Whether you’re actively job-hunting or happily employed, these simple changes to your LinkedIn profile will boost your online presence and professional image. In less than 30 minutes you can improve your visibility, align your profile with your career trajectory, and polish what can otherwise look like unfinished business.
Try these 5 quick-fixes for immediate LinkedIn profile improvements that will benefit you in the long-term.
ONE: Customize your URL.
When working with resume and LinkedIn clients, one of the first things I look at is their LinkedIn URL. More often than not, people stick with the default URL given to them by LinkedIn – a jumbled and random mix of letters and numbers trailing after their name:
I urge everyone to customize their URL, a rewarding and simple quick-fix.
To do so: click “Me” and view your profile. From there, go to “Edit public profile & URL” — “Edit”. This will allow you to trim the mess at the end and give yourself a nice, neat URL that looks like this:
Once customized, your URL is a sleek marketing element that you can (and usually should) include with your contact information on your resume and cover letter. Prospective employers are going to look you up on LinkedIn so why not make it easy for them?
TWO: Add a Background Image
The option to upload a custom background image is a highly underutilized opportunity. Poke around and you’ll see that most people haven’t swapped out their teal constellation-esque default background image for something better.
However, a simple swap-out results in a dramatic improvement to your profile’s aesthetic.
Unless you’re part of a marketing-savvy company that’s made one for you, you’ll need to find or create your own unique background image. The easiest option is to upload your own photo or a neutral/abstract free stock photo. Take it a step further and customize your background image to include your contact info, credentials, and/or website!
Here are a couple of homespun background images:
A background image gives your profile a “polished” and completed look. As more and more of your peers and prospective employers utilize LinkedIn, why not take advantage of this subtle competitive edge? Your blank billboard awaits.
THREE: Utilize your Headline
Logically, many people use their headline to list their current position as LinkedIn suggests that you do. However, those 120 characters comprise what is arguably the most valuable real estate on your entire profile. Instead of simply listing your current job title, breakout your key roles and highlight your transferable skills.
Here are some examples:
Before: Susan Finch, Tech Lead at Arc Solutions
After: Susan Finch, Strategic Tech Leadership | Enterprise-wide Transformations | High-Impact Deliverables
Before: Clark Mizone, HR Manager at Morwell, Inc.
After:Clark Mizone, Building High-Performance Teams at Morwell, Inc.
Before: Sam Stone, Digital Marketing Manager at Parkside Digital
After:Sam Stone, Rogue Digital Marketing for Record-Breaking Profit & Growth
When you take advantage of the headline to showcase what you have to offer rather than just what you do, you establish and communicate your value while commanding attention in a sea of competition.
FOUR: Max Out Your Skills
Scroll way down on your LinkedIn profile and you’ll find the Skills & Endorsements section. Chances are you filled it out when you first created your account, and kudos if you’ve kept it up since then. This section is keyword gold. If you want to passively attract the right attention from recruiters and organizations, give your Skills & Endorsements section a little love.
You’re allowed to select up to 50 skills and I suggest you get as close to that number as possible. Don’t be afraid to select numerous similar skills (i.e. marketing, marketing management, digital marketing, strategic marketing, and so on). This will only power-up your visibility within your niche.
Once you’ve filled out your skills section, you’ve not only improved your search-ability, but you’ve also done the leg-work for colleagues and superiors who wish to endorse you. All they have to do is click the + next to your pre-selected skill and voila! Your endorsements become your social proof, and the snowball takes off.
FIVE: Follow the leader.
One final quick-fix to your LinkedIn profile is to align yourself with industry leaders, relevant groups and affiliate circles by following them.
When you click to follow specific people, companies, groups, and schools, their activity becomes visible in your feed. From there, you can like and comment on what they post, generating your own visibility in your connections’ feeds. It builds upon itself.
I follow resume writers, career coaches, and digital marketers and learn a lot – not only from the articles they share, but from observing how they structure their businesses and online presences.
What’s more, when you follow companies, groups and schools, LinkedIn creates an “Interests” section for you. This section visually portrays your intellectual curiosity and social engagement.
By following people and groups, you learn from leaders and learn more about your target companies’ cultures and beliefs. You also associate yourself with their keywords and circles, and develop vast opportunities to grow your engagement and visibility.
These 5 quick-fixes will allow you to better dress for the job you want on Linkedin.
Too often, people wait to utilize LinkedIn until they want or need a new position. But LinkedIn is all about the slow play. Establish a presence now and nurture it. Reputations are built over time. Create the impression you want today and when the time comes to seek a new role, you’ll be ready to pounce.
For resume, cover-letter, and LinkedIn profile writing help, contact me anytime! Leigh@PillarResumes.com