LinkedIn, although one of the oldest social networking sites, is probably the most important when it comes to looking and applying for jobs. Your profile on LinkedIn is your chance to really sell yourself on the professional market and get the best opportunities available to you. With over 200 million members from 200 different countries it is important that you make your profile stand out from the mediocre. Here are just a few tips that will help you spice up your profile, get it read and make you look even more attractive to prospective employers.
• Keywords: Since there are so many profiles on LinkedIn, employers have to search through them automatically. One of the main ways that they find profiles that they wish to look at in detail is through a basic keyword search. All you need to do is make sure that your profile contains as many relevant keywords to your line of business as possible. But it is not enough to just put these keywords anywhere on your profile and hope for the best. Research has shown that a matching keyword in your headline, company name, job title and skills will rank you higher on the search results. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t include keywords elsewhere. By including them in your job experience section you can push your profile even higher up the list automatically, as well as appealing to employers when they read your profile manually.
• SEO: Not only do the keywords need to be included once, but many of the LinkedIn searches operate using Search Engine Optimization. In order for your profile to be the one that comes up first, you need to have the keywords repeated throughout the whole of your profile. Don’t just put them in at random, though, it still needs to read coherently as at some point it will be seen by human eyes.
• Don’t Limit Yourself: Just because you are working as a Marketing Manager at the moment doesn’t mean that is all you are qualified to do. When writing down your job title you can use far more words than perhaps you would think to. Include all the jobs you have had as well as all the ones you would like to have, separated by a forward slash. For example, Marketing Manager/Social Media Manager/Marketing Executive/Content Advisor. This gives you more keyword matches every time and will help you to appeal to more employers searching on LinkedIn.
• Add References: Include references and recommendations from previous employers. Ask previous employers to write you a blanket reference, just a few sentences will do, and these will help verify what you are saying about yourself.
• Keep Your Profile up to Date: It will only take a few seconds to add a new qualification or achievement to your profile, but if you let them all build up, then you will have a mammoth task on your hands trying to update the whole thing all at once. Another reason to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date is that the more you update your profile, the more you will show up on news feeds etc. You will seem more like an active member of the LinkedIn community and your profile will therefore be more attractive to prospective employers.
• Contacts: Actively add contacts and accept all of the requests you receive. The more people who get to see your profile, the more chances you have of somebody wanting to offer you an opportunity. Adding contacts will increase your level of activity on LinkedIn too, making you show up on news feeds more often.
• Attention to Detail: You should treat your LinkedIn profile just like your resume. You don’t want people to think that you can’t type or spell. Make sure that you proofread everything that you put up.
• Personalize Your Profile: Change all the names of the links on your profile to be specific to you. Instead of having the section labeled ‘My Company’, change the settings so that the actual name of your company appears. This will look far more professional, and it will look like you have spent much more time on creating your profile.
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This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.