LinkedIn logo on the iphone X screen is placed on the laptop keyboard next to AirPods.

With hiring managers and recruiters utilizing social media more and more these days, it’s just as essential to have a top-notch LinkedIn profile as it is to have a stellar resume.

LinkedIn is a social media platform that provides connections to professionals. The profile pages are set up in a similar way as a resume where users can list their skills, provide career summaries and display their employment and education histories. It is free to join but there is also a premium service available that provides access to a number of different features.

Though LinkedIn has become one of the world’s largest professional networking sites, it didn’t start out that way.

When LinkedIn first came on the scene in 2003, people weren’t sure what to make of it. The website seemed like a way to connect with colleagues, but others thought it might be a dating site.

On some days there were only 20 sign-ups total. But, as LinkedIn added more functions and the ability for companies to advertise and promote, the platform slowly began to take off. By 2013, LinkedIn had 225 million members with a growth rate of 2 members every second.

Now, in 2019, if you are a professional and don’t have a LinkedIn account, then you are seriously, as they say, “missing the boat.”

In fact, according to an article on CNBC, an estimated 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates and the site is considered “the best consistent source of quality candidates online.”

So, if you’re a job seeker and don’t already have an up-to-date profile page on LinkedIn, you need to take care of that as soon as you read these tips below.

Put in the Time to Make it Awesome

Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds that recruiters will find you in the first place. It’s also important after a recruiter has found you and decided to click on your profile: He or she wants to know what your skills are, where you’ve worked, and what people think of you. So, don’t get lazy—fill out every single section of your profile.

Choose a Great Photo

Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional image. Not sure what “appropriately professional” means? Take a look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Match that.

Write a Headline That Rocks

It is critically important that your headline field describe your personal brand rather than simply stating your job title, and make sure your profile is about your accomplishments in each of your jobs rather than just listing the positions you’ve held. The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.

Use Numbers Right Up Front

Hiring managers love numbers! When possible, include numbers and statistics that prove success. For example: ‘I have helped more than 550 students learn a second language’ or ‘With my strategic planning, I raised $20,000 for a non-profit.’

Be Warm and Welcoming

The summary section is your opportunity to showcase the good stuff about you, with your target audience in mind. Show them your personality and give them a chance to get to know you. Be authentic and keep the brand message in line with all of your other professional marketing materials, but realize that LinkedIn is a platform designed for interaction.

Avoid Buzzwords Like the Plague

What do the words responsible, creative, effective, analytical, strategic, patient, expert, organizational, driven, and innovative have in common? They’re some of the most overused buzzwords on all of LinkedIn. Come on—we know you can be more creative!

Treat Your Profile Like Your Resume

Your resume isn’t just a list of job duties (or, at least, it shouldn’t be)—it’s a place to highlight your best accomplishments. Same goes for your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your experience section is fleshed out with bullet points that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.

Add Multimedia to Your Summary

“A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words, especially when it comes to showcasing your work. LinkedIn lets you add photos, videos, and slideshow presentations to your profile summary. So instead of just talking about your work, you can show examples. Or show yourself in action. Or share a presentation. Click ‘Edit profile,’ scroll down to your summary, then click on the box symbol, then ‘add file.’”

Add Projects, Volunteer Experiences, or Languages

Do you speak Mandarin? Have a project management certification? Volunteer for Dress for Success every weekend? Adding these “additional” profile features is a great way to showcase your unique skills and experiences and stand out from the crowd.

Update Your Status

Just like on Facebook, you can update your LinkedIn status as often as you wish. So, do! Update it professionally and strategically (share the article you just wrote, not what you ate for lunch today), ideally once a week. Your entire network will see your updates, both in their news feeds and in the weekly LinkedIn network updates emails they receive.

Become an Author

All users can write and publish their work on the platform. Share your perspective about what’s going on in your field, weigh in on a recent industry development, or show off your skills as a writer. It’s a great way to get noticed.

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