LinkedIn is one of the largest, if not THE largest, professional social media websites out there today. There are currently 101 million users on LinkedIn; out of which 44.2 million are in the United States. Additionally, 69 of the Fortune 100 companies are on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn developed on a very simple idea, to connect people professionally. The site provides users with a way to get in touch with people they haven’t even met before by giving you recommendations for “friends of friends”. Once you create your profile, you open it for everyone to view across the globe so you want to make sure its the best depiction of yourself. Here are some key take home points to keep in mind when creating your LinkedIn Profile;
- Choose a professional profile picture. No possible employer wants to go to your LinkedIn profile and see a picture of you in a cat costume at this years Halloween party – keep it classy.
- Do not link your Facebook or Twitter profiles to your LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, when you post something on your profile it shows up on all the news stream for all your connections to see. If you have posts on Twitter and Facebook such as “soooo hungover form the party last night”, it will stream to your LinkedIn. Again, keep your personal life off your professional page.
- Write up a solid summary. Most people on LinkedIn don’t feel the need to add a summary to their profile because they think “Hey- I already listed my education and work info, isn’t that my summary?” When employers look through resumes and applications for jobs, they spend an average of 20 seconds looking at each resume. Adding a summary section to LinkedIn gives any potential employers a simple and concise look at who you are and what you want to do.
- Add to the bottom section of your profile called “contact “yourname” for…” Some items here can be; networking, job inquires, career opportunities, etc. This allows potential employees the chance to see exactly what you are looking for. If your profile shows you currently at a job and you do not list that you are looking for job opportunities, one might assume that you do not want to be reached for offers.
While there are countless other features on LinkedIn that you can expand on, those are the four key elements that I think are vital to polish on your profile. Think again, an employer has 20 seconds to read over your resume. If they were to scan your LinkedIn for 20 seconds, what would you want it to say?