Remember when people met face-to-face, shook hands, shared small talk, and exchanged business cards? We’re all about personal, one-on-one communication, but our online world has traded in business cards for LinkedIn profiles and handshakes with digital invitations—and it’s time to embrace it. LinkedIn allows for connection with people across many professionals and fields. Think of it like casting a broad net into a very big sea of opportunities. But having a polished profile can mean the difference between starting a new career and being stuck in a nowhere position. Don’t miss out on your next opportunity. Follow these three easy steps to make your LinkedIn profile shine.
1. Keep it Updated
Think of your LinkedIn profile as a living, breathing resume that needs to change and grow constantly with you. New jobs, titles, responsibilities, or even important projects and career highlights should be woven into your profile on a regular basis. Don’t forget to highlight new areas of expertise and volunteer work, and also consider asking others to add endorsements to your page. Once a year is not enough, so mark your calendar to review and update your profile monthly.
2. Write a Killer Summary
While a list of your credentials, education, and titles is important, the summary section of your profile should never be left blank. Not only does this area highlight your specialties and accomplishments, but the summary is how people get to know you. Think of it as a way to give a snapshot of who you are and what you’re all about professionally—it’s essentially your elevator pitch. Use a polished yet conversational tone to draw readers into what you’re saying. And don’t be afraid to let your personality come through as long as it stays professional. One last thing: stay away from overused, stale words like “analytical, strategic, energetic, detail-oriented, etc” to keep your profile unique and fresh.
3. Pay Attention to Details
Details may seem small and meaningless, but it’s important not to overlook them. Recruiters and prospective employers notice all the little things that go into making a profile stand out. Focus on these areas as you polish up your profile:
- Fix grammar and spelling errors! We can’t stress this one enough.
- Use a professional photo.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL.
- Consider adding media to your profile—a few select videos, presentations and documents that you’re proud of.
- Link to your blog or personal website, if relevant.
- Add a background photo for a polished look.
With a little time devoted to sprucing up your LinkedIn profile, you can establish a professional online presence sure to grab attention. Using social media is one of the best ways to expand your contacts and do some networking. And who knows, the connections you make today may lead to an exciting career tomorrow.