Your LinkedIn profile is so much more than just a glorified resume. Or, at least, it can and should be.
Your paper resume is important, but you can really bring your career to life if you leverage all of the profile features of LinkedIn. The website keeps a good pulse on your “Profile Strength,” and we’d like to share 10 important points to ensure you don’t forget a thing:
LinkedIn profiles with color profile photos that clearly display your face receive much higher engagement, and someone searching your name after meeting you in person will have an easier time identifying your profile.
Don’t add initials, acronyms or other titles to your name field. If you think that users might search for you while using your maiden name , include that… but keep it simple.
Instead of just including your current job title, include hash marks (|) to creatively explain core responsibilities or industry associations. (e.g. Social Media Marketing | Digital Strategy | FP 500 Experience)
By default your LinkedIn Vanity URL is typically your first and last name followed by a string of alphanumeric characters. Edit this to simply be your first/last name, or something that can be easily remembered, added to a business card or email signature. When logged in, go to Settings > Privacy > Edit your public profile > Change.
When you write a blog piece on the LinkedIn’s Pulse platform, your most recent content will be featured in the Posts section of your profile. Showcase your professional perspectives, workplace achievements and writing style.
While these sections are more traditional, your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to read like a resume. Use these fields to tell your story. While your Summary could be likened to a written 30-second elevator pitch, add some media that brings it to life with a link to the website, project or video you’re proud of producing. Focus on how you added value in each of your past roles, and showcase the more colorful experiences that will pop off the page.
Offer recommendations to those you’ve worked with in the past without being asked, and ask for a recommendation in kind. When one is submitted on your behalf, you can ask for changes and choose which to show. LinkedIn endorsements have the added benefit of enabling a user to click through to learn more about just who it is recommending you and their credentials.
A visual representation of your abilities, these crowd sourced skills are acknowledgements from your connections that you’re good at what you do. You can prioritize the “Top 10” you wish to highlight that you bring to the table.
Any alumni groups, community organizations or industry groups you’re a part of should absolutely be followed. Someone looking through your profile might find a connection to you, or notice a shared interest that can spark conversation. Following influencers, news sources and companies you care about can also inform a viewer about what matters to you, deepening a potential connection.
Last but not least, your education history, honours and awards, volunteering and languages are some of the last highlights you’re able to add to the tail of your profile as a final fingerprint differentiating you from other candidates. Any of these categories could be a potential source of connection to an employer or recruiter, so don’t neglect them.
If you’ve ever embarked on a job search, you know things can get really chaotic, really quickly. Between mastering the art of the cover letter, rigorously spell-checking every email and reading all kinds of conflicting advice online, the whole process can really take a toll on the sanity and self-esteem of even the most experienced job seeker.
Your resume is like a trailer for the latest movie: a compilation of the best bits that if done properly, makes people want to see the rest.