Are you looking to improve your LinkedIn profile this year?
At some point in your career, you may want a change. You may want to switch industries, transition to a new role, and take the next step. In 2019, your LinkedIn profile can absolutely help you achieve those career goals.
As a college student and college graduate, LinkedIn has helped me land job interviews, connect with recruiters, and even helped me gain new readers for my blog. So today I wanted to share few tips I’ve learned over the years to improve your LinkedIn in 2019.
Before we jump into the tips, what is LinkedIn?
Founded in 2003, LinkedIn is a social network for the professional community. Whether you work in business, law, non-profits, or science, you’re able to showcase your work experience with the resume like profiles. Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to connect with colleagues, classmates, businesses, and other organizations.
Why should you have a LinkedIn?
If your goal is to find a new job, advanced your career, or grow your network, LinkedIn is the tool for you. For those applying to new jobs in the New Year, it should be no surprise that 77% of employers’ google and research their potential applicants (source: Monster.com). And according to Forbes, 97% of recruiters say the use LinkedIn to find candidates.
If you have the opportunity to showcase your best work and control your online presence, you take that opportunity. If you Google my name: “Emmalynn Cortes”, the first thing that comes up is my Linkedin, the second is my Twitter, and the third is my blog www.emmasedition.com. My LinkedIn literally came up first over my blog in the Google search.
Before filling out your Linked in, take the time to determine your purpose.
- “I want to have an online professional online profile”
- “I want to find a new job”
- “I want to build my network”
- “I want to build credibility and expertise in my field”
Your purpose will help give you direction on what information to share on LinkedIn. For instance, if I want to build credibility and expertise in the social media marketing field, I would make sure to share all the brand collaborations I worked with this year both in my profile and in my posts.
5 Major Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
Improve Your LinkedIn Tip #1: Have a clear, professional picture
Your photo is the first thing people see when they click on your profile. Even if you don’t have a professional headshot, here are a few tips on taking a good LinkedIn picture:
- Make sure you have good lighting in the photo. I recommend shooting in natural light (shooting outside or next to a window with lots of light). If you take the photo indoors, make sure the photo is still well lit, your face is clear, and the photo is in focus.
- Make sure you are the only one in the photo. It can be confusing to potential employers and recruiters if you have friends in the photo and they’re trying to figure out who you are.
- Don’t have sunglasses in your photo, drinks, and other distracting items that take the focus away from your face.
Improve Your LinkedIn Tip #2: Fill out the summary section
This is your opportunity to formally introduce yourself to the person viewing your LinkedIn. In this section you can:
- Share who you are
- Show how you bring value to the organization
- Share your interests or your career path
- Share your purpose and next steps in your career
- You can also state in the summary that you are looking for new opportunities and roles
Advice: If you’re looking to rewrite your summary section, I recommend reading other people’s summaries in your field or industry for ideas.
Improve Your LinkedIn Tip #3: Update your Headline
After someone sees your profile picture, their eyes immediately travel to the headline underneath.
Currently my headline says: Project Manager at Boeing. While this is my current job title, I can choose to edit it depending on what I want to do on LinkedIn.
If you want to include other passions or strengths, you can change your headline to say:
Boeing Project Manager | Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger (I should probably change my headline to reflect this)
FYI – Most people choose to make their current job title their headline.
Improve Your LinkedIn Tip #4: Fill out the experience section:
While this may seem like an obvious tip, there are many people who leave there LinkedIn experience sections blank. Many people may update their job title and company, but not update what they actually do in their roles.
Here is what you can INCLUDE in the LinkedIn experience section:
- Current role, current employer
- Previous roles, previous employers
- You can also add:
- Side hustles
- Volunteer experience
- One off projects
- Make sure to include:
- Not just responsibilities, but also major accomplishments
- Impact you brought to your role, team, or organization
Here is what you can EXCLUDE in the LinkedIn experience section:
- Avoid acronyms – Make sure you spell your acronyms out.
- Sensitive information – both company and personal information. You don’t want to add your personal home address or any proprietary projects and information from your current/past employers.
Improve Your LinkedIn Tip #5: Share your thoughts, blog posts, and interesting articles
Depending on your purpose on LinkedIn, you may want to share your thoughts, freelance work, blog posts, and other articles you’ve stumbled upon the internet to your LinkedIn network.
Personally, I want to use my LinkedIn to attract more readers for Emma’s Edition as well as find brands for future blogger collaborations. I share all my career and lifestyle related content on LinkedIn. I’ve shared blog posts like: The sacrifices I’ve made balancing my career, blog, and education as well as How 4 Sales Techniques Help Me as a Project Manager.
If you don’t know what to share yet, I would recommend still engaging with the content that other people have shared.
Heads up: Any content that you like and engage with will be shown to your entire network. This is one reason why I choose to share my blog posts on LinkedIn. If I have one person in my network like my blog posts on LinkedIn, his or her network will see my post!
Other ways to Improve your LinkedIn in 2019:
– Make sure your education history is filled out.
If you’ve taken any additional courses, programs or certificates to further your education and career, include it in your LinkedIn!
– If there are any companies you want to work for or attract, make sure you like/follow their company page.
At the very bottom of your LinkedIn page is the “Interests” section. All the companies that you like/follow will show up on this section.
– Build up your “Skills & Endorsements” section.
For me personally, my two main skills highlighted in my profile are social media and public speaking. Under industry knowledge, I’ve also included project planning, creative writing, sales, and marketing. Your present and past co-workers or teammates can endorse you for these skills. This section helps build up your credibility and expertise in your field.
There you have it friends! Those are just 5 tips to improve your LinkedIn in 2019.
What are your tips for taking your LinkedIn to the next level?
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Holly Phan