LinkedIn can be really overwhelming at times, trust me, I know. As a senior in college, about to enter the workforce, I am hearing more and more about how beneficial Linkedin can be. When I first got the app, I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I left it alone. As time has gone by, I have realized that LinkedIn is the Instagram of the professional world. Don’t be afraid to show off and write about every professional accomplishment, because this is the place for it. However, a bad profile can ruin your chances of getting an interview in a matter of seconds. So, here are the most important steps to take to make sure that doesn’t happen to you!
- Have a professional profile picture
This is so so SO important! I cannot stress it enough! This is not the app to show off your bathing suit pictures, that fun night you had at a carnival, or even a picture of you and your boyfriend/best friend. This should be a headshot photo (preferably); a photo that is just of your face taken from the shoulders up with a simple background that is not distracting. If you don’t have any professional headshots, don’t worry! Have a friend take a good picture of you standing up against a wall, and there you go! This first impression will make or break the impression this employer has of you. The cover photo is a good opportunity to spice up your profile with something personal to you that tells about yourself- just make sure it is appropriate.
- Have up to date contact information listed
If an employer comes across your profile and thinks you are a good candidate for a position, there is the option to get your email or a phone number to call you from your profile. If this information isn’t current or isn’t something you often check, you should change that. You never know what may happen, but you want to be able to know if someone is trying to reach you.
- Be as descriptive as possible
I was speaking with a family friend who works for an employment agency and he gave me the great advice to be as descriptive as possible in my work experience. This is where the LinkedIn algorithm pulls most of the searched keywords from when an employer is searching for potential employees.
- Change your URL.
You can edit the URL that is automatically assigned to you when you first create a profile. A great tip is to change it to something like your name that is easily remembered by people. Here is how to do it:
1. Log into your Linkedin account on a laptop or desktop, NOT the app!
2. Click on your profile found in the top right-hand corner
3. Once you are on your personal profile page, there is the option to “edit public profile & URL”
Click that link and edit the URL which can be found in the same location.
- Profile strength bar.
This bar will tell you how well your profile is looking compared to others. This is very helpful! When you log in to your account on a laptop or desktop, you can hover over the sections in the bar and it will let you know what to complete in order to better your profile and move up to the next stage.
- Connect with everyone you know
Even if you don’t talk to the person who sits beside you in class, you should connect with them because maybe in the future that person will be working at a company you’re interested in and then you can message them and ask for some advice. I have personally done that before and got some great insider tips for a job interview! Don’t be shy to reach out. People want to help others on this app. Be friendly, but don’t just expect them to offer you a job.
I hope these tips help and good luck!