December 24, 2014

How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile For 2015


How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile For 2015

When people meet you in a business setting, they often Google your name afterward—and your LinkedIn profile is one of the first search results to show up.  If people haven’t met you professionally, your profile can be even more important.  It may be the first contact a potential client or employer has with you.

You wouldn’t show up for a job interview in shorts, and your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be casual or incomplete either.  It’s is a more human version of your resume, and should highlight the most important aspects of your career or education in a succinct but engaging way.  To make your profile shine this New Year, follow these simple suggestions.

Get a professional photo.

Your picture may actually be the most important part of your profile.  A recent study by HSN Beauty showed that 19% of recruiters only look at your photo when considering your profile.  This is rather disturbing– and makes a great profile photo even more important.

For a stellar profile, consider having a professional headshot taken.  Your photo is your professional face on the web, and a photo taken by a skilled photographer is the digital equivalent of wearing a nice suit and tie to an interview.

 Keep things relevant

Who is your profile aimed at?  When you’re a new graduate, it may be tempting to put in everything you can think of in an attempt to look like you have more experience.  Conversely, when you’ve been established for a long time, you may have so much info that the important things get lost.  Whether you’re a newbie or an old pro, make sure you list the most relevant information at the beginning of each section, and remove the things that no longer apply.

Use keywords

The internet revolves around keywords.  Keywords are–well, key—to making your profile show up in search results.  What are keywords?  They’re terms that people are likely to search for.  No one is likely to google “Senior Consultant”, but they are likely to search for “product development” or “marketing.”

If you want your profile at the top of the search results, add relevant keywords to your job title and your summary.  Instead of listing your job title as “Senior Consultant,” you might make it “Senior Consultant – Web Marketing.”

Add a summary

You already have a resume, so use the “summary” section of your profile—this is the part where you can really show people who you are, not just your education and job experience.  Your summary lets you be more three-dimensional.  It’s also another great place to use keywords.  Recruiters only spend an average of six seconds looking at your resume, so if you don’t have a summary on your profile you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.

Add skills and endorsements that matter

As with everything else, make sure the skills and endorsements you list are relevant.  Do they relate to the field you’re working in or want to work in?  Are they terms that a potential employer or client might search for?  If not, put them somewhere else.

LinkedIn profile =  LinkedIn portfolio

Your LinkedIn profile is a more human version of your paper resume, one that allows you to include a lot more information in an engaging way.  Add samples of your work—video, pdfs, presentations, whatever might pique the interest of the person you’re hoping to impress.

Last of all, keep it current, and be active.  Update your profile regularly so that it reflects who you are and where you want to go.  Engage with others—join groups, be active.  You’re not an introvert at the office, so don’t be one on LinkedIn.

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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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