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Can a LinkedIn profile help you land a job?

We all know by now that employers are researching candidates on social media. While cleaning up your public accounts is always a good idea, you also want to be sure HR sees that you’re serious about working. Your Facebook and Instagram aren’t the best places to show off your skills, so setting up a LinkedIn page is a must. But how should you set up your LinkedIn profile in order to achieve results?

Here’s our advice:

  1. Take a professional Picture.
    • – Avoid selfie-style photos or group photos. Use something of good quality (not blurry or hard to see)
    • – Wear something nice. It doesn’t have to be a suit but aim for business casual.
    • – Keep photos up to date.
  2. Don’t skip over the summary!
    • – It’s optional but is a good way for employers to get to know you.
    • – Don’t use the summary LinkedIn makes for you.
    • – Write in the first person (I, me, my, etc)
    • – Don’t make it too long (2-3 paragraphs is great)
    • – Treat it like a cover letter. Use good grammar and make it interesting. Your summary is a chance to tell your career story (or the career story you WANT to have)
    • – Include keywords for your industry where possible
    • – Talk about what you’ve accomplished (increase sales, created a new filing system, etc)
  3. Use your real name or what you’d prefer for employers to call you. (Keep this consistent across your resume, email, etc)
    • – Fill out employment information accurately and make sure details match your resume. (They don’t have to be exactly the same. You can add more to your LinkedIn profile than your resume allows) Be honest and focus on the results of your work in addition to job duties. If you’re looking for your first job, you can include and internships, part-time jobs, or freelance work (since you probably used some kind of job skills in those roles)
    • – Complete education and location info (specific location info won’t show on your public profile but it helps LinkedIn suggest job or internship opportunities near you)
    • – Fill in the Industry information based on either your current job or the job you want. If you don’t find a perfect match, that’s okay, just include those details in your LinkedIn summary or headline.
    • – Add your skills. LinkedIn gives you 50, but you don’t have to use them all. Only list the skills you’re prepared to talk about during your interview. For example: if you say you’re fluent in Spanish, you should be able to speak with your interviewer in Spanish at length.
    • – Include your contact info. You don’t have to share everything, but at least include your email address.
    • – List any volunteer experiences
    • – In the accomplishments section, list any certifications you received, honors and awards, any of your work that has been published or organizations you are a member of.

It can seem kind of overwhelming, but LinkedIn profiles rank higher in a Google Search of your name, which helps potential employers see exactly what you are all about, quickly.

Your LinkedIn profile is like a beefed-up resume. You can list all your skills and abilities, without worrying about how many pages it is.  Just be sure to update it regularly!