5 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn may seem like the saltine cracker of social media networks when compared to the celeb-saturated Twitter app or your gossipy Facebook feed. But when it comes to real-life payback, it could be just the thing to get you a brand-new, shiny job.
As easy as it is to neglect your LinkedIn profile, you should at the very least do a few basic things to keep it in fighting shape. Otherwise, you risk being passed over for opportunities that you might just be interested in — or even worse, missing out on important professional connections that might be helpful in the future.
Below, five simple ways to spruce up your page:
1. Get a profile picture. A good one.
No matter how qualified for a position you may be, no employer will be tempted to click on the generic outline of a human head that sits as a default for anyone who hasn’t bothered to upload a photo.
According to Crystal Braswell, manager of corporate communications at LinkedIn, adding a picture of your gorgeous face could result in 14 times more profile views than if you hadn’t.
That being said, any old image won’t do. Don’t use a selfie, or anything shot using a cheap camera. And try to avoid the pixelated, obviously-cropped-out-of-a-group-photo portrait that’s so unfortunately common on Facebook. Choose a high-resolution image that’s just you, in a relatively conservative outfit, looking happy. Because people like working with other happy people.
If you don’t have a photo like this, ask a friend to take one. Some surveys have indicated that, for a sizable percentage of recruiters, it’s sometimes the only thing they look at.
2. Write a summary.
You may loathe writing self-summaries, but on LinkedIn, these little paragraphs can be particularly helpful for optimizing your searchability, according to Braswell. In other words, if a recruiter types in “advanced Swahili speaker” and it matches the keywords you put in your profile, you’ll automatically pop up on her results page.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner concurs. “Your experiences, your skills, your ambitions, what it is you ultimately want to accomplish — that’s increasingly how people are finding you,” he told The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman in a recent interview. “For the vast majority of folks, when someone searches your name on a major search engine, your LinkedIn profile is showing up at or near the top of those results.”