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7 LinkedIn Profile Tips for Perfecting Your Profile

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LinkedIn Profile Tips Textbookscom BLOG When did you last update your LinkedIn profile? Maybe you added your most recent job, didn’t touch the summary (not even that typo in line 3), and left that selfie of you at the Parthenon as your photo. You could be doing your job search a disservice, according to Laura M. Labovich, CEO of The Career Strategy Group. While creating a LinkedIn profile can take as little as 10 minutes, it takes a lot longer to craft one and it’s time well invested she says. We caught up with the career expert – who has hired for the Walt Disney Company and AOL – on more of her top LinkedIn profile tips.

“Having a weak presence is not as bad as having no presence, but it’s not too far off,” says Labovich. “If you are have a poor presence – no picture, sparse content – recruiters will, rightly or wrongly, assume that you are not digitally savvy and, as a result, will often decide not to consider you a serious contender for an open position.”

As the go-to site for job networking, LinkedIn is a must for anyone looking for a job and you need to think like a hiring manager when curating your profile. Pepper in keywords they will search on, tell them up front why you would excel in the role they’re hiring for, and answer the questions they have about your accomplishments before you even sit down in the interview chair.

So what’s rule #1? As she outlines in her book, “100 Conversations for Career Success,” co-written with Miriam Salpeter, find your career story and stick to it. “Select a single identity and know who you want to be professionally before you create a presence on LinkedIn,” she says. You may have worn many hats in the past, but she says to create your LinkedIn profile for the person you are today – and where you want your career to be tomorrow.

Rule #2? Follow Labovich’s LinkedIn profile tips for creating a recruiter-ready, “I’m the one” presence. She breaks it down section by section.

LinkedIn Profile Tips Laura Labovich Career Expert Infographic on the Textbookscom Blog

Click to view the LinkedIn Profile Tips Infographic


PHOTO
“According to Forbes, LinkedIn profiles with a photo are seven times more likely to be viewed than those without," says Labovich. "But it can’t be just any photo: a professional-looking (bonus points for those taken professionally!) headshot with no spouses, children, or dogs is the best way to go. Leave the lighter, more socially oriented photos featuring additional people for Facebook and Twitter.”

SUMMARY
“Third-person summaries were once the standard, but that is no longer the case. While your resume starts with an implied silent ‘I’ – as in, (I) Managed, Boosted or Orchestrated – a LinkedIn profile starting with an ‘I’ can be very powerful and persuasive," she says. "In addition, these can be more casual, engaging and personal, drawing the reader in and compelling them to read more. You have 2,000 characters to use on your LinkedIn summary: use them all if you can.”

JOB DESCRIPTIONS
“The experience section will be most closely related to your resume, although it does not need to be an exact replica," she says. "Focus on contributions you made to each position, and how your actions bettered the organization in some way. While it does not, and probably should not, be word for word compared to your resume, it should certainly reflect the overall mood and target a similar job target.”

SKILLS & ENDORSEMENTS
“LinkedIn enables you to showcase your strengths in a variety of ways," says Labovich. "The Skills & Endorsements feature allows you to highlight your key skills, and teach others what you are about as a professional. This is another way to broaden your skill set, especially when you don’t want to target too narrow a niche. While it is advisable to limit yourself to one job target for your headline, it is absolutely acceptable to add skills to your profile to help others find you, without looking like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
To build out your accomplishments, you must first create your accomplishment stories. Think: ‘Once there was a time when I excelled at doing something I loved.’ And, then make a list. If this does not come easy to you, think back over the course of your career, and make a list of the times when you ‘saved the day, solved the problem or served the client.’ Once you have your stories, you can start to put some meat on the bone. Look at the difference between a non-quantifiable accomplishment and a quantifiable one."

Labovich says to turn a non-quantifiable example like, Led news staff and coordinated efforts to produce 4:30am morning show. Planned time slots, built graphics, researched segments, edited video and arranged audio for live music.

....into a quantifiable accomplishment like, Led an eight-person news staff and coordinated efforts that contributed to a 25% increase in viewership over a six-month period. As a deadline-driven reporter, contributed to seven headline stories in a three-month period, receiving a promotion ahead of schedule.

Duties now become how well you performed those duties. Labovich says to break it down like this:

The Challenge What you were up against?
The Action What you did to contribute to the project?
The Result How did you better the organization, department, client?

Another example of a refined accomplishment bullet:

Reversed period of slow media outreach (challenge) by landing three-minute segment on ‘Rebuilding America’ on CNN (action). Segment featured notable interviews and focused on job creation in solar industry. Gained community recognition (result) and delivered advertising equivalency of $3.5M (result).

CONNECTIONS
Remember the 3 most important words in a job search – network, network, network. To go from LinkedIn newbie to LinkedIn All-Star, start adding current coworkers, former colleagues, and professional networking acquaintances STAT. The LinkedIn algorithm is looking for at least 50 connections, we say stretch goal that to 100. There's no limit on how many connections you can add, but your profile will display you as topping out at 500+. Focus on that plus -- the more former coworkers and networking acquaintances you are connected with, the more likely you are to be connected to someone who will help you land a job.

RECOMMENDATIONS
In order for your profile to be considered “complete” on LinkedIn, you will need to receive no fewer than three LinkedIn recommendations. “According to LinkedIn, users with recommendations are three times more likely to receive relevant offers and inquiries," says Labovich. How many should you have on your profile? The short answer is: it depends. As in life, a good guideline for LinkedIn Recommendations is to aim for quality over quantity. "Vary your recommendations: supervisors, coworkers, clients, teachers, etc. It’s important to give viewers a holistic picture of who you are as a professional, and a well-rounded suite of recommendations will help do just that.”

Looking for more LinkedIn profile tips and job search expertise? Visit TheCareerStrategyGroup.com or connect with Laura on Twitter @lauralabovich. And of course, she’s on LinkedIn.


KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING

100 Conversations for Career Success by Laura Labovich Labovich’s book “100 Conversations for Career Success” – co-written with Miriam Salpeter – focuses on how to network your way to your next position – at events, on LinkedIn, even Twitter and cold calling. But the first conversation you have to have? The one with yourself. Labovich suggests asking yourself these questions and then incorporating them into your cover letter, pitch, or LinkedIn summary so your story stands out.



  • When managers/clients/friends speak of me favorably, they call me __________
  • The one time in my career that I felt truly alive was when I was __________
  • My dream job would be __________
  • My favorite job was X, because it helped me to __________
  • I place high value on __________
  • What makes me unique is __________