People are checking you out on LinkedIn. Will you be embarrassed by what they find? Are you aware that 95 % of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates? Did you know that many hiring managers check you out on LinkedIn before or after they talk to you? Prospective employees check you out too. Clients and prospects often look you up on LinkedIn. What will they find?
Your LinkedIn profile is an essential career development tool. Will others be impressed? Answer these questions about your profile to find out.
How many connections do you have?
ANSWER: LinkedIn says you need between 300-500 connections to have an effective network. The site says that connections should be people you know, have worked with, went to college with, or are friends with.
How old is your LinkedIn profile photo?
ANSWER: LinkedIn says you receive 21 times more views with a photo. The picture needs to be recent, not more than 2 years old.
Is your LinkedIn photo high quality and smiling?
ANSWER: Use a high quality, high resolution headshot with a plain background, where you look smiling and engaging.
Do you have a custom background photo behind your picture?
ANSWER: It is most impressive allowing you to standout if you use a background photo to customize your LinkedIn page.
Is your Current Job title your Headline?
ANSWER: This happens by default. The headline is the most searched part of LinkedIn and therefore you must carefully select the appropriate keywords including any prospective job titles, any special credentials like MBA or CPA, you can also add your industry, even a tagline about your top ability or your product or service.
Is your Summary or About section written in 1st person?
ANSWER: 1st person is the correct writing approach. LinkedIn wants you to talk about your personality, your strengths, and how you work with others. If you are unemployed, note the job title you seek and the best way for employers to connect with you. If you are selling a service or product, outline what it is and why or how it helps others.
Does your work experience list only the job and company but no descriptions?
ANSWER: You need a job description for the positions listed. Exception: Older jobs over 15 years ago, can skip the description keeping job title, company, and employment dates only.
Does your work experience list accomplishments?
ANSWER: Your work descriptions should include 3-4 job accomplishments featuring the biggest results you achieved in that particular position.
Have you updated the Skills section to include current skills?
ANSWER: This section needs to be current and reflect the skills you have acquired in the last few years and not focus on early career skills you no longer use. i.e. Team Leader vs Team Player
How many recommendations have you received?
ANSWER: Employers find these extremely influential; so more is better. Check how old they are. Recent ones are often missing. Goal 5-8 in total.
Do you post articles?
ANSWER: By posting 1-2 times per week, you dramatically improve your visibility on the LinkedIn Algorithm (how the site runs). You also need to answer any comments or questions from your post.
Do You have an ‘Open for Work’ tag around your photo?
ANSWER: A newer feature, LinkedIn has said this tag does increase responses from recruiters, yet many career coaches are skeptical and are not recommending it. Never use this tag if you are still employed as your employer might stumble upon it.
Is your resume featured on your Profile?
ANSWER: Not recommended and it’s not safe either. Your goal is to get employers to talk to you. Remove your resume if it is part of your profile.