by Cindy C, ResumeEdge Certified Writer –
Your professional LinkedIn Profile is so much more than an online resume. True, it contains most of the same information, but it can be far more. Your LinkedIn presence is your personal brand.
While a resume requires a certain degree of formality, your LinkedIn Profile can be more personable and expansive. In addition to using words to tell your story, you can describe yourself using video, audio, graphics, and other forms of media.
Here are some tips to help LinkedIn Profile writers meet and greet the online world:
Put Your Best Face Forward
Include a professional yet friendly picture of yourself. It doesn’t have to be a picture taken by a professional photographer, but it should look fairly businesslike. The background should be simple, with no other people, pets, or other items in it.
Update Your Profile Regularly
Whenever you start a new job, gain a new skill, receive an award, or gain a new accomplishment, it’s time to update your profile. It’s a good idea to review your profile every three to six months to keep it up to date.
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Use Keywords Liberally
Search Engine Optimization is the primary way potential employers will find you on LinkedIn. Be certain to sprinkle keywords common to your desired profession and industry throughout your profile. Remember, employers can’t hire you if they can’t find you.
Update Your Summary
What was your biggest accomplishment last year or this year? The summary section is the place to include that. Above all, accentuate your successes. Listing responsibilities just lumps you in with everyone else. You want to be recognized for your results. You can explain obstacles you overcame and the related outcome. It is fine to speak in the first person on LinkedIn, but avoid speaking in the third person (he, she, mister, miss). Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments.
Get Good Recommendations.
Although “Endorsements” are nice, they are mostly used by friends and associates. Solid, well-written recommendations can be your ace in the hole. Written recommendations are often read by potential hiring managers and recruiting agents. Consider asking former supervisors, coworkers, clients and customers to put in a good word for you. They are in the best position to verify your qualities, skills, and value. Recommendations from former managers or executives in your industry would be best.
Work Your Skills
LinkedIn profiles are an increasingly popular way to advertise your expertise. The LinkedIn skill search option will help you describe your knowledge in the best possible way. When you type a skill into the skills search box, it compares that term to a list of similar terms and shows you how popular each one is. Choose the most popular one.
Include more than just your past employment and education. Include all your roles, personal and professional, and include dates. This will help former or present coworkers and previous employers find you.
Consider including any volunteer, charity, or community work that you do, and any causes you support.
For more advice on creating your LinkedIn profile, click here.