Typically when we think of social media, most people’s minds go straight to Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, or Facebook. One sometimes overlooked but still incredibly popular app for working professionals is LinkedIn. Since May 5, 2003, LinkedIn has been a key player in professional network connections, career advancements and even job placement. Even in 2022, LinkedIn has not slowed down, in fact check out these statistics from Hootsuite that proves LinkedIn is a gamechanger for careers:
- Over 12 million LinkedIn members are signaling their availability to work
- 49 million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs each week
- 6 people are hired through LinkedIn every minute
- There are 77 job applications submitted every second on LinkedIn
- There are 58 million companies on LinkedIn
Utilizing LinkedIn is more relevant now than ever. When properly using the app users have access to over 600 million professional profiles. Users have access to an infinite supply of network connections, the ability to promote themselves or their brand and countless job opportunities that are right at your fingertips.
So, moving beyond the basics of what LinkedIn can offer, why is it so important to put the effort into your LinkedIn profile? There are plenty of reasons:
- A powerful, vast job board
- Easily build your professional brand
- Maintain contacts
- Research organizations and employees
- First look at industry news
- The ability to network from anywhere
- Improve your ranking on Google
- Build trust and credibility
Building Your Profile
As important as networking, researching and job hunting are on LinkedIn, so is how you build your profile. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially a screenshot of you, your brand and what you have to offer. There are plenty of opportunities and sections within the profile to offer all the most relevant information about you and your business.
A Memorable Summary
One of the most important features is the LinkedIn Summary also referred to as the LinkedIn Bio. This section allows the user to write a few paragraphs that are limited to 2,000 characters and is essentially an elevator pitch for what you have to offer. While only the first three lines are visible, what you say and how it captures the attention of the reader can mean the difference in a connection or not.
While adding your past professional roles and experience are important for your summary, putting a little bit of your personality can help the reader connect with you. When writing make sure you share your personal and professional side and include information such as:
- A strong opener that grabs the reader’s attention
- Hobbies or industries you are passionate about
- Include skills that set you apart/that you excel in
- Highlight any personal or professional interests
- Your years of experience
- What you are known for professionally
- Include words that appeal to recruiters: Skills, job titles, keywords that are industry related, Some key buzzwords of 2022 include: strategic, organizational, motivated, driven, passionate, track record, responsible, extensive experience, dynamic and creative
- Tell the reader why you do what you do
- Provide the proper data to back up your knowledge and expertise
- Do not be afraid to use humor or show vulnerability
- Add contact information or a call-to-action button
When writing your summary is to create white space. This can be done by avoiding long, drawn out paragraphs and breaking them up. You can either create smaller paragraphs or use a hybrid paragraph – bullet combo.
It is also important to remember that when creating your summary there are also plenty of things to avoid. Users should avoid cheesy or cliche terminology, copying and pasting their resume, spelling or grammatical errors, and your full life story.
Make It Complete
With a great summary that accurately describes you and your brand, the rest of your LinkedIn profile can fall into place. You can now add a profile picture, where you should be dressed in your usual attire and that is clear of your face. You can also add a headline, another important section of LinkedIn, which is a 120 character description that appears under your name. This headline not only shows up in your profile but anytime you engage on LinkedIn, consider it your mission statement.
If able, include multimedia in the “feature” section to show off your portfolio. Also, keep location, times, and contact information up-to-date so people know where, when and how they can reach you. Be sure to also add your connections to your LinkedIn, this can help you lead to even more connections to industry professionals. You can also do this by joining industry insider groups. Finally, create a unique, personalized URL which helps with aspects like branding and recruiting. You also need to be aware of character limits to help craft your content. Those limits are:
- First Name: 20 characters
- Last Name: 40 characters
- Headline: 120 character limit
- Summary: 2,000 character limit
- Recommendation: 3,000 character limit
- Website Anchor Text: 30 characters limit
- Vanity URL: 5-30 characters after ‘www.LinkedIn.com/in/’
- Position Title: 100 characters limit
- Position Description: 200 character minimum/2,000 character maximum
- Skills: 80 characters/skill