your every move to your connections. This is a temporary change; you can set the option however and whenever you want.
- Use numbers to prove ROI; use stats in prose and bullets.
- Use target job listing to craft experience prose in narrative and throughout profile.
- Format bullets as “achieved x accomplishment, resulting in y benefit.”
- List specific education, projects, volunteering, languages, certs, and credentials.
- Align LinkedIn experience with your résumé; make sure details are consistent.
- Don’t overwhelm your readers with content; keep it conversational and concise.
- Join relevant LinkedIn groups.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. Your profile needs to be error free – just like your résumé.