If you’re looking for a new job, experts say the information in your online profiles and portfolios is essential to standing out as an applicant.
The data shows that 72% of job recruiters use LinkedIn to find talent, and, according to Finances Online, new hires found through LinkedIn more than doubled in the past quarter. But with 83 million users on the networking platform, how can you make your profile stand out?
“It’s all about branding for me,” said Susan Pagan-Hilton, career development lead manager at Full Sail University. “You want to make sure you have a professional, friendly, colorful, bright headshot.”
That headshot shouldn’t be a selfie, though, experts say.
Pagan-Hilton says that she also finds that the headline visible under your name on your profile “really stands out,” but that a lot of people actually neglect it. It’s important, she says, to list your professional skill sets directly under your name.
So, instead of writing “manager,” perhaps write “manager/content creator/multimedia specialist/project leader” -- whatever is applicable, descriptive and makes sense.
It’s also just as important to fill out your contact information on LinkedIn.
“It’s imperative, especially if you’re a creative,” to have your website, your demo reel, your portfolio (accessible),” Pagan-Hilton said.
Another big mistake people make is leaving the “Summary” section blank.
“You want to make it 80% professional, and 20% fun or friendly,” Pagan-Hilton said.
The career development expert says applicants should make sure their resume and LinkedIn profiles match up with one another. Users should also make use of recommendations and endorsements.
“It not only shows what a professional you are, but also how you work with others,” Pagan-Hilton said.
Job seekers are encouraged to constantly update your LinkedIn profile as you would a resume.
“It’s your brand, it’s who you are,” Pagan-Hilton said.
Research shows that LinkedIn users who have fewer than 50 connections are seen as a “red flag” because they aren’t “connected” in their industry. It’s also important to note that employers only spend about 15 seconds scanning a LinkedIn profile, before deciding to move forward or not -- and an incomplete profile is the number one reason an employer may click off of your page and onto another.