Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Optimizing your profile, part of Up and Running with LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker.
- Before you flip the switch and upgrade your profile to a Premium Job Seeker account, it's a good idea to first make sure your profile is already looking its best. That way, you won't have to spend as much time working on the basics after upgrading and you can instead immediately focus on taking advantage of the Premium Job Seeker tools. So, let's take a look at some of the ways you can prep your profile page before upgrading. I'm currently signed in to the account for James Donell. This is a fictitious profile we've created for this course. So we'll just pretend that I'm James for now. Over here on the right, we can see this profile is already in fairly decent shape.
The profile strength is already at the Expert level. The more complete your profile is, the higher the level you'll see. Now occasionally, you'll be prompted to answer some questions to further complete your profile. Notice the question area up here. Depending on what information you still need to add, you may see prompts to add photo or video content to your profile or to list any professional organizations or associations you belong to or to add any languages you know or in this case, it's asking me to describe my education. Now in each case, you can either add the requested information, or just click Skip to jump to the next piece of missing information.
Now if you don't want to be bothered with this at the moment, you can just click the X button to close that section. But to work on your profile at any time, just go to Profile, Edit Profile, which is a page I was already on. So from here, you can scroll down to review the information you've already added and you can edit or add to these existing sections by clicking the Add button below each one. So I could click Add position, Add education, Add skills, Add language, and so on. Or we could scroll back up to the top and here under Add a section to your profile, you'll find two examples of other sections you can add or click View More for the entire list.
So it takes some time to browse through these categories to see if there's anything relevant you can add to your profile. Each section has a small blurb describing the advantages of having that information. Basically, any information you can add here will just further round you out as a job candidate. So for example, you might want to add some interests and then list any passions, pursuits, or hobbies you have that might not fit elsewhere in your profile, but which could let potential employers know about your interest and skills outside your current job.
And then click Save. And you can see that's added this Additional Info area to the profile now. Now it's also worth mentioning that while you're working on your profile, it's not a bad idea to turn off the Notify your network option here. That way, every change you make to your profile doesn't start showing up as updates in the feeds of your connections. You probably don't want all of your connections seeing that you're overhauling your profile page. Instead, keep the notifications off until you're done so fewer people will see your profile while it's a work in progress. All right. So in addition to making sure your profile information is as complete as possible, there are some other things you should be sure to take care off before upgrading to Job Seeker.
First of all, make sure you have a profile photo. Without one, you'll literally be a faceless LinkedIn member and chances are, most potential employers want to see what their potential candidates look like. Not only that, but having a photo of yourself makes it easier for people who want to connect with you to confirm that you're the person they mean to connect to, especially if you have a fairly common name. Now that said, you'll want to put some thought and effort into selecting the profile photo. Remember, you're most likely trying to make a professional impression here, so you're not going to use the same types of photos you might post on, say, Facebook, of you out for a night on the town with your friends.
Make sure you're the only one in the photo and be smiling if it suits your personality and try to look approachable. If you can get a professional headshot taken or if you're on a budget, you can shoot it yourself, but please try to avoid selfies or any shot where it's obvious that you're holding the camera yourself at arm's length. Instead, set up a tripod, get yourself into your professional looking clothes, dressed for the type of job you want and use a timer or have someone else take your photo. You might want to check our courses and videos at lynda.com for tips on shooting self-portraits. Once you have a photo you want to use, click Add a photo.
Then click Choose File. And I have a photo on my desktop I can use here. Once a photo's selected, you can adjust the visible area by dragging it around or if necessary, rotating it to the proper orientation. Over on the right in the preview area, you can see how the photo will appear in the various shapes and sizes of thumbnails on the site. Also, click the lock button here and make sure everyone can see your picture, especially if you want to be noticed by people who aren't in your network and then click Save.
Once your profile photo is set, take some time to pick a background photo. Your background photo is where you get the opportunity to say a little bit more about yourself and express more of your personality than your profile photo will necessarily allow. For example, you might want to use a photo in which you're performing one of the skills you mentioned in your profile. If you're a good public speaker or a teacher, for example, use a photo of yourself speaking in front of a crowd. If you're a photographer, use a picture of yourself on the job or use one of your own photos. The background image is really your free space to place whatever you like onto your profile and really give it some personality.
So I'll click Add a background photo. Got a photo ready here. And you can adjust the position of the image if you like and then save it. So, already this profile is looking a lot better. Lastly, at least for now, spend some time sprucing up the summary section of your profile page. Now this is not the place to put your entire resume or just a list of items This is where you want to make sure to mention all of your major selling points, the characteristics, accomplishments, or accolades that make you stand out from the crowd and which identify you as an attractive candidate for the job you're looking for.
For example, in this profile, we can see that he's mentioned he's an accomplished web designer with 10 years of experience. He mentions having an expert level proficiency in several tools and languages and he also mentions that he founded and served on an environmental committee on one of his previous jobs. So this is a place to provide a quick overview of who you are and what you can bring to the table. You want to try to make it interesting enough that it encourages viewers to scroll down to check out the rest of your profile. Now, there are a couple of other ways to optimize your profile before switching over to a Job Seeker Account but we'll talk about them in their own upcoming videos.
But I also do want to mention that all of the profile characteristics we've looked at here can also be managed from the mobile LinkedIn app on iOS or Android devices. So you don't necessarily have to wait until you're at your computer to work on your profile. Just login to your account from your mobile device and you can touch it up in small increments while you're waiting for a bus or sitting in a hotel lobby or any time you have a few minutes free with your phone. Just login to your account with the app, go to your profile, and here click Edit profile, and then you can start editing your account just like you can on the desktop version of LinkedIn.
Okay. So there you have a couple of housekeeping things you can do to start getting your LinkedIn profile in order before upgrading to a Job Seeker Account.
He then covers such features as Insights, which show how you stack up against a company's employees and other applicants. He also explains best practices for sending InMail to people, finding companies of interest, and using tools to reach key contacts and hiring managers. Finally, put it all to work by learning how to apply for a job directly on LinkedIn. Using these tips and LinkedIn Premium Job Seeker, you can find, apply, and network your way to your next dream job.
- Optimizing your profile
- Growing your network
- Upgrading to Job Seeker Premium
- Understanding Insights
- Contacting people via InMail
- Applying for jobs
- Accessing Lynda.com with Job Seeker Premium