Your LinkedIn profile is one of your biggest opportunities to land the job you’ve applied for, or to get noticed by a recruiter who could have your next great opportunity. Taking the time to keep your profile up-to-date shows recruiters that you are actively engaged with your professional community and that you put in the work to represent your best self—online and offline. Before you apply for your next role, check your profile and make sure you’re meeting these three core criteria.
Make the effort to add in all information for each job you’ve had that is relevant to your current career aspirations and growth. If you worked at the movie theatre in high school but now you’re a web developer—you can leave out the irrelevant experience. Include a 1-2 sentence description that highlights some of the key responsibilities of that role and what teams or types of clients you worked with. Be sure to add a start and end date so recruiters can see how long you were in each role. Add any links to outside press or published work you completed while in that role. Completing each field shows recruiters your soft skills—that you have attention to detail and put time and effort into everything you do. Including more specifics also gives recruiters a closer look at your experience so they can gauge if you’re the right fit for the role they’re looking to fill—but avoid long, drawn out paragraphs and focus on the important details and keywords. Bulleted lists work as well.
Your LinkedIn profile is like a first interview—it gives them a glimpse at who you are in a more in-depth and personal way than a CV or resume. Use your profile picture to represent your polished professionalism, creative style, or friendly, outgoing personality. But more than giving a glimpse into who you are—it should be high resolution image that you didn’t take yourself (read: no selfies!). Dress the way you would in an interview, ensure the background of the photo isn’t too busy, and of course—smile.
Your LinkedIn presence doesn’t stop at your work experience and education. Who you’re connected with and follow shows recruiters the network you’ve built and your interests. If you haven’t put much thought into this—take an hour and connect with fellow graduates from your alma mater, old and current coworkers, and follow accounts of prominent business leaders that you look up to.