Why you should probably update your LinkedIn profile
Okay, so you’ve created a LinkedIn profile with your name, current job and title. You’ve got a thorough and well-formatted Word Doc resume, ready to hand off to hiring managers. Done, right? Wrong. You’re missing the point of LinkedIn if you think having a print resume, and a short LinkedIn profile is the entire arsenal your job search requires.
Keeping your LinkedIn up to date is something that requires little time, but may end up having big benefits. Any recruiter can tell you that they are constantly on LinkedIn looking for quality candidates. Hiring managers will check your LinkedIn before bringing you in for an interview. Beyond the job search, having a stellar online profile can help build your professional network, add to your personal brand and may even up your industry credibility.
So what should I update?
Let’s start with a good photo! In this case, that means a picture of you, without sunglasses or a hat, or your pet/roommate/current boyfriend. While having a professional headshot is preferred, reading some pro tips online about how to get a well-lit photo, and then enlisting a friend’s help can result in a great solo photo. Remember that the image you’re projecting here is for your business network – so save the shot of your cute Coachella outfit for Instagram.
Now, take a look at your accomplishments and interests. As a recent grad, including your sorority or fraternity leadership position will help hiring managers see your credibility as a leader, even without extensive full time work experience. However, if you’ve been working for over a decade, it might be wise to leave off that award Panhell gave you back in college. Including internships, volunteer experience, or TA work as a recent grad is also a great idea.
Also, if you’re trying to build up your client base, reach out to recent customers who’ve had positive experiences for a short quote. Having reviews isn’t a deal breaker, as your experience should speak for itself, but having a few positive reviews (especially from influential people) wouldn’t hurt.
How much do I put on here?
While it is definitely important to list all of your experiences, it’s not necessary to have long winded text under each one. A LinkedIn profile is like an online resume. Having key experiences clearly highlighted with an easily digestible amount of information will do you, and hiring managers, a favor. Save a longwinded story – even about a win – for an interview.
Your wins should stand out with specific numbers and details. Include dollar amounts or percentages wherever relevant. Be sure the numbers are the same on your resume though… saying one thing online and another in print is a good way to quickly lose credibility.
LinkedIn isn’t just about job experiences
One area to not skimp on is adding your interests, volunteer positions, charity work and any boards you may sit on. Showing what you do outside of work can, and should be a part of your LinkedIn profile. People are more likely to respond to a networking request if they have a sense of who you are beyond your current and past titles.
If you’ve received a prestigious award or have a special achievement under your belt, put it on LinkedIn! Hiring managers want successful people on their team. Clients want to work with people who have proven records. Whether you’re looking for a job, or trying to build up your client base, showing your past successes can be a winning move.
If you’re looking to build up your personal brand or want to establish credibility in your industry beyond your daily work – try writing articles on LinkedIn. Besides being a modern Rolodex full of promising candidates, people are using LinkedIn to keep a pulse on industry trends.
Follow companies and people whose work you admire, and keep track of their recent posts in your feed. If you aspire to become a thought leader yourself, start with writing about a job experience or an industry trend you’ve noticed. You never know, you may end up becoming one of the people that others follow for advice!
Carolyn Betts Fleming is the Founder and CEO of Betts Recruiting, the leading global recruitment firm specializing in matching revenue-generating talent with the world’s most innovative companies.