Your LinkedIn profile is a painting of your appearance, skills, accomplishments, writing samples, presentations, and more. LinkedIn is a place to connect with others professionally, and it’s also used as a recruiting and research tool.
Your profile can result in new connections, which expand your network, and could potentially lead to a new job. Recruiters will look at your profile and potentially reach out to you. In 2014, 89 percent of all U.S. corporate recruiters report making (at least) one hire through LinkedIn, according to Herd Wisdom.
Follow these six steps to make sure your skillset and background stand out to potential employers:
1. Post a professional profile photo.
Your photo should represent your best, brightest self. Your expression should exude warmth, energy, and confidence. The clothing you wear should be suitable across all business environments and photograph well—bold colors and simple collars or necklines are best. The clothes should not distract from your smile or the energy in your eyes. Steer away from busy patterns and exposed straps or bare shoulders.
2. Post a professional headline.
Craft a sentence that encapsulates the value of your brand (skills, knowledge, values, and personality). Be sure to use keywords, which can be found on a company’s website or in a job description. Get a feeling for the “language” of an organization.
Sample Headline: I’m a seasoned digital executive, leader, and strategist. I get things done.
3. Post a unique selling proposition.
When filling out the summary section, think about the solution that you provide. Ask yourself:
- What value will I provide?
- How will I do it uniquely?
- Who do I want to work for?
- What are my strengths (specific skills or knowledge)?
Sample Summary: I have a unique ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects, mentor, and tackle complex problems. Although BIG ideas are great, execution is what matters, and I am all about results. I am an educator looking for a new challenge in international development with a focus on global education for women and girls. Every girl deserves the opportunity to learn.
Specialties: Communications, development, grant writing, fluency in Spanish and French.
4. Post a succinct but appropriately detailed list of your work experience.
Focus on transferrable skills. Over the years you have developed many skills through all your experiences (jobs and life)! Your skills are transferrable to many occupations. Skills could include: communication (verbal/written), teamwork, analytical skills, and flexibility/adaptability. Add all volunteer experience and classes, too.
5. Don’t forget to add recommendations.
Ask people who know your strengths to contribute. Ask them to highlight skills that help to strengthen your profile and align with your profile.
6. Join groups and follow both influencers and companies.
Groups can connect you to others in the industry and school you on jargon and trends. Influencers (experts) can educate you on fields you are interested in and give a recruiter more insight into your brand. Groups can be official associations or more informational.
To add to your personal brand online, create an Après Member profile.
For more guidance, see an Après Career Coach for one-on-one advice.