Even though LinkedIn is almost ten years old, it’s still a bit of a wild west for recruiters. There are no hard and fast “rules” for the site, here are some tips from Careerealism to make your profile more professional:
1. Turn Off Your Activity Broadcasts
Before you start “tinkering” with your LinkedIn profile (or hiring a professional to enhance your profile), please take a minute to do the following:
- From the drop-down menu next to your name on the right side of the Home page, choose Settings.
- On the bottom left of the Settings page is a column titled Privacy Controls. Immediately under that heading is a hyperlink that reads “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.”
- Click on the activity broadcasts link and a dialog box will open giving you an option to choose who will see your activity updates.
- If the box is checked to “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies,” uncheck it.
When you are finished tinkering, go back and recheck the box. It’s that simple!
2. Endorse Your Connections
Every Monday, take 10 minutes out of your morning to pay-it-forward by endorsing 10 people in your LinkedIn network. Imagine how you would feel if in your inbox on a Monday (a.k.a the day of the week when even the most cheerful people struggle to get going), you found endorsements of your skill sets from your peers.
3. Get Recommendations… Lots Of ‘Em
Recommendations are essential to you. Seek them proactively and seek them passively. Proactive recommendation seeking involves reaching out and asking someone to recommend you. Passive recommendation seeking involves recommending someone, at which point LinkedIn asks them to recommend you back. The latter is actually a bit more effective.
4. Choose An Appropriate Photo
The following 11 tips will help you pick the right photo for your LinkedIn, Gmail, Google+, Skype, and other online accounts:
- Don’t use an old photo. There are few things worse than meeting someone for the first time and not recognizing them because the profile photo is from 10 years ago (or longer)!
- Use a photo of YOU in your profile — not an object.
- Smile! Your face should radiate warmth and approachability.
- Photos should be professionally done, if possible (but not glamour shots).
- Wear your most complementary color. Bright colors can attract attention, but avoid patterns.
- Don’t have other people in your photos (and don’t crop other people out of your shot — there should not be any errant body parts in your online photo!).
- Make sure the background in the photo isn’t distracting.
- Relax. Look directly at the camera.
- Take multiple shots and ask people for their opinion on which one makes you seem most “approachable.”
- Tips for Men: Wear a dark blue or black dress shirt. No t-shirts, Hawaiian shirts, or busy/crazy patterns.
- Tips for Women: Wear something you feel comfortable in. No t-shirts or big/busy patterns. Soft, dark v-necks look great. Black always works; avoid white.
5. Give Your Professional Headline A Boost
Use the “|” to divide your text and create visual breaks.
Example: Which of the following is easier to read?
Project Manager Specializing in Business Research and Analysis for Major Corporations
Project Manager | Research & Analysis Specialist | Fortune 1000 Business Experience
Obviously, the second one is easier to read and comprehend because of the formatting. The vertical lines separate the data and enable the reader to comprehend better what you are telling them you do.
Also make sure you join the COM Connections group.