Career Counseling: Five Easy Ways to Better Your LinkedIn Profile

Five tips to use LinkedIn to your advantage // Photo credit: OhmZ/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

In work situations, it's often best to talk to an expert. Knowing your team and the resources you might have on-hand to help you in your role and seeking assistance to further your efforts is a key part of navigating your company culture. Team approaches often work to benefit individuals, and in return, they create a win-win mentality for solving problems and creating new solutions. This month, I’m turning to Robin Stewart, Hutchinson Consulting’s LinkedIn expert, for pointers on how to maximize your LinkedIn profile:

Having a robust and complete LinkedIn profile can keep you connected, extend your personal brand, and attract the right opportunities. Studies confirm that users with a complete LinkedIn profile are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn, and 94 percent of recruiters out there use LinkedIn to source and vet candidates. Here are some tips to ensure recruiters find you.

1. Profile Photo: Include a current photo that shows you in a relaxed and approachable yet professional setting. Your photo should not be a selfie, include animals, or be a group or family shot. Profiles with professional photos are more likely to be viewed.

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2. Industry and Location: Recruiters and perspective employers are oftentimes searching for candidates within a targeted industry and location. Be sure to include this in your profile, and make it easier to be populated into a recruiter’s search.  

3. Experience: It’s important to include your current position as well as at least two prior positions. Use this section to share your story and illustrate your career trajectory.  There is space for a minimum of 200 characters to a maximum of 2,000 characters. Be sure to talk about your value added and some career highlights of which you’re especially proud. Think of this as a snapshot of your mini résumé.  If you are currently seeking employment or are a recent college grad, this section still needs to be completed.  Share that part of your story, too.

4. Education: You don’t need to include graduation or completion dates, just the information will do.  By adding this, you will automatically have access to other alumni you can reach out to and include in your network.  

5. Skills: List a minimum of five skills that best describe your talent. Recruiters use keywords as filters to narrow the funnel in finding top talent fast. Those who have done their homework will be able to zero in pretty quickly using keywords that represent your skills.  

When building your professional LinkedIn profile, consider also including recommendations. Recommendations given by other professionals you have worked with are considered by recruiters to be mini references. These recommendations don’t need to be verbose, just to the point and speak to the work that you’ve done together. Recommendations don’t help you to be populated into a recruiter’s search, but they do enhance the overall feel of your profile.

Be sure to connect with Michael G. Tompkins, Robin Stewart, and American Spa on LinkedIn.

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