Over the past few years, LinkedIn has become one of the topmost sites for professional networking. Hundreds of potential employers view your professional LinkedIn profile on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis, depending on your connections. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that your LinkedIn resume and account profile are updated regularly to reflect your most recent work experiences, certifications, and achievements.
Complete Your Profile
When you log into LinkedIn, you may occasionally receive a message prompting you to complete your profile. This is the site’s way of reminding you to list all of your marketable skills, so be sure to take this advice. This means ensuring that your information is current, that you’ve uploaded a recent picture, that you’ve tagged any applicable skills, and that you have created a descriptive title for yourself that will increase the number of times you show up in employer searches. For instance, if you are a web developer looking for a new position, your profile description might say: “John Smith, Experienced Web Developer and HTML Specialist, Greater New York City Area.”
Another way to update your LinkedIn profile is to take advantage of the site’s professional networking groups. After all, LinkedIn is more than a resume service; it is a platform that allows you to establish connections and relationships with other professionals to supplement your standard resume. With this in mind, you might consider joining groups sponsored by a web design or IT company if you are seeking a web development position. When you join these groups, your name will show up in the feeds of more users in the same field. Thus, this activity will help you get your name out there so that if a position does open up in that company, you will already have a foot in the door.
Nail the Summary
Because of the sheer volume of users on LinkedIn, employers looking for new hires will want to be able to quickly skim over someone’s profile to determine whether they are a potentially good fit for a position. If a person’s goals or skill set is unclear, these employers will likely overlook that individual’s resume. To prevent this from happening, be as direct and specific as possible in your profile summary. For instance, under a job title like the one listed above, John Smith might write: “Successful web developer with over 10 years of design experience, proficient in a number of software programs, and highly skilled in writing html code.”
Of course, in addition to making sure all of your information is current, that you make frequent connections with other users, and that you are an active participant in LinkedIn groups, all of the other standard guidelines for updating a traditional resume apply. In other words, proofread all of your information regularly to catch and revise any typos, emphasize those skills you want to market specifically, and make sure that everything you add is completely truthful.