LinkedIn has had a drastic impact on the life of working professionals, changing the way people search for jobs, how companies recruit and how people network and connect with each other. LinkedIn currently boasts of around 467 million college students, recent graduates, and working professionals from every industry imaginable.
Understandably, maintaining an active presence on the professional social networking platform has become virtually unavoidable for everyone who is currently working or searching for work. That brings us to the most important aspect of being a LinkedIn user: the user profile.
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Hitherto, it was business cards and resumes that were used by working professionals to share their details with others. But with the advent of LinkedIn, professionals are empowered to share more details about their work lives through a digital persona. This is done pre-emptively too; recruiters and potential clients no longer need to establish a connection to get a gist about someone’s career, they can simply look at a candidate's profile on the site. That’s what makes maintaining a strong presence on the site so important and here are a few tips for creating the perfect LinkedIn profile that can aid you in this endeavour:
LinkedIn claims that having a profile picture can get you '21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests'. People like putting a face to a persona and a professional picture is crucial for the perfect LinkedIn profile. And by professional picture I don't mean one of you wearing business attire and giving your best serious look (although there isn't anything wrong with that). Any decent picture that clearly displays your face and doesn't have those ridiculous filters popularised by Snapchat and Instagram also serves the purpose just fine.
The 'introduction' section of a LinkedIn profile has several sub-sections, the first of these is the headline which should display your current position (and the industry your role falls under) or latest education (if the former isn't applicable). The headline should be clear and concise — giving viewers a gist of what you do in as few words as possible. LinkedIn also recommends the practice of mentioning the industry you work in as it helps you garner more profile views and receive relevant updates and information. The 'summary' section is where you can divulge more details and give readers an impression of who you are. This section should be keyword rich and should condense the most important aspects of your resume into a few explanatory sentences. You can also use the summary to share your email address since people on LinkedIn who aren't connected with you cannot otherwise view your contact details.
The 'experience' section is one which barely anyone on LinkedIn fails to populate, but it’s one which few utilise with maximum efficacy. It isn't enough to simply state the companies you've worked at and the designations. It's a good practise to go into detail and divulge exactly what your job entailed: how many people you managed, the tasks you completed, the responsibilities you shouldered and the differences you made. A quick read-through of the experience section should give those viewing a profile a decent idea of your career path and your professional abilities. This section also includes education — a vital sub-section for freshers who should share all their relevant college achievements.
Skills and recommendations
The skills you possess should be mentioned in the experience section, but since they're surrounded by a lot of other content, it can be hard to spot them at a cursory glance. That's why LinkedIn offers a 'skills' section where you can get endorsements for your areas of expertise. By asking connections to endorse your skills, your LinkedIn profile gets a major boost in the platform's search ranking. Recommendations are another thing that can be incredibly useful. Several companies ask for recommendations while hiring new talent but this usually takes place after the first few rounds of the recruitment process. By posting recommendations from your manager or a valuable connection on LinkedIn, you're proactively providing recruiters with a reason to favour you over anyone else.
This section is for all your important achievements that don't fall under any other category yet are worth mentioning. Any certificates or awards that you've won, additional courses that you've taken, scores for tests that you think are relevant to your work, patents you hold and more can be added here. Freshers, especially, can make use of this section to bolster their profile by mentioning the projects, seminars, and workshops they participated in during college. Meanwhile, professionals can use the section to share samples of their work: developers can share Github projects, writers can share their published articles, designers can share their portfolios, and so on.
Follow these tips to invigorate your LinkedIn profile and you’ll soon see it paying-off through more requests to connect and messages from recruiters.