Four Tips for a Powerful LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is one the primary ways corporate hiring managers and third-party recruiters now find qualified candidates. But it’s more than just a hiring tool. With news feeds, interest-based professional groups, and the ability to search your contacts’ networks, LinkedIn is a valuable business tool for everyone.
About two weeks ago, LinkedIn updated how it displays your professional profile. With new features, it’s a 360-degree view of what you’ve done in your career. If you haven’t spent time on LinkedIn lately, it might be time to brush up. Here are four tips for making a powerful LinkedIn profile.
Identify Your Skills and Expertise
Be more marketable on LinkedIn by identifying your skills and expertise. LinkedIn has set up hundreds (maybe thousands) of keywords that professionals commonly list on resumes. When you select Edit Profile in LinkedIn, drop down to the Skills and Expertise section, and add those skills that fit your professional background. LinkedIn will also suggest related skills to make your profile even more complete. Here’s an example of what my Skills and Expertise section looks like.
Secure Endorsements for Your Skills and Expertise
You’ll see in the above image that there are also pictures of my LinkedIn contacts who have endorsed me for specific skills. This is a brand-new LinkedIn feature. With a click of a button, anyone in your network can endorse your abilities – without you even asking. Think of it as a Facebook “like” button for your career expertise.
Some feel that the endorsement system doesn’t pack a real punch, since it’s easy to endorse someone you barely know. But for now, endorsements are here to stay, and the real power might be in the number of endorsements you earn for a particular skill. A single person can give you an endorsement for a skill that they honestly can’t vouch for – but if 100 people vouch for you, that can speak volumes to a potential employer, client, or business lead.
Seek Out Recommendations
One of the core elements of your LinkedIn profile is your career experience. What makes LinkedIn stand out from a paper resume is the recommendation feature. You can ask colleagues, bosses, employees, and clients to recommend your work at a particular position. If you have no recommendations for your career experience, you’re missing out on a great business-building tool.
Go to the Profile section of LinkedIn. Click Recommendations in the dropdown menu, and then select Request Recommendations. You can ask for recommendations from anyone you’re connected to on LinkedIn. Recommendations are usually a paragraph or two, and allow the recommender to talk about your specific strengths and successes. You always have the choice to not publish a recommendation if you’re not happy with it.
Let LinkedIn Help You
Think your profile is dialed in and absolutely complete? LinkedIn has a great feature called Improve Your Profile that does the double-checking for you.
When you click on the Improve Your Profile button under your profile overview, LinkedIn will scan your profile and let you know if the system thinks anything is missing. It will prompt you with a question box, and all you need to do is type in your answer. Or, if the question doesn’t require an answer, you can skip it altogether.
By using this feature, you can ensure that your profile is as complete as possible.
Consider dedicating 30 to 60 minutes this week to making these updates to your LinkedIn profile. It can pave the way to a better career or business!