Do You Need a LinkedIn Profile? Part 1

Do You Need a LinkedIn Profile? Part 1

Your resume is probably the most powerful document you’ll use in your career. But wait, there’s more than just that two-page document these days. It is your LinkedIn Profile.

According to the latest surveys, a majority of recruitment firms rely on social media for sourcing and researching the prospective candidates. Recruitment platform Jobvite found that around 94% of US companies conduct social recruiting.

So, where is most of the social recruiting happening?  It is on LinkedIn. A majority of the recruiters admitted that LinkedIn is the governing network while hiring a candidate.

With over 300 million users and an approximate two users joining the network every second, LinkedIn is unarguably the most popular network for professionals today.

LinkedIn helps you build your professional brand, create a remarkable impression with a prospective employer and shape your professional network in general.

If used strategically, it can be a powerful tool to uncover hidden job opportunities.

So now that we know how vital a LinkedIn profile is for anyone looking out to advance in their career, let’s see how exactly can we exploit this platform to our advantage.

Complete Your LinkedIn Profile

While the resume may stick to the professional facts, a LinkedIn profile offers an opportunity to extend the story and create a prequel. A well-crafted LinkedIn profile allows you to unveil that unique dimension of yourself which perhaps a resume cannot do for you. It acts as a sneak peek of you as a person and gives a wholesome idea to anyone that’s looking to hire you.

But to reap all these advantages, it is important to keep in mind that your profile is relevant and complete. Studies say that users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. Let’s look out for some strategies to convert this social media platform into a gateway of opportunities!

Pay attention to little things

Many great resumes, as well as profiles like these,  are often undermined by a significant aspect - their attention to detail! Typos, extra spaces, lack of consistency in the tenses, grammatical errors make you come across as reckless and unwise. Don’t let such minute flaws distort the first impression you might make with a prospective employer.

Pay attention to what you’re posting on your profile!

Keep it simple

Keep your name simple and searchable, more than a professional platform, LinkedIn is a search engine – a search engine where you’re likely to be seen by someone that could be your boss or a business partner. So, as far as your name goes, stick to the basics – your first name and your last name, that’s it!

Customize your URL

This is probably something you don’t get to hear often, and yet, it is indispensable!

Customizing your URL, which is usually a combination of your name and some numbers, makes it easier to reach out to you. It acts as an extension to your other social-media profiles and gives a clear picture of you as a person.

So, keep it short – ideally, limit it to your first and last names. But if your perfect URL is already taken, then try to pop up your middle name and it should most likely work. Whatever the case, the key is to make it easier for people to search you!

Let’s check out how exactly you can customize your URL here

  • Hover your cursor over your profile section in the top right
  • Click on the “Settings & Privacy” section
  • Now you’ll be directed to a new page that shows three different sections again, click on the “Privacy” section here.
  • Here you’ll find the option “Edit your public profile”, click on “Change” here.
  • To the right corner, you’ll find a gray color box, this is where you can customize your URL.

Impressive Headline

Enough said! Cannot emphasize more on the significance of a great headline. This is that one place in the profile that can either make or break your efforts and appears everywhere your name is mentioned such as:

  • Messages
  • Search Results
  • Connection Invitations

Therefore, it is essential to make the right choice of relevant and results-oriented words here. The key is to be searchable to anyone who’s looking for the services you provide or the skill set you possess.

This is the place you can employ some of your achievements to draw some attention – like say, “Award Winning Photographer” or anything like that.

Keep it professional with the right choice of words, but make sure it is impressive as well!

Customize Your Summary

Just like your summary in the resume, LinkedIn summary is that space to show that you’re ahead of the competition. Unlike your resume, you can do a lot of things here – add your presentations, videos or images. It’s the best place to showcase your expertise, skills and experience. So, defy the impulse to simply copy-paste your resume summary here.

This section should give the big picture of you – you as a complete person with all the skills and experience you possess.

Try to keep it in bullet points or small paragraphs with no more than two-three lines. It should be easily scanable for anyone going through it and yet should draw their attention.

Keep it crisp yet compelling, you get the idea?

Let us also see some simple tricks here to highlight your summary section:

  • Try to separate this section into two parts – Short Summary and Long Summary.

Short summary should more or less elaborate on your headline. This really helps in the world with attention spans of 6-10 seconds! A couple of strong words here will help draw attention.

Your long summary is the place to show your creative side – make it a point to at least add one picture or a video here because human brains are wired to remember pictures more than words.

  • Remember however you’d like to present your summary, the goal is to reach the target audience. Consider yourself as one and craft your profile, think about what makes a profile eye-catchy and retains attention. Incorporate everything you get as an answer!

Everything in the job market boils down to one thing – attention!

If a resume gets the employer to consider you, LinkedIn profile will help in retaining this attention. And these tips will certainly offer that X factor and multiply the attention you get!

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/LinkedIn Office Toronto

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