Published on February 9, 2015
You’re already a pro when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as you update these accounts religiously, but maybe you’re not sure what the rules are when it comes to LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that you need to get familiar with before you start getting serious about your career.
Most social media updates that you make go out to your friends network, while LinkedIn updates go to your professional network. Sure, you might have your friends on there, but the things you put on LinkedIn must be appropriate for potential employers. As a young professional, your LinkedIn is a chance to get your name out there and make a good impression to future employers. Because of this, what and how you update your information is extremely important. A strong, well-presented profile could land you your dream job, but also serves as a very good networking tool.
Here is The Intern Group’s guide to perfecting your LinkedIn profile:
1. PICTURE: When you’re thinking of which photo to set as your LinkedIn profile picture, think of what you would use for Facebook, then choose the opposite of that. This isn’t the place for a picture of you pulling a hilarious face on a night out with the girls, or having a few beers with the boys. Your profile picture should exude professionalism. If you haven’t got an appropriate photo of yourself, it might be a good idea to have one taken. You should consider what you want employers to see when picking the right picture.
2. DETAILS: Your LinkedIn profile isn’t just a place to list your job history. Here, you have the chance to add more detail. Use this opportunity to clearly spell-out what your achievements were and what you contributed to the projects you have worked on. You should think in terms of context, action and results. Provide the context for what you did, explain exactly what you did in detail and then present the result and its impact. On LinkedIn, you also have the scope to be more personal on your profile. Here, you have the opportunity to really show your passions and true interests, especially since you can discuss what you do outside of work as well. Hopefully, you will be able to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded individual with keen interests in a range of activities and subject – an employer’s dream. Be sure to include any awards that you’ve won, or links to your website, blog, etc.
3. PROOFREAD: Just like with your resume, there is no room for errors on your LinkedIn profile. Mistakes such as typos give the impression that you have poor attention to detail and can be careless. Expect prospective employers to look at your profile and pick up on these errors, so it’s best to just make sure you don’t have any!
4. LANGUAGE: It is important to find a balance between using the keywords that employers look for and buzzwords that appear in every person’s LinkedIn profile. A good place to start is by writing a list of the keywords that come up in the job postings you are interested in. You can then include these in your profile where appropriate, as these are the skills employers will be looking for. However, make sure you don’t throw in an adjective like analytical, responsible, or creative without backing them up in a detailed manner. Not only will employers see straight through this, but they’ve seen it so many times that there is no way for you to stand out.
Photo 1: The Intern Group