Get noticed on LinkedIn

LinkedIn blog - stock - 900x600LinkedIn is the world’s most popular professional network, with over 380 million users – but nobody is looking at your profile.

I was in your shoes when I first joined LinkedIn, until I decided to edit and update my profile. Soon, I had received five interview offers with firms all across the U.S. Here are the changes I made to get noticed by recruiters.

Put a face to a name. 
You’d be surprised how often people do not have a profile picture on LinkedIn. Oftentimes, these profiles have wonderful content – but experience might not matter to some if the photo is missing. LinkedIn profiles that include profile photos receive 11 times as many views as those without photos. Show off those pearly whites!

Stephen demonstrates what NOT to use as your LinkedIn profile photo.

Stephen demonstrates what NOT to use as your LinkedIn profile photo.

Go from prom to professional. 
We’ve all seen a photo like this one before. Few people have a professional photo of themselves, so they come up with quick fixes by cropping pictures of themselves at prom or some other formal event and end up with a photo featuring an arbitrary floating arm in the corner.

Some people might think that this type of photo is a good alternative to paying for a professional head shot, but it is not. Simply put on a suit and ask a friend to take a picture of you in front of a white wall. This new profile picture will save you time and money and convince potential employers that you are as professional as your LinkedIn content indicates.

Elaborate on your experiences. 
Don’t sell yourself short. Simply writing a title like Summer Analyst or Business Development Intern will not cause employers to drool over you – they need content. Michael Schmidt, associate director of the MBA Career Management Center at UNC Kenan-Flagler, says that the best way to present your job is by writing a two-to-three sentence job summary and then listing four-to-six bullet-style skills regarding major projects.

Also, stand out by including numbers. At UNC Kenan-Flagler, our Business Writing Conventions and Expectations guide cites that 70 percent of the population values quantifiable data as their way to understand their environment.

Here is an example of how to present your skills:

Performed financial analysis on a commercial real estate portfolio in the eastern United States. Researched the restaurant and light-industrial sectors of the market.

  • Targeted undeveloped territories to source several high-profile Pennsylvanian Lone Star Steakhouses and sold to Texas Roadhouse, which resulted in a 50% return on investment
  • Accompanied management in negotiating and interfacing with lenders, advisers and joint venture partners
  • Organized budgets, prepared forecasts, documented property tax expenditures and analyzed non-possessory rights and regulatory restrictions for potential real estate investments
  • Created marketing materials for the sale of under performing asset

One more thing to note is that most professionals across the globe agree that you should list no more than your past three jobs.

Personalize your URL. 
As with other social networks, you receive a long, confusing profile URL when you first join. LinkedIn allows all users to change their profile URL in three steps:

  1. Click on “Profile”
  2. Click on “Edit”
  3. Click “Edit” right under your photo

A professional URL follows this form: If that URL is not available, just add your middle name. Another alternative is to add your industry (e.g. JohnSmithBanker).

Add a call to action. 
All of these changes are sure to get the attention of companies and recruiters, but your efforts will be all for naught if you don’t guide employers on how to reach you. Make it clear on your profile how you would like to be contacted by listing your email, phone number and link to your personal website.

LinkedIn is a powerful way to mass market yourself if you use it effectively. These changes should give you a great starting point to demonstrate your personal brand, get noticed and land your dream job.

By Stephen Hansen (BSBA ’16)

This post has been republished with permission from the author. View the original post here.

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