LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the most valuable tool for professionals. However, it is only a tool, and like all tools needs to be used properly to be most effective. Here are some quick tips to make your profile more professional.
1) Be thorough and honest
Don’t exaggerate your skills or qualifications, though they may get you an interview or call, this sort of behavior will undermine your efforts in the long run. On the opposite end, be sure to be specific and detailed when describing past work and education experiences. The more information you provide, the better idea employers have of your strengths and skillsets.
2) Visit potential employers profiles
If you are interested in human resources, visit O.C. Tanner‘s LinkedIn profile to get an idea of the sorts of employees they seek and attract. If you want to become a software developer view Google’s profile. Not only will you know what your companies are looking for, but you can get a sense of your competition for jobs.
3) Update your profile frequently
This shows engagement in your career goals, a dedication to detail and direction, and a strong sense of your self-image. Cultivating your online reputation is just as important these days as your traditional reputation. And, just like any reputation this takes time, energy, and commitment.
4) Practice talent management
Understand that employers look for diverse talents as much as specialized knowledge. Good businesses leverage the strengths of their employees and recognize that though formal training and experience may lend a person a certain set of aptitude, life has bestowed others upon them. Be sure to include talents and strengths that you may not think have a direct bearing on your field of work.
5) Take care of your profile as you would yourself when preparing for an interview
This means make sure there is a professional, appropriate profile picture, that your spelling and grammar are correct. It means changing your default URL to something a bit more catchy and personal (this can be done in the settings area), cultivating connections, and being helpful to others through your experience by using the “Answers” section of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool to those seeking to better or further their career, or start out on one, but it isn’t something to simply put up and ignore. By making the investment of time and energy in your profile you will see tenfold the benefits. Follow the simple steps above to further increase your chances for success.