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December 17, 2014

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn profiles are fast becoming one of the best ways to help people get jobs. But, with so much competition on LinkedIn, you need new and simple ways to help your profile stand out from everyone else. Here are five easy ways to improve your profile and stand out.

1. Use Keywords

Keywords are the key to helping employers find your profile. Just like when you put search terms into Google to help you find information, employers use these terms to look for candidates.

To start, put yourself in the shoes of an employer looking for a candidate just like you. What search terms would you use? Now, type these keywords into LinkedIn. Does your profile show up? If not, rewrite your profile so that these terms are included. The best places to use keywords are in the professional headline and job title.

2. Have a Professional Profile Picture

Your profile picture is everyone’s first impression of you. The picture is the one aspect of your profile that will catch their eye first, and it will set the tone for your entire profile. This picture needs to be professional and high-quality. A selfie taken from your phone will make you seem unprofessional. A poor quality photo may even make the employer not even bother to look at the rest of your profile. A quality headshot makes your profile stand out.

3. Have Work Samples

LinkedIn gives users areas to provide work samples to recruiters. You can upload pictures, videos and documents. This is a must for photographers, writers, even scientists. Work samples show potential employers your talent and skill. Of course, any work you choose to show off should be the best possible. Don’t upload anything that doesn’t show your talent at its best.

Another trick to use is to upload one sample and have the rest of your portfolio on your own website. You can link to this website on your profile. You can then use your website to really shine and show your skills. A website demonstrates that you take initiative and are willing to put in more effort than the usual candidate. A website also gives recruiters opportunities to learn more about you and your background.

4. Optimize Endorsements

Endorsements are a way for your connections to vote for those talents and skills that they think you are best at. Think of these like letters of recommendation or references. Endorsements tell recruiters what you are good at based on what your connections say. This is also why you need to optimize these endorsements. Only have endorsements that portray skills for the career you want.

For example, if you want to be a technical writer, your endorsements should reflect technical skills. Remove any endorsements that don’t reflect your future career’s skill set. These are unnecessary, can clutter your profile, and ultimately, won’t help you move up in your career. Ask your connections to endorse the skills that are necessary and helpful in your goals.

5. Add Experience as a Volunteer

In most industries, doing volunteer work shows that you have passion beyond what you do for a living. Volunteer work demonstrates you care about your community and the people around you. In fact, employers, especially those on LinkedIn, look at volunteer work favorably. A LinkedIn survey showed that 20% of employers hired candidates based on their volunteer experience. Volunteer work can definitely give you an advantage in the job market. Even if you’re unemployed, volunteer work makes you more likely to be hired over those that don’t. If you have the experience, this is an easy thing to add to your profile to make you stand out.

These are five simple ways to improve your LinkedIn profile.

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Mahvash Saba is a photographer based in New Jersey. She is professional, creative and a pleasure to work with. She specializes in corporate headshots, business portraits, actor headshots, model headshots and photographic creativity.

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