7 Most Common Questions You Have When Filling In Your LinkedIn Profile
Regardless of your objective (whether it is a new job, a startup or just promoting your business) LinkedIn it’s become a powerful networking tool for professionals. And let’s not forget that for the past few years it’s become one of the playgrounds of choice for HR professionals and headhunters alike – all the more reasons to dust off your social footprint and prepare it for whatever might come.
But when push comes to shove, you’ll often find that assessing your LinkedIn presence and writing for it brings up more questions than answers. Fear not – for we are here to help you answer them! We have compiled a list with 7 of the most common questions you struggle with when filling in your LinkedIn profile.
How important is my job title and what should I fill in there?
One of the key factors in LinkedIn search is your job title – so it’s about time to optimize it (if you haven’t done so yet).
When searching qualified candidates recruiters often employ category searches. First understand and observe what they are searching for, then start applying it to your profile. Don’t limit to your employer version – make your research and then use what fits best within popular trends.
What should I put for job title when I’m currently unemployed?
First of all, don’t minimize the importance of a good job title – this matters more than you think especially in search. Even if you currently don’t have a position to fill in, make sure you’re not leaving that space blank. A few ideas that you might use:
- Use your profession or title (like ‘Sales Manager for Pharma Accounts’, ‘Experienced Accountant’, ‘Certified Real Estate Manager’)
- Use your profession combined with your goal (‘Experienced Sales rep seeking a Sales & Distribution Opportunities’)
- Don’t use voluntary work or other non-professional activities
- Use keywords specific for the industry you are seeking employment
What should the Summary section contain and what’s it about?
The Summary section is your business card to the LinkedIn world – it receives the most prominent position in your page. Think of it as your introductory speech – it should be short, concise, creative and most of all – compelling.
My personal advice is to write it in first person – it’s more personal and gives a sense of connection with the person whose profile you’re perusing.
When it comes to write about yourself, keep in mind to follow these rules:
- Try to sum up in one phrase your professional persona. Whether you are and experienced realtor, or a new entrepreneur – this would be your professional defining statement.
- Again, make sure to use keywords specific for the industry you are a part of.
- Mention in a sentence your significant accomplishments in terms of generated value.
- Provide vital statistics in quantifiable facts.
How can I make my summary personal and original?
When it comes to your professional summary, keep in mind that a touch of uniqueness adds value to your proposition. Capture in a sentence those personal values and traits that make you special and unique – maybe it’s your talent for writing or your sense of humour or just something that you do that adds value to your work and team. Avoid though adding stuff in just for the sake of doing so; make sure this ‘quirkiness’ is valuable in a professional way.
How can I identify the right keywords for my LinkedIn profile?
A good set of keywords is critical to the success of your online professional presence, but, like most of us, you probably aren’t paying much attention to this particular item. Well, it’s about time you start doing so!
First of all, don’t assume you know the keywords HRs are using to find job candidates. To find qualified candidates, recruiters search using specific keywords that are important to the job they are filling. Those keywords might be job titles, education, skills, certifications, locations, and so on.
When choosing the right keywords for your profile consider this:
- Make a preliminary list of keywords that apply to your profile.
- Check other professionals profiles – some good ideas might come up.
- Make use of trends – check your keyword list using Indeed.com/jobtrends.
- Add the best scoring keywords to your profile
Recommendations are good – but how can I get them?
If you check out some top professionals in your field you’ll see a common denominator – they all have profiles packed with recommendations. If you too, like most of us, are shy when it comes to ask for recommendations, you should stop it now. To ease up this process, here are a few tips:
- Refrain from asking your peers and best friends for recommendations – this is something easily spotted.
- Start with managers or clients you had a very good relationship – they will be the most likely to help you.
- Think twice before asking your current manager for LinkedIn recommendations – this might come off as you seeking new job opportunities, and this is something you most likely don’t want your boss to find out.
- If you work in freelance, leverage your happy clients by asking them for a recommendation soon after your project ended.
Should I use a photo?
LinkedIn is a social network and requires also a visual criteria. It is highly recommended for you to use a professional headshot. Mind though these common mistakes:
- Refrain yourself from posting inappropriate images.
- Avoid at all costs selfies
- Don’t use group posts or full body images
- If not possible to have professional head-shots, try to find a simple photo of you, possibly on a neutral background
- Don’t use logos or images that do not represent your persona.
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