10 Steps to Prepare Your LinkedIn Profile for a Job Hunt
I recently finished a successful job hunt, so while it’s fresh in my mind I wanted to share some of my most useful tips for preparing your LinkedIn profile. Preparation is everything before you even start looking for jobs, because if your LinkedIn profile isn’t ready to be viewed you are wasting opportunities. As a Marketing professional, building your brand is important no matter what your job title is. So make it stand out, be detailed on your accomplishments, and when you’re ready spread the word.
1. Turn Off Sharing Profile Edits
Before you start updating your profile, make sure you turn off the alerts to notify your network that you changed something on your profile. Especially if you’ve got a lot to update, you don’t want to be sending them updates every minute or driving traffic to your page before it's ready.
Go to Settings & Privacy > Privacy tab > Sharing Profile Edits > No
2. Complete Your Job History
Make sure your job history is up-to-date and detailed just as you would write it in your resume. Bullet point out your accomplishments and your statistics and quantitative measurements whenever possible. Some job application sites allow you to merge your profile with their website, saving you tons of time filling out forms!
3. Get Recommendations From Your Co-workers
Best practice is to ask for a recommendation after you finish a big project with a co-worker, so it is fresh in their mind and they can write specific details on your experience together. This allows you to constantly update your profile throughout your career (rather than rushed the week before you leave a job).
4. Connect With Everyone
In addition to asking for recommendations, make sure you are connecting with your professional network: co-workers, vendors, associates, agencies, partners, journalists, customers, etc. When you meet someone new, connect with them on LinkedIn. It is more natural and honest than connecting with strangers, and you can quickly grow your connections in no time. I just hit 1,000 this year! You never know how a connection will help you out down the road when you’re looking for an intro at a company.
5. Build an Online Portfolio
Add samples of your work to your job history to enhance your online portfolio. You can link to a website if you helped design it, add a pdf if you helped write a document, or show a SlideShare of a PowerPoint you created, etc. It gives the viewer an instant peek into your work style.
6. Beef Up Your LinkedIn Headline
The default is the title of your current job, but you can edit it to be anything you want! Make it keyword/SEO rich with words and phrases that recruiters and HR professionals are searching for related to your ideal position. My profile was viewed 221 times in 90 days:
Marketing Communications | Digital Marketing | Brand Development | Email Marketing | Social Media | Event Management
7. Write a Robust Professional Summary
Your professional summary is almost like a cover letter for a job. It should summarize your entire career, and focus on the parts of your job that you enjoy most and would like to continue in your next position. Add a section for technical skills and areas of expertise. Again, the search in LinkedIn is like a Google search. The more keywords you have in your profile the more often you will appear in search results. My profile is ranked in the top 75% of LinkedIn for visibility, and is 100% complete.
8. Add a Background Photo
Pick a background photo that reflects your personality or your professional skills. Keep it professional though! No pictures of friends and family, this is your work portfolio and should be reflective of you alone.
9. Pick a Nice Headshot
It doesn’t have to be professionally taken photo. Choose a picture that reflects your personality - which could be in business casual clothes or a suit. I always wear an outfit that I would wear to work on a normal day, and a big toothy grin. :) A nice smiling picture will go a long way in giving recruiters and employers a feeling of what it would be like to work with you. Say cheese!
10. Follow Companies You Admire
The number of companies you can follow is endless (or at least I haven’t hit a limit yet). You can also follow influencers, groups and schools. I like to look at these before I have an interview call with someone to see if we have something in common, like college in the same area or a shared interest.
Now that you’ve polished your profile, you’re ready to spread the word! Turn on the Job Seeker Premium feature to make your profile stand-out and your applications appear at the top of the pile. It’s well worth the cost, and most likely you’ll only have to pay for a month or two.