A survey from Jobvite concluded that LinkedIn, with over 300 million profiles worldwide, is the top social network for recruiters when they are searching for candidates. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your second resume. It is incredibly important to keep it updated, as you never know when a recruiter with your next job opportunity will be searching.
While there is often overlap between your resume and your LinkedIn profile, your LinkedIn profile gives you the chance to create a more robust version of your resume. You are able to add pieces that would not easily fit or be included on your standard resume.
If you are seeking to distinguish your profile and make it stand out, there are a few opportunities to enhance your account:
- Photograph: Adding a photo to your profile will add life to your profile. Surveys show that recruiters are more likely to view your profile if there is a photo included. Recruiters spend 19 percent of their time on a candidate’s LinkedIn profile looking at the picture alone. However, this is not the time to add a non-professional photo. Make the best first impression with the right photo, a professional photo in a neutral setting. Put yourself in the best light.
- Headline: You have 100 characters next to your name as your headline. Maximize your brand in the headline. Describe your strengths in order to catch the eyes of recruiters and other networkers.
- Summary: Write your summary in first person and give it character. This is not the opportunity to write in third person “resume language.” Amplify your brand and tell us how you are successful at what you do. Let visitors know your approach and value and how to contact you.
- Keywords: These are key terms that recruiters and other networkers will likely be searching for. Make sure to disperse professional keywords for your skills and qualifications in your summary or an additional paragraph, “Specialities.”
- Examples: If possible, show examples of your work through file uploads or a portfolio. Your work will speak volumes.
- Recommendations: It is incredibly beneficial to have strong recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. You can request a recommendation from a former/current colleague, client or manager. Have a goal to add three or more recommendations to your profile. Having other’s thoughts on your work and contribution will add volumes to the career details you add to your account.
When all is said and done, the goal is to catch a recruiter’s or networker’s attention and give a strong first impression. With a full profile that best showcases your talents and workmanship, the right job could be a profile view away.