While professionals normally only spend time on LinkedIn when they are actively looking for a job, this is a mistake, according to CNBC contributor and top selling author on management, Suzy Welch.
There’s an army of recruiters constantly mining the 467 million people on LinkedIn to find the best candidates. Having on a mediocre profile, which is essentially an online version of your resume, could mean missing out on potential job openings.
“If you make your LinkedIn profile great,” Welch says, “your next job might end up finding you.”
Here’s how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and get noticed by recruiters.
1. Complete the summary section.
“While you may have been told 100s of times to not have an objective on your resume, LinkedIn is different, Welch says.
The summary area on your profile is the best place to describe professional goals and your achievements. Indeed, it is considered by many recruiters to be the most important section.
“It’s a great place to showcase your motivations, interest, experience and skills,” says Welch.
2. Include a great photo.
According to data compiled by LinkedIn, profiles with a photo are more than 21 times more likely to be viewed than those that do not have one. They are about 9 times more likely to get a request to connect.
Get yourself a professional, flattering that shows who you are. Don’t include any that are poorly cropped, poor quality or have someone else in it.
3. Include a location.
Location is key. It may be simple but goes a long way.
"Recruiters screen by location and leaving your location off means that you won’t be considered for a bunch of jobs,” says Welch.
Including your city or general metro area in your profile will boost the likelihood of chance of your profile being seen by 23 times.
4. Be sure to add your educational background.
It’s good to add schools so that hiring managers and your formers classmates can find you. It also gets a lot more attention from recruiters. However, leave your graduation year off as you don’t want to signal your age.
5. Refer to your industry
According to LinkedIn, over 300,000 people search profiles by industry. Listing your industry of work or one you are hoping to work for will help you with recruiter searches.
6. Be sure to include your current position
Make sure your profile has your most recent job. An outdated position on LinkedIn looks sloppy to potential recruiters and they think that you either won’t respond to their message or take an online professional presence serious. It only takes a minute to demonstrate how serious you are. Be sure to include your current title, company and start date.
7. Make sure your skills are filled out
However, it’s important not to think of these as strictly technical. If you are a strong public speaker or negotiator, list that too. Indeed, many employers want people with soft skills. You should have at least 5 to showcase your talents.