Time and again, you hear the advice “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. Job hunting is all about networking, sometimes more so than being able to demonstrate your skills. The best modern tool for business networking is LinkedIn, and it works both for business owners and for job seekers. To maximise your LinkedIn experience, you need to optimise your profile. Here are 8 tips for improving your LinkedIn profile.
1. Use a Good Photo
LinkedIn is a professional network, so make sure your photo is professional. For businesses, this usually means a high quality version of your logo. For employees, it’s a professionally taken photograph that shows you are approachable, but also that you mean business. This isn’t Facebook- don’t upload a party picture, a blurry snapshot or a photo of your dog.
2. Keep it Updated
Always keep your information up to date. If you get a new job, update that information and follow your new company. If you get a promotion, receive a certification or take a training course, add that experience to your profile. If you have a lot to add all at once, turn off activity notifications so you don’t spam your followers with messages and annoy them.
3. Follow Influencers
Influencers are thought leaders and influential people in their industries. By following these people, you show other companies and employees what makes you tick. Follow people whose opinions matter to you, take part in their discussions and put yourself out there as an intelligent user.
4. Join More Groups
You’re not a member of enough groups! You are never a member of enough groups. Groups enhance the number of possible connections you can make. They link you with others who share your interests. Most importantly, they give you a way to remain active without spamming your feed with minor personal updates.
5. Stay Active
Activity is essential. Potential employees will search out their companies to see if those companies have active, updated profiles. Employers likewise check the profiles of potential employees to see what they do with their profile. Activity is never a bad thing, and an active profile is more attractive from either side of the fence.
6. Make a Customized URL
In your profile settings, you are able to create a customised or vanity URL. Instead of a long string of random numbers for your link, you’ll have a customised short URL. This short URL is easier to remember, easier to fit on business cards or other offline advertising, and it’s a sign that you’re using the platform to its fullest potential.
7. Fill out Everything
LinkedIn is full of forms and fields. Fill out all of these forms for maximum exposure. Incomplete profiles have a harder time appearing in search results, and they look less attractive when they do. Two people with identical skills and experiences will have very different results if one fails to fully flesh out their profile.
8. Remember Keywords
LinkedIn’s search is still a search engine, which means you can take advantage of some SEO while you’re composing your headline, profile and other fields. Remember to include a few relevant keywords, but as always, follow the SEO best practices. Keyword spam in your profile looks just as bad as it does on a website.
A complete, active profile is the first step towards LinkedIn success, whether you run a business or are looking to join one.