Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has been helping employers and employees alike connect with potential opportunities. Even if you don’t use LinkedIn to reach out to employers directly, recruiters will likely review your profile and compare it against other candidates. Considering that there are nearly 800 million total users on LinkedIn, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. These five tips can help.
1. Use a professional profile photo
Although LinkedIn is categorized as a social networking platform, your profile on the platform should be more professional than your profile on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. Ditch the fraternity house selfie for a more clean-cut headshot. You want to keep it simple with a solid neutral color background and an image of your face above the shoulders. Check out Guneet Banga’s profile for a good example of the type of quality headshot we’re talking about. Note that having a good background photo can also make your profile stand out.
2. Create an accurate representation of your work history and education
Recruiters will use your work history and education to gauge whether or not you are an appropriate candidate for consideration, so make sure what you provide is comprehensive and accurate.
Resist the temptation to ramble about every detail at your last job. That said, however, don’t undermine your accomplishments by cutting your descriptions too short. The key here is to be concise and clear with the most important responsibilities you took on in your previous roles and the positive changes you made in the companies that have hired you.
Similarly, your education section should also be somewhat concise. Depending on your situation, it may be suitable to provide your GPA and any honors and awards that you’ve received. But listing the classes you took or the individual grades you received is usually overkill.
With many employers researching large candidate pools, eliminating redundant or extraneous information will make it more likely that an employer will reach the end of your profile. Are you still struggling with how to list your work history and education? Here are some great resume writing resources at your disposal.
3. Clearly list your skills and have your peers endorse them
A strong list of technical skills is a must-have for most any candidate. It is important to let potential employers know what sort of tasks you are capable of accomplishing. In the skills section of your LinkedIn, you should list everything that you are proficient in, whether it is operating a forklift or coding in C++ or Python.
Having other LinkedIn members endorse your skills gives your profile more credibility to an employer. In addition, endorsing other LinkedIn members’ skills may inspire them to return the favor by endorsing yours.
Don’t forget to include seemingly basic skills, such as general proficiency with computers or experience with Microsoft Office. Although these may seem like rudimentary skills, there is no harm in making sure whoever is looking at your profile is aware of your proficiency.
4. Grow your network
The more connections you have, the more likely you are to attract potential employers or clients to your profile. LinkedIn allows you to sync your email contacts to your profile, enabling you to easily figure out which of your contacts are on the platform and ready to connect with you. Prioritize making connections with individuals in your desired field and those you have worked with in the past.
5. Interact with relevant posts
It’s very easy to scroll silently through the LinkedIn feed without interacting with any posts. If you see a post that resonates with you, give it a like or even take a moment to craft a thoughtful reply. Not only does this show the original poster that you are giving positive feedback, but it can also be noticed by anyone else who sees or interacts with the post.
Creating posts can be beneficial, but don’t overdo it. And don’t worry about under-doing it either — not everyone needs to post. Simply by interacting with posts relevant to your field, you can indirectly show potential employers your passions and interests.
Have you found a post that you want to comment on, yet are struggling to find the right thing to say? This article might just have the answers you are looking for.
Remember, maintaining kindness and professionalism is what you want to strive for whenever you comment or post on LinkedIn. No company wants to hire an internet troll.