Have you checked your LinkedIn profile recently? Maybe you’ve been scrolling the news feed looking at everyone else’s updates. But seriously, when was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile?
Whether you’re looking for a new job or thinking about a career change, you will open yourself up for more opportunities by updating your LinkedIn. As a Career Coach I work with my clients to use their LinkedIn profile as their career portfolio – it not only reflects your experience but you can manage the content to highlight your values and skills. Most importantly, your profile is searchable and recruiters search for profiles when they’re hiring so help them find you!
Ask yourself, is your LinkedIn profile working for you? Are the people you want to view your profile doing so? If your LinkedIn hasn’t been edited in awhile – here are some easy tips to get you started.
1. Show More Than Your Work History
When using your LinkedIn profile as a career portfolio, you are demonstrating your professional journey and showcasing your achievements. Make use of the FREE tools LinkedIn offers you:
- Ask for recommendations from previous managers, colleagues or clients – people that can describe the value you bring to the team and your impact (if you feel weird asking then offer to write them one too!).
- Add volunteer experience, online classes, certifications you have completed, extracurricular activities you participate in or interests like social causes you believe in.
- Share media or links to projects you contributed to in your current and past roles as well as side projects or bootcamp work to show new skills you’ve learned, especially if you’re making a career change. Help hiring managers and recruiters understand the scope of what you can do!
2. Increase Your Activity On LinkedIn
Let’s be honest, many of us are exhausted by all the app options for social networking these days. The difference with LinkedIn is that your activity keeps your career network alive and helps it grow with not alot of effort needed. If you are planning a job search or transition, I recommend engaging with your LinkedIn twice a week minimum. There is amazing content on LinkedIn – generous recruiters offering free career advice, job leads or referrals – but if you don’t look you may miss a good connection or opportunity! The mobile app is an easy way to skim the news feed.
Here are a few simple tips to make your LinkedIn time more effective:
- Curate your newsfeed by following companies and professionals that share content that is relevant to you!
- If you read a job description that is a great fit for you – regardless of the location or company – save it and LinkedIn will automatically source similar roles for you. Use them to sample keywords and phrases that should be in your profile as well.
- Don’t just like your network’s post, leave a comment. If someone in your network shares a new role, congratulate them. If someone shares a job posting or advice, share their post to your network. A simple ‘I agree’, ‘thanks for sharing’ or ‘great opportunity here’ works!
These easy steps help LinkedIn work for you and tailor the content you receive. This way, when you get notifications from LinkedIn, it is targeting the roles, professional connections, and posts you are interested in.
3. Start Creating Your Personal Brand
When you check your LinkedIn, is your profile photo showing the image of yourself what you want to show potential clients, recruiters, or managers? The job search is all about first impressions. Does your LinkedIn profile, headline and summary complement the new role or company you’re aiming for? Take time to personalize your profile!
- Use a profile pic that looks like you! You can easily take a new photo with your phone for FREE. Have fun with it and do your own photoshoot. You can use a ring light that some of us now have for our video calls! Also, consider hiring a local photographer through Craigslist or Shoott.com. You can decide the location and outfit, and the photographer can help you feel comfortable. These resources are offered at a budget-friendly price of around $150.
- Update your headline! You can use your current job title but does it accurately reflect your strengths and what you bring to the table? Often the title we are given doesn’t match what we do. Perhaps you do more in your role than your title indicates, in that case, use the headline section to describe functionally what you do or what you’re looking to do.
- Revise your summary, this is your 30 second pitch. Write it in first-person, include what drives you (both inside and outside of work) and your accomplishments. Also share if you are open to individuals reaching out to you to connect and how you prefer to communicate.
Make LinkedIn work for you
As a career coach, I help create actionable steps that move my clients forward to meet their goals. These steps are simple and always productive! Your LinkedIn profile can be more than a resume. It’s an opportunity to create a portfolio that showcases your achievements, your content, and insight about what drives you. It’s a thoughtful, convenient way of networking, helping you align with and learn from other professionals and find opportunities that match your values and skillset. Start using LinkedIn to help you reach your next steps. If you need help, consider working 1:1 with a career coach.