You have a profile on LinkedIn. You’ve added your career history and education information. You were hoping to make valuable connections on LinkedIn, but so far your engagement rate has been sorely lacking. It could be that basic profile mistakes are the reason others aren’t engaging with you. If maximizing the networking potential of LinkedIn is important to you, following are five crucial profile tweaks you should be making.
1. LinkedIn is a search engine. If you’re not applying SEO techniques to your profile, you’re missing an enormous opportunity. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be keyword optimized if you want potential employers to find you. Which words would potential employers search for if they were looking for someone with your skills? How do top performers in your sector describe themselves on LinkedIn? Increase your chances of being discovered by including essential keywords in your LinkedIn profile.
2. Looks matter on LinkedIn. If your headshot doesn’t appear professional and inviting, potential employers are going to give you a pass without even bothering to read the rest of your profile, so this is no time to use a picture of you on a fishing trip or at a family barbecue. Also, avoid group shots. If your LinkedIn profile image doesn’t say “I’m great to work with,” it’s time to capture a new one that will. You often only get one chance to impress on LinkedIn; don’t let your profile photo be the reason you don’t get hired.
3. Developing a professional brand on LinkedIn is crucial, and this is no time to include descriptions like “ninja” or “rock star.” Think long and hard about how you want potential employers and clients to think about you and the services/talents you offer. If you only have a couple of seconds to build a lasting impression, which essential words will capture your essence? Just like companies have a tag line they use in television commercials and print ads, you need a tag line that describes YOU.
4. If you’re hoping to be hired locally, make sure your location data is accurate. Are you willing to commute within your region? Is telecommuting an option? If you’re prepared to work remotely, then make sure you include this information in your profile. An ever-increasing number of companies are hiring remote workers; don’t overlook the potential of global employers.
5. When’s the last time you updated your LinkedIn status? If you’ve received any professional awards recently, add that information to your profile. If you’ve completed a course or received a new certification, add that too. Active users get noticed more than a LinkedIn user who hasn’t logged in for months. Think of LinkedIn as a social network for business professionals and treat it as such. Be social without being overbearing.
Attracting attention on LinkedIn is easy if you pay attention to the fundamentals. You don’t have to be a stalker or annoy people with your connection requests. Focus your efforts on basic profile updates, and you just might be surprised how much your interaction rate increases. Are you going to tweak your profile to include the above-listed tips?