By: Leah Dermo
With so many personal and social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s no surprise that LinkedIn isn’t the most popular social network. However, what if we told you that by simply sprucing up your LinkedIn profile, you could make an incredible first impression on some of the greatest business influencers in the city? What if we told you there were five simple ways to be exposed to hundreds of amazing job opportunities every day?
Here are some key ways to improve your LinkedIn profile:
1) The photo
Profile pictures have been used since the MSN days, as well as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Although some photos may be acceptable across these platforms, we must consider LinkedIn as a professional account. While it isn’t necessary to dig out your grade twelve prom dress for your profile photo, we do suggest choosing a business casual outfit that you might wear to an interview. Once you’ve chosen the right outfit, stand against a plain background, whether it’s a light or brick wall, and don’t forget to say cheese! It’s been proven that smiling with your teeth will make you look more approachable and trustworthy.
2) Make a clever bio and summary
Most visitors to your profile will decide if they’re going to continue scrolling after the first or second sentence. As a PR or communications professional, you understand the importance of writing, so use this time to shine. You can still be descriptive and witty, but this is your time to highlight critical details about yourself. Just because you don’t have a lot of experience in your field quite yet does not mean you have no experience at all. Think back to all of your part-time, full-time and volunteer jobs leading up to this point. What might be relevant to what you want to do in the future?
Example 1: Jack Smith, PR pro.
Example 2: Jack Smith, Entry level PR pro with five years of hospitality, event planning and volunteer experience.
Your summary should include what your next steps might be, your interests, skill set, goals and areas of expertise. This is a summary of who you are, so try to make it a reflection of you, one that will stand out in the minds of your readers.
3) Proofread, proofread, proofread
Proofread, proofread, proofread. This one cannot be stressed enough. Nothing ruins your credibility faster than a simple grammatical error or a spelling mistake, almost all of which could have been avoided simply by reading your paragraphs out loud. If you know you’re not the best at editing take the time to have someone else look it over. You’ll be much better off when you do.
4) Consistency is key
When writing your job descriptions, make sure you’re using a similar layout while using a variety of words. For example, if you want to use bullet points instead of paragraphs, use bullet points under each job title to describe what you did in that role. Although it’s easy to get caught in the same patterns when writing similar sentences, remember to change up your wording. This will keep your readers engaged.
5) Update regularly
It can be easy to forget job titles or daily tasks once you’re no longer in that role. Update your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis by plugging in this information as you go. Be sure to get credit for your hard work.
It’s no surprise that it can be hard to find a great job your qualified for, and will love, especially if you’re coming straight out of college or university. It’s important to be able to showcase your experiences, abilities and personal brand in the best possible light, so that if an opportunity (or dream job) arises, you’ll be a first choice candidate.