Are you putting your best face forward on LinkedIn?
If you’re like millions of others, the answer is probably no. And for job seekers – or any other professionals seeking to grow their career or business – that’s a big mistake.
Recent studies have found that more than 90 percent of employers now rely on social media to recruit and hire. LinkedIn is far and away the network of choice, with 7 out of ten of those employers reporting they have used LinkedIn in the last year to hire a candidate for a position. Even if you’re not glued to Facebook or Tweeting away, you need to be strategically leveraging LinkedIn if you want to successfully advance your career, professional or business aspirations.
Fortunately, the timing couldn’t be better to get your profile right. LinkedIn recently launched their next generation profile, “making it easier for our million members to tell their professional stories, be found for opportunities, and build relationships through meaningful interactions.” Still, while the format may become more user-friendly, it is still up to each member to successfully craft an engaging and relevant profile.
Here three tips to make it happen:
Look sharp: The new-look profile has a visual design aimed to make a powerful first impression. In addition to a more appealing format to showcase your skills and talents, you can add a bigger profile picture at the top. This is a case where a picture truly is worth a thousands words. Remember this is not Facebook — pictures from the beach or even the nice family shot scream that you are an amateur. Get a good headshot that immediately conveys that you’re a professional.
Build your brand: Your LinkedIn profile isn’t a resume that just chronicles your career and accomplishments, rather it should be a showcase for your “personal brand.” In the summary section write a succinct professional bio that captures who you are, your most important skills and what you’re passionate about. Emphasize how your unique skill-set can help a potential employer or client achieve their goals.
Headlines matter: Most people simply list their occupation, job title or the company they work for. That’s passable, but a missed opportunity. Think about the value you offer beyond just a job title. A recent Forbes magazine article offered several tips on writing engaging LinkedIn headlines and offered examples. So instead of “Nurse at ABC Hospital” a more compelling headline would be: Tireless, caring Registered Nurse who helps pediatric cancer patients and their families feel at ease throughout treatment and recovery.
LinkedIn continues to grow, and it will clearly be the go-to source for the foreseeable future for employers and recruiters. Make sure that when they check you out, you leave them with a positive impression. It could open the door to new opportunities.