It’s now 2013, and these days, if you’re applying for a job or you’re trying to network with someone in your industry, they’re immediately
going to search for you online. So if you’re not on LinkedIn right now, get on LinkedIn right now!
Most people just sign up and then get overwhelmed with the amount of information they have to fill out and put together and end up leaving the network and never finishing it. But if you just start out with a few simple actions, you can perfect your LinkedIn profile over time! After all, we all know Rome wasn’t built in a day.
So if you’re dreading the idea of creating a LinkedIn profile and setting things up, just start with 5 simple steps. Last week Krista gave an awesome LinkedIn training class that covered all the important parts about setting up your profile and using this network. I’ve listed the 5 key steps to starting out below and that’s all you have to do for now! Then, go back every few days and add maybe one thing at a time. Before you know it, you’ll have a fantastic LinkedIn profile and it was not nearly as complicated as you thought! So… bring it on!
Now, that you’ve created your profile, what should you do?
1) Upload a Professional Photo
Studies actually show that employers judge you more on your LinkedIn picture than they do on the information in your profile! Crazy, but true. So pick an uneventful Sunday, and have a friend join you to take some professional pictures. Just put on a nice shirt and blazer – you can even wear shorts or jeans on the bottom! – and have your friend snap some pics. If you’re in the right light and you’re against a nice background, it can even look professional when taken with an iPhone! So get to it!
2) Write Your Headline
This is actually way easier than it sounds. Think about what you’re tired to get hired for, and then think about what types of keywords that hiring companies would type in on LinkedIn – and put those keywords in your Headline! Don’t lie, just choose the words that you know employers are going to be searching for, and BOOM! Your LinkedIn profile with your awesome photo is going to fall right into their lap.
3) Write Your Summary
Sure, some people have really long and overwhelming summaries. If you want to eventually get to that point, good for you! But for now, just include the key information that a recruiter would have to know. Include as many keywords that are related to your business as you can, and update your specialties. Think about it: recruiters are going through hundreds, if not thousands of profiles. Just write a short but sweet summary that tells them what they need to know about you.
4) Work History
Choose the most impressive positions you’ve held so far – and worry about the rest later. If you worked at a burger joint 10 years ago, a recruiter is not going to care. What were the last 1-2 things that really taught you a lot and inspired you to go into the line of work that you choose? Add in those last couple of positions, and work backwards from there when you have time.
Be straightforward for now – where did you go to school and what did you study? Later on, when you’re not as overwhelmed, you can add the organizations you were involved in, possibly your GPA, relevant courses you took, etc. For now, these employers are just trying to build you up into a person and they need to know your main background details, like your alma mater.
So that wasn’t too hard, was it? Once again, it’s just about adding to your profile over time. Your LinkedIn profile can be your best friend, if you let it. Don’t focus so much on making your profile verbose and long – just include what your employers want to know and you’ll be all set! Still stressed out? Try our LinkedIn training program online – it’s available on-demand and will cover everything you need to know about this subject in less than 90 minutes!