With an increasing number of employers turning to LinkedIn to find potential candidates, now is the time to stand out online. With today being the first day of spring, it’s a good idea to use this new season as an excuse to do some online spring cleaning and ensure you’re standing out for the right reasons. Use this roundup of tips to clean up your LinkedIn profile so you can get noticed by employers and recruiters looking for talent in your field.
1. Update your profile photo to a recent, professional image
If it’s been a couple of years since your headshots were taken, your appearance has probably changed, and if your photo was taken with a selfie stick, it’s probably time to update. Recruit a friend to help you get a quality photo that is professional, yet approachable! Remember, this might be the first impression potential employers get. Make it a good one.
2. Make sure your headline lists more than just your job title
Every company handles job titles a little differently. A Project Manager at one company may be a Project Coordinator at another. So don’t just list your job title in your headline, as it might not globally accurately portray what you do. Do some research to find out how others in your industry describe themselves and use something similar if applicable.
3. Update your contact information
Make sure your email address is working appropriately and is polished. If you don’t have a professional email address, consider getting one just for this ([email protected] is always a great option). Also include a phone number and links to your social media accounts, website, or blog. This makes it easy for potential employers to contact you.
4. Revamp your summary
Don’t just rattle off a list of projects and job titles here. Use the length of the summary (about 3-5 short paragraphs) to craft the perfect story. Writing in the first person, tell readers how you got to where you are today, why you do what you do, and what your professional goals are. Be warm and friendly, and give employers a chance to get to know the real you.
5. List your skills, certifications, and awards
Did you complete a new certification this year, learn a new language or skill, attend a training, or earn any awards? Make sure you’ve included them in your profile. Recruiters and employers are looking for high achievers and having a variety of skills and awards is a great way to stand out.
6. Reorder the content in your profile to list the most important things first
If you have a lot of content on your profile that you don’t want to remove, consider reordering it. Include your most relevant content at the beginning. What do you think will attract the attention of potential employers? That will be the content (jobs, links to projects you’ve worked on, skills, etc.) that you want to list first in each section.
7. Clean out your old jobs
It can be tempting to list every single job you’ve ever had. However, as a rule of thumb, you should leave out jobs where you didn’t stay for a significant amount of time (less than one year) or part-time jobs you kept throughout college or during a career break. If you had a noticeable career gap, address it or leave it out.
8. Use numbers in your job descriptions
Potential employers will want to see what you can do for them. A good way to showcase this is by listing the results you achieved for past clients or employers. Did your work help increase performance or profits by a significant amount? Include those numbers or percentages in your job description and be consistent.
9. Get rid of buzzwords and use words that you find in relevant job descriptions
Buzzwords are completely overused on LinkedIn. Using words that stand out from the ones used on other profiles will be refreshing to potential employers. Also, consider taking a look at job listings you are interested in and integrating those words and skills into your summary and job descriptions in order to clean up your LinkedIn.
You always want your best, most up-to-date self-represented on the web (especially when your career is concerned) so refer back to these tips periodically throughout the year to remember to clean up your LinkedIn profile.