How to Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a Killer Online Resume
With over 660 million active members around the world, LinkedIn continues to be the largest professional network in the industry today. According to LinkedIn statistics, there are more than 30 million companies represented in the system, with more than 20 million open jobs available on LinkedIn Jobs. If you’re currently on the hunt for your first or next job, a good idea would be to sign up and turn your LinkedIn into a resume today.
First, let’s clarify that your LinkedIn profile won’t actually be a resume because it’s not the same thing. A resume is straight to the point, tailored to match accordingly to the specific job opportunity. LinkedIn, on the other hand, gives you the chance to lay out all your skills, experiences, and achievements, and basically whatever you want to publicize regarding who you are as a professional.
With that being said, your public LinkedIn profile will serve as an “initial resume” or a starting point for recruitment managers. Your main objective here is to appear in searches by optimizing your profile, as well as to attract the recruiters into clicking and going through it, then eventually reach out to you.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in on how to turn your LinkedIn profile into a killer online resume.
Setting up your LinkedIn profile
1. Change your privacy settings.
Most, if not all, social networking sites have privacy and visibility settings. Before anything else, go to the ‘Edit public profile & URL’ page and change the settings of who is able to view your profile. You can control this depending on your preference, but if your goal is to be seen by recruiters, then just make everything public.
On the same page, you’ll also discover that you can customize your URL. We’re not talking about ‘www.LinkedIn.com/MarketingQueen01’’––simply make your URL your first and last name.
2. Add a professional photo.
Your LinkedIn profile is no place for casual selfies. Upload an appropriate, high-quality headshot. Ensure that your photo has good lighting and your face can be seen clearly. It’s best that you are facing forward or turned slightly left, towards your profile.
3. Create a catchy headline.
This is the one-liner that goes under your name so it must be concise, yet catchy. Showcase what makes you valuable and different among competitors. You have 120 characters to make a first impression, so use it wisely.
4. Write a captivating summary.
This is your time to shine. You could tell an engaging story about your career journey or just talk about your passion, values, skills, and experience or both! Highlight what sets you apart from others and what you have to offer. It’s also best to include numbers to show off your track record. Avoid a too formal approach and write in the first person.
One valuable tip from Forbes is to, “Write as if you are having a conversation with someone. Inject your personality.” It wouldn’t hurt to mention your hobbies or interests outside of work. Doing this shows a more personal, authentic side beyond the professional; recruiters/employers appreciate that.
Take note: While writing your summary and editing your profile, remember to use keywords relevant to your career consistently. A keyword-rich LinkedIn will do great in terms of search engine optimization, in addition to showing competence in the field.
5. Maximize the use of additional sections.
Unlike a traditional, limited resume, LinkedIn is highly flexible and customizable. You can add sections, such as certifications, languages, patents, publications, honors and awards, courses, projects, causes, and volunteering to strengthen your profile even more. You can even upload supporting documents or materials, as well as links to relevant websites. The best part is, you have the freedom to arrange these sections in any order you prefer.
6. Include contact information.
Depending on your privacy settings, you may or may not be comfortable in adding your phone number and email address. That’s totally up to you, but if you have a website, page, or portfolio, make sure to include them here.
7. Acquire skill endorsements and recommendations.
This is a very significant part of your LinkedIn profile because it shows the credibility of who you are as a professional.
You can add up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn profile; however, we don’t recommend this many. It’s effective to choose only the most relevant ones so that they can be validated or endorsed by 1st-degree connections. Endorsements take only one click.
Recommendations, on the other hand, are similar to short reference letters. Unlike single-click endorsements, these are written especially for you and you can request those who have worked with you first-hand to write you one. See to it that you know how to ask for recommendations properly and professionally.
Now that you have an overview to get started, give it your all. Don’t be too eager to finish your profile; recruiters are experienced enough to tell when they are. Just put your heart into it, you’ll only be doing the long process once anyway.
Best practices for your LinkedIn profile
Here are a few practices you should observe to maintain your LinkedIn profile:
Connect with others and grow your network
Work on building your network of connections. This increases your profile’s exposure, as well as opportunities to get to know others. We’re not saying you should add everyone you see, but if you want to connect with someone because of your common connections or line of work, make sure to properly introduce yourself.
Keep your profile updated
This is especially important because no recruiter wants to open up a profile only to discover that it’s no longer updated. When you gain new work experience or skills or anything related to your career, let your LinkedIn profile and all your connections know.
Continue to gather skill endorsements and recommendations
The more, the merrier; you shouldn’t just settle for a few. Again, having many relevant skill endorsements and recommendations will boost your credibility, especially if you have many ex-colleagues or current colleagues. You can also leave endorsements and recommendations for them, too.
Your LinkedIn is just as valuable as your resume and it still deserves your time and effort. You won’t just magically appear in the search engine and the recruiter won’t just automatically send you a message. To impress them, just follow the steps above and you’ll be amazed at the power of your LinkedIn profile.