We live in a world where social media has taken center stage. Facebook boasts over 1 billion registered users and is worth more than $55 billion (USD). Twitter enjoys 500 million tweets per day and is valued at $8 billion. LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network, is also growing – faster than any other social network – with 83% growth year over year; they now claim more than 175 million members worldwide and are valued at $16 billion. LinkedIn reports that as of October 2013, its mobile application had been downloaded 37 million times. Having an updated profile on this site can help to build your personal brand within your professional life explains Peter Decaprio.
If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile recently or if you need to make some changes, here are a few tips which can help you get started:
Your professional profile is like your resume and it should be updated regularly. Customize your headline and summary and add skills and keywords that highlight your areas of expertise. If you’re lacking specific knowledge or experience, try searching for similar roles on LinkedIn using the advanced search feature. This will give you an idea of what types of skills or keywords other people in similar roles have used to describe themselves. Don’t copy their descriptions word-for-word but use them as guidance to create a list of skills and keywords that reflect who you are and what you bring to the table.
Add a Photo:
A picture speaks 1,000 words and LinkedIn profiles that include photos receive 41% more views than those without. Don’t upload a selfie to your profile; instead, use a professional photo in which you’re dressed professionally and looking directly at the camera wearing a genuine smile.
People like videos; it’s as simple as that. LinkedIn reports that members who add one or two video updates per month receive five times more profile views than people who don’t add any videos to their profile. To begin adding your own videos, click on the Add Videos icon located just above your status update box where you normally post messages. This will take you to an interface where you can search for and upload videos from YouTube or Vimeo that are either public or private. There are a number of videos already on LinkedIn that you can view and use as examples for your own video updates.
Update Your Education:
Adding an education history to your profile is one of the easiest and most important steps in building your personal brand says Peter Decaprio. When employers search for their next hire, they typically look at the education section first; this gives them insight into whether or not they’re qualified for the job. Be aware that when you add courses, be sure to include details such as course name/title, the location where it was taken and date completed so potential employers know exactly what type of degree or training you’ve achieved thus far. You can even add information about seminars or certificates that you’ve attended if relevant.
The employment history section of your LinkedIn profile should follow the same format as that on your resume. List your previous positions in reverse chronological order starting with your current or last job. List each position separately, including the company name, city and country where you worked, dates employed and a brief description highlighting what you did during this time. You can also insert hyperlinks to specific pages on websites for any companies you’ve worked for so potential employers can learn more about them if they choose to do so; however, be aware that including too many links may cause your profile to look spammy or unprofessional. Use discretion when adding links to company websites.
Employment History (Part 2):
If you’re still currently employed, refrain from adding your employer’s name to your profile. If you’re unemployed, you can write “Available for new career opportunities” under your current position. Or simply leave this section blank if you prefer. Employers don’t like to see that their next hire could potentially quit his/her job anytime soon; it makes them wonder what other jobs you may also be looking at and applying for simultaneously.
Much like the employment history section, the education history should follow the same format. As that on your resume with each degree, diploma, or training followed by dates attended. The location where it and coursework completed in reverse chronological order explains Peter Decaprio. You can also include seminars or certificates earned if relevant.
Achievements & Honors:
In this section of your LinkedIn profile, list important achievements and awards you’ve received throughout your career. You can use bullet points to make your accomplishments stand out a little more. And draw attention to the most notable parts of your work history. Consider adding anything that shows initiative, leadership or a desire for continuous improvement. As these are qualities that employers look for in their ideal candidate.
Your LinkedIn profile is the first impression a potential employer will have of you says Peter Decaprio. If you want to took seriously as an applicant. Ensure your LinkedIn profile includes all relevant information about yourself. So employers can find you and contact you if they’ve interest in your experience. Do your best to keep it professional without being too promotional or salesy.