By Laura Stevens
LinkedIn is your BFF for generating job leads—make sure your profile is working for you.
“Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that’s really powerful.”
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-founder
It’s hard to believe LinkedIn was launched way back in 2003, making it older than Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Over its 15-year journey, the site has risen to become the world’s largest professional network, boasting some 530 million users (with 128 million in the U.S. alone) across 200 countries. What’s the secret to its success? The answer lies in the organization’s mission and vision, both of which cater to something we all need: employment. And just in case you had any doubts about the ROI of a well-developed profile, or the scope of LinkedIn’s network, consider these statistics:
Make your profile work for you.
Like any worthy endeavor, what you get out of LinkedIn depends on the effort you put into it—and your profile is no exception. (In other words, you’ll want to block out some time for this.) Instead of a run-of-the-mill online resume, try creating something dynamic that illustrates your capabilities and personality. Make sure your information is up to date, and follow the guidelines below to generate more views.
1. Include a photo of yourself, and if possible, invest in a professional headshot. Profiles with photos are 36 times more likely to receive a message; professional headshots receive 14 times more views.
2. Include your most relevant skills and certifications. Users who list at least five skills receive 17 times more views.
3. Use an attention-grabbing headline. Unless you manually edit your headline, it will default to your current employment position. Be bold, and say something about your areas of expertise and what you have to offer. This is a great opportunity to market yourself (in 120 characters or less) – so take advantage of it!
Need to upskill?
If you think your skill set doesn’t measure up to your career goals and aspirations, never fear. There are plenty of options for classes and certificates that can help you reach the next level. Indicating that you’re “currently enrolled” in a program also looks great on your profile.
Laura Stevens is a marketing communications writer and content strategist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin.
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