I am an experienced recruiter and spend a fair bit of time networking and recruiting on LinkedIn. Throughout my career in social recruiting, I have witnessed both a lot of really weird and really amazing profiles on LinkedIn. Based on my experiences, I decided it would be helpful to share some top tips with you that will ensure you are maximizing the effectiveness of your profile and guarantee you are putting out the right impression of yourself in this professional network.

What you really need to think about is the reason why you have a LinkedIn profile, and then ensure how you use it aligns with that purpose. I’m going to venture a guess that 99% of people use LinkedIn for professional or career related purposes. If this is the case, then I have the top 5 things that you need to consider that will make or break your LinkedIn profile.

1. Profile Picture

First of all, it’s not imperative to have a picture on LinkedIn. It’s nice to have, but as a recruiter the only purpose a picture serves for me is if I am meeting you for an interview at a coffee shop, then I can quickly spot you. Otherwise, I don’t really need to know what you look like as I am not basing my searches or hiring recommendations on your appearance. If you do have a picture, as many decide to, then you must ensure you are dressed in your picture the way you would if you showed up at an interview, or at least to a regular day of work in your specific field.

2. Title

Please just simply write your job title. If you have a job title that is uncommon, its ok to reword it more clearly to highlight what you do or what industry you specialize in. For example if your job title is Program Specialist, but you want people to know that you manage programs related to early childhood education, then you may want to have your title as “Early Childhood Education Program Specialist”. This way people will quickly understand the industry you work in. Please do not have a fancy sentence for a title such as “Inspired and motivated professional connecting with great minds” or something like that. It doesn’t mean anything. If you are looking to make relevant connections then your title should be reflective of what you do and what industry you are in, and that’s it. Short and to the point is the most effective.

3. Content

Ensure your content is relevant, and spelling and grammar is accurate. Personally, I don’t think it matters if you list out what you have accomplished in point form, or include a brief summary for each position. Just make sure your profile content is up to date and clear.

4. Active email contact

You should check to make sure your primary email address linked to your account is an active email you regularly check. This is where important updates and messages will be sent, so if you have an old or inactive email address listed here, you will miss out on important messages from your network.

5. Location

This is something I think a lot of people don’t know about or don’t think about. When you set up your LinkedIn account it shows your location on your profile based on a postal code you enter. You should ensure that the postal code you enter is close to either your home or your work. As a recruiter, I search candidates based on geographic location. For example, I will use my client’s postal code and search within so many kilometers of their office. So if you are outside the geographic parameters a recruiter is using you may miss out on a great job opportunity that is actually near your home, or where you would like to work.  The problem is some people forget to update their postal code when they move for school, work, and so on, and therefore will not be captured by a recruiter’s search. Aside from recruitment purposes, consider networking opportunities, and think about updating your postal code to ensure you are being looked at by the right geographic network.

That’s it! Considering these 5 things when creating or reviewing your LinkedIn profile will guarantee you avoid the top 5 mistakes that people make with their LinkedIn profiles.

Want to learn more about hiring or getting hired? Check out our tips page at key-recruit.ca!