Anyone searching for work should have a LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile will help you connect and stay in touch with colleagues and clients while sharing information about your professional skills with potential employers. Here are some things you can do to ensure you have a great profile page.
1. Upload a professional photo of yourself. This only needs to be a headshot, and should be current (no older than 5 years old). Why? Let’s say you attend a networking breakfast where you meet new colleagues who suggest that you connect on LinkedIn so they can keep you in mind for future opportunities. Chances are that after the meeting, they will search for you based on your first name and city- or even the name of your company. That search will be much easier if they can identify your photo within their search results.
2. Complete your profile – fill in all of the blanks. According to LinkedIn, “Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn”. Having a complete profile means filling in all of the blanks on the profile page — industry, location, past two positions, education, skills (minimum of 3), a photo, and at least 50 connections — to make it easier for colleagues and clients to get in touch with you regarding opportunities. Be sure to list your specific skills like “CPA” or “project management”. These serve as key words that recruiters and employers will often use to conduct skill-specific searches. The things you list will be searchable, not only on LinkedIn, but from any search engine, like Google.
3. Headline. Your headline is the first thing searchers will see about you. A good headline should sum up your personal brand in a short phrase. Try to avoid using a generic title like “Marketing”, and instead, let your personal brand shine using words that describe how you stand out. What value do you bring to the table?
4. History. It’s very important to list a job history because LinkedIn will automatically connect you to your previous employer’s company profile. Then, LinkedIn will suggest former co-workers (who also listed that they have worked for the company) as colleagues with whom you may want to connect.
5. Customize your LinkedIn URL. It will be much easier to point people to your LinkedIn profile page when the url is www.linkedin.com/[yourname]. To update this, go under “Settings” > “Edit your public profile” > “Customize your public profile URL”.