If you have already twigged that your LinkedIn profile will be crucial to landing your next job, you are ahead of the game. In fact, your profile is almost as important as your CV and covering letter for landing your next position. Here are five top tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
1. Change your privacy settings
If you plan to move on from your existing employer, a sudden flurry of updates and new contacts on your LinkedIn account will only serve to give the game away. You should change your privacy settings from the main menu to stop your employer or colleagues from knowing that you are trying to secure new employment. Go to ‘Privacy Controls’ and you will see all the options you need to turn your activity broadcasts on or off. You should carefully select who can see your activity feed from this menu.
2. Upgrade your account
Before you start optimizing your profile, ask yourself what you want to gain from your next position. Seriously consider the type of environment you would like to work in. Begin optimizing your profile by ensuring that your recent experience is highlight. Research the firms that you are interested in and make your LinkedIn profile appeal to these firms. LinkedIn makes this easy if you upgrade to premium membership. You can then view the profiles of people outside your networks, send InMail to anyone and even get introduced to inside sources at companies through your LinkedIn connections.
3. Update your photograph
Photographs taken by a professional photographer will affect the volume and quality of the contacts you make. If you do not have a professionally shot photograph, make this your next move. Forbes contributor Ken Krogue recently suggested that black and white photographs could help you stand out from the crowd, as most LinkedIn users have color photographs. Ensure that your photograph is recent, recognizable and professionally shot.
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4. Get your profile professionally written
Are you stuck for words trying to ‘sell’ yourself? A well-written LinkedIn profile has to set a professional tone while containing calls to action that will get you noticed and contacted. While most writers agree that the ideal LinkedIn profile should be written in the first-person narrative, statistically very few profiles actually are. It is worth trying to re-write your profile first and then decide whether improvements could be made. A professional writing service will completely re-write your LinkedIn profile for a very reasonable amount.
5. Build your recommendations
According to Forbes contributor Cheryl Conner, ‘well-written recommendations are still the best way to boost your reputation on LinkedIn’. Thankfully, LinkedIn makes this easy if you connect with all of your current clients. As clients are your best source of referrals, check your existing contact list and make sure they are recent and relevant. High-quality recommendations are the best way to optimize any LinkedIn profile.
So, there you go – five tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile. The key advice is to consider how recent and relevant the content on your profile is. What do you think of my tips? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments below!