Join Jolie Miller for an in-depth discussion in this video Updating your LinkedIn profile, part of Job Hunting Online.
With millions of users and thousands of jobs, LinkedIn is not just a destination for recruiters and networking. It's also a digital place of business where your profile is your storefront and you can drive a lot of traffic to that storefront if you know how to market yourself. I'm not gonna walk you through setting up a profile from scratch. For that I recommend you check out Up and Running with LinkedIn. Instead, we're gonna go over the 5 things you wanna keep in mind to make your profile standout. First, I want you to consider having a professional headline.
The headline is kind of a tagline where you tell people about yourself right under your name and my goal for a professional headline is that it's serious, intriguing and whimsical all at the same time. It's your best opportunity to make a first impression. Simon Allardice, our staff author here at lynda.com does a great job with his professional headline. He tells you, "I figure out how to create "and teach technical content "so you learn it easier, faster and better." That's intriguing, it sounds inviting. Someone who I would want to meet because he is telling me not just what he does but how he does it, and that it's focused on the people who are consuming that content.
That's a great foot forward. The next thing I wanna draw your attention to is the professional picture and Shea Hanson, my producer for this course, has a great professional head shot here that's a perfect example. With your head shot, you wanna make sure that it looks recent enough so that if you were to meet one of your LinkedIn connections in person, let's say walking into a coffee shop, they would recognize you immediately. This is a place where you want a professional background and a professional photo if at all possible.
Oftentimes you'll have a corporate head shot that you could upload here as your bio pic, or if not this might be a place where you wanna invest in having some professional pictures taken so that you can use it not just for LinkedIn, but for any other job hunting sites where you want to show a photo. Third, I wanna draw your attention to a well-written summary. It's free of typos and grammatical errors and it tells people about who you are and why they should wanna connect with you. It's a great place to give a hiring manager a little bit more insight into who you are and why you're an intriguing candidate.
Lynda Weinman, co-founder of lynda.com has an excellent summary that I wanna share with you. Hers is written in the 1st person and it's storytelling. It really takes us on the journey of how she co-founded lynda.com, what lynda.com is and what she's passionate about. The 1st person is great because it's conversational. It feels very much like Lynda could be walking up to you and telling you about her journey. That's what I like about the 1st person. Let's contrast that with the always popular, 3rd person which is what I have on my profile summary.
The 3rd person can seem a little bit more formal and maybe even a little bit more professional than 1st person, but depending on your industry, it might also seem a little bit stiff. I happen to have 3rd person life here because I needed it for another media interview and it was easy to make it my professional summary. There's no right or wrong in terms of 1st or 3rd person, but the one thing I do want you to keep in mind with your summary, is do not leave it blank. Take it as an opportunity to introduce yourself and tell people a little bit about who you are and why you're interesting.
This is also a great place to list out some of your specialties or include keywords about your industry so that it's easy for people to search on let's say editing or marketing and find your profile because you have those words there in your summary. Fourth, I want to draw your attention to thoughtful recommendations. If we scroll down on my page, I'll show you a few of the ones that I have. I aim for 1 to 2 recommendations per position and the goal is diversity. You might want a manager, you might wanna have someone who worked for you, someone who worked with you, outside of the company.
Diversity gives people these different slices of who you are as a professional. Let's them see a different side of you. It's helpful when you're asking people for a recommendation to personalize that request. You're asking them to put some time into writing a little bit about you, and you wanna do the same in asking them, giving them the opportunity to be specific about what it is that you're looking for them to comment on. To ask for a recommendation, if you scroll up to the top of your profile and click this triangle right next to edit profile, you can ask to be recommended.
Here we are on the ask for recommendations page. You can select who you wanna ask a recommendation of and then you can personalize the message. This is the place where you want to say, "Hey, I'd really like you to comment on my sales ability "or my marketing ability, how I managed teams." Those kinds of things. Definitely personalize this request and also keep in mind when you get requests in, it's really helpful to have specificity in the recommendations. The last thing I wanna draw your attention to is the goodies of your LinkedIn profile.
I'm gonna go back to my homepage and click to my profile and I'm gonna scroll down to what I call the goodies. These are your certifications, other languages that you have, projects that you've worked on and it could even be embedded media. For example, I have a radio interview that I did at the top of my profile. You could also link out to a portfolio or a website that you have live. I also wanna draw your attention to skills and endorsements. This is a newer feature for linkedin.com and it's a place for you to list out the top skills that you wanna be known for being good at.
People can recommend you as being good at these things with a click of a button. As your needs change over time or as your skills develop in new areas, you can adjust the skills that you list and move different skills up or down in the list. This is a great place for people to give you that recommendation but in a more quick fashion, and you can see all the people who have endorsed me right here with our profile pictures. Consider your updated profile that warm hand shake in the virtual mixer that's linkedin.com.
Come to the party prepared to show your best self, meet new people and make interesting lasting connections.
Then take a quick workshop on applying for a job—from finding the ad to researching the company, tailoring your resume and cover letter, and submitting the application.
- Making a plan for job hunting
- Using popular job sites such as Monster, Simply Hired, and Indeed
- Networking and finding jobs on LinkedIn
- Using Twitter to search for jobs
- Scanning sites of companies you want to work for
- Approaching recruiters