15 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Look More Professional
LinkedIn is quickly becoming a popular way for employers to find potential recruits. That is why having a serious and professional LinkedIn profile is more important than ever. A good LinkedIn profile not only helps you find work, but it can also build your reputation.
Here are 15 ways to make your LinkedIn profile look as professional as possible:
- Be detailed: When writing your profile, be as detailed as possible about your education and experience. For example, when describing your previous job, list all of your day-to-day activities and any major achievements. This gives recruiters more insight into your skills and it can help them make a better decision about whether you are a good candidate for the job.
- Fill out the “Additional Information” section: There are numerous subsections to this section, including “Websites,” “Interests,” “Groups and Associations,” and “Honors and Awards.” You should fill out the latter three subsections because they can accentuate your qualifications. For example, if you are seeking an online marketing job and you list blogging and social media as your interests/hobbies, this indicates to recruiters that you are genuinely interested and invested in your field.
- Make your profile public: Making your profile public indicates to recruiters that you are open to inquiries and contacts. Making it private gives the impression that you are not interested in job inquiries or may have something to hide.
- Update your profile often: A profile that is regularly updated will not only be more accurate but will also show recruiters that you are actively seeking connections and job opportunities.
- Create a better URL: Make your profile easy to remember by tossing the ugly URL you were given when you signed up, and get a more aesthetically-pleasing URL. You can do this under the “settings” section of your account,
- Be honest: It is imperative that you are honest about your education, experience, and skills. Do not exaggerate or overestimate your qualifications. Even though doing so may land you a call or interview, it will hurt you in the long run.
- Upload a professional photo: Your profile picture should look formal and professional. You should consider dressing up before taking the picture. Your LinkedIn profile picture should never be the same as your Facebook profile picture.
- Take advantage of the “Answers” feature: LinkedIn offers a feature where users can ask questions for other users to answer (like Yahoo Answers, except it’s specific to LinkedIn). Users who answer a lot of questions and are active on the site get rewarded with increased profile visibility.
- Fill out your summary: This is an opportunity to highlight your goals and specialties. Remember that employers hire candidates who are reliable and in it for the long run. Describing your goals as in line with the employers’ can be a great way to convince them that you are the best candidate for the job.
- Add additional sections: If you speak multiple languages, fill out the “Languages” section. If you have published any articles, books, or e-books, add them to the “Publications” section.
- Have many connections: Obviously, this is something that you don’t have full control over. But you can increase your number of connections by networking and contacting as many people as possible in your field (just don’t overdo it, or else you will come off as a spammer).
- Don’t copy your C.V.: Your LinkedIn profile should not be a complete copy of your C.V, but rather something that compliments it well and reinforces its claims. In other words, your profile should have its own identity and it should give employers information that your C.V. cannot.
- Get recommendations: Recommendations are essentially votes of confidence and it is one of the primary factors that employers look at when evaluating potential candidates. It is best to have a diverse list of recommendations from objective sources (recommendations from your family or friends do not count).
- Add a few applications: There are many applications you can install on your profile that will illuminate your skills and personality. One such application is ReadingList, which displays a list of books that you are currently reading.
- Proofread: Nothing says unprofessional and lack of attention to detail like grammar and spelling errors. After completing your profile, carefully proofread it a few times to make sure there are no errors.
Good luck with your job search!