LinkedIn is to your career what Tinder is to your dating life — a great way to get back in the game. Whether you’re thriving in your current position, have just been laid off, or are finally ready to hit the job hunt again after a long hiatus from the workforce, there are plenty of reasons why polishing up the ol’ LinkedIn profile is a good idea.
But just like there’s a wrong way to Tinder, there’s definitely a wrong way to LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn is equipped with all 5 of these to ensure a rock-solid profile to get you that new connection, position, or recommendation you’ve been searching for.
A Complete Profile
Nothing says laziness like failing to fill out your LinkedIn profile in its entirety. While it’s certainly tempting to skip over the sections you just don’t care for —or worse — haven’t got the experience for, you should avoid taking the easy road at all costs.
Equivalent to the modern-day resume, your LinkedIn should portray your most genuine, hard-working self. You wouldn’t skip over the good parts of your resume, so you shouldn’t do it for LinkedIn. From your current position to your relevant work experience, don’t underestimate the importance of letting it all hang out.
A Killer Photo
You may have a college degree in selfies, but that still doesn’t mean they’re good enough for professional platforms like LinkedIn. A professional-looking headshot is an absolute must when you’re prepping a legitimate LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have the money to spend on a professional photographer, you can always round up a friend and a good iPhone to get the job done. If you’re going to go the more affordable route, make sure your clothing, makeup (if applicable), location and lighting are on-point. And don’t forget to smile!
A Kick-Ass Summary
Your LinkedIn summary is your big opportunity to tell the world who you are, as you see it. This is where you’ll tell your story, i.e. sell yourself. Who are you? What do you do? Who do you want to be? Your LinkedIn summary should serve as your professional bio, so keep it short, sweet, and filled with the most important aspects about you and your professional endeavors. Remember to throw in a few of your favorite skills for good measure.
Location, location, location
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but so many LinkedIn users fail to do this, and it’s costing them major opportunities for professional growth. Including your location on your LinkedIn profile is crucial if you’re hoping to cultivate new connections and/or new job opportunities. People can’t hire you if they don’t know you’re close. Do not, under any circumstances, skip this vital detail.
Solidifying your goals for LinkedIn is one of the best ways you can make the most of the social platform. Are you hoping to ditch your current gig and move onto bigger and better things? Are you a freelancer hoping to stumble upon that one great client to take your portfolio to the next level? Be upfront with your goals for LinkedIn, and soon, the rest of the world will take note.