LinkedIn can no longer be ignored as a hiring tool and career advancement network. The platform has become one of the most utilized tools by recruiters and HR professionals for scouting and reaching out to prospective talent. Whether you are just beginning your career or have decades of experience in your field, a carefully crafted LinkedIn profile can help you advance and make a positive impression. Here are the top 5 ways to make your profile stand out from the rest:
Update Your Profile Photo
According to LinkedIn, user profiles with headshots are 14 times more likely to be viewed than those without profile photos. Your headshot should be high-resolution, pleasant, professional, and only include you. A dedicated photoshoot may prove beneficial to capture the right image for your industry and brand. Dress in a way that leaves a positive impression with recruiters in your industry – most likely business professional attire.
Keep Your Profile Current
As your career grows and changes, be sure to include your most recent updates and accolades on your profile. Your bio should be up-to-date and relevant, and your most recent experiences should take precedence over your early jobs or education. This goes for your profile photo as well – your college portrait may be stellar, but a more recent photo may prove more relatable.
Get a Custom URL
The default URL for your profile is randomly assigned to you and is likely a string of unwieldy characters. You can create a custom web address that is easy to remember and navigate for viewers. Go to your profile page and click on the gear icon next to your profile URL, underneath your photo. This should take you to a page in which you can set up your custom LinkedIn Profile URL, as long as it’s not taken by another user. Once you utilize this feature, your URL will look like this, for example http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. Having a custom URL makes it easier for people to find your profile, and you can even include the new web address on your business cards.
One of the most under-utilized features of LinkedIn is the ability to upload media to your profile. Adding your work to your profile not only provides materials for recruiters to dissect and engage with, but also makes your profile stand out as cutting-edge and visually appealing. Try adding videos, presentations, images, or documents to your profile page. If you work in a client-facing role, a slide deck can give recruiters a taste of your presentation skills and style. Since the majority of people are visual learners, media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make your profile filter to the top of the pile.
The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more the algorithm will feed your content to your network’s home page. Liking, sharing, and commenting on posts will increase your visibility to current and prospective connections. Don’t be afraid to publish your ideas on the platform – it is a social media site, after all.
Changing your profile setting to “open to new opportunities” can be helpful as well. Only recruiters are able to see this setting, and it will signify that you are actively looking to advance your career.
Upgrade Your Network with AAFA
Building your network is important while you’re looking for a new career or if you’re establishing yourself in your current position and LinkedIn is a great asset. The American Association of Finance and Accounting has over 50 affiliates in the United States and Canada. We believe in networking to provide a better recruiting experience. Our affiliates focus on relationships over placements and can help find your next opportunity. Find an AAFA affiliate near you on our website: www.aafa.com.