Job hunting is always an exercise in patience and managed expectations. Whether you're looking for a new gig, trying to get your foot in the door of an unfamiliar industry, or just want to ensure your professional life stays up to date and appealing, there's no doubt you'll have to get on LinkedIn and spruce up that profile. Let's be honest: Your current profile probably isn't cutting it, and needs some work if you want to make a good first impression before you meet face-to-face for an interview.
First, Silence Your Updates
The occasional update on LinkedIn to highlight a career change or accomplishment is bound to send you notifications (if you have them enabled). Individually, that's tolerable, but when you're renovating your LinkedIn page, making multiple changes at once, it could get a bit spammy.
To avoid flooding your professional network with updates during your LinkedIn renovation, disable the option of sharing your updates until you're done with reconstruction. Select your icon, then Settings & Privacy. Select the Privacy tab and scroll down to the "Sharing Profile Edits" section where you can toggle it off.
You Have So Many Buzzwords
If you're a programming ninja, marketing rock star or management guru, you might want to drop those nicknames for something a bit less… obnoxious. That cute description of your job title tells recruiters and employers nothing about you besides the fact that you probably love listening to podcasts about computers. Be direct and clear when describing your job title or skills, and get straight to the point.
You Have No Substance on Your Page
Unless you're a hitman, hiding information relevant to your professional career won't do you any favours. In your first pass through your LinkedIn profile editing spree, add as much information as you can, including your education, work experience and contact information.
You might not think employers care where you went to school or what your first real job was, but simply having that information on hand helps connect you to similar people in your field who perhaps attended the same university or training program, worked with your previous employer, and can be valuable additions to your network either now or in the future.
In addition to your education and career history, you should include actual evidence of the work you do, if possible. LinkedIn has a Facebook-like status box that lets you write posts and upload images along with videos. You can also upload attachments such as presentations and documents, or link to your site (or sites) and videos hosted elsewhere. Making it easy to showcase what you can do will separate you from the rest of the crowd, even if they have a similar background or career path.
You Need to Ditch the Selfie
Everyone you follow (or who follows you) on sites such as Twitter and Instagram at the very least take a glance at your profile photo, but your bathroom selfie isn't really what any employer wants to see when deciding to hire you for an actual job. Get yourself a professional-looking photo instead. Profiles with professional photos are viewed 14 times more often than those without, so avoid leaving your account's profile photo blank unless you want that nondescript image of something resembling a human silhouette to handle your first impression (hint: You don't).
Your URL is Nonexistent
Since you can edit your own LinkedIn URL, take the time to customise it with your name or online handle (if it's professional enough). Having a customised LinkedIn URL also makes it easy to share that in the form of a text expansion shortcut, on a business card, or as a link on your personal or other professional site.
You can customise your URL by selecting your LinkedIn profile and selecting the Edit Profile & Public URL option on the right side of the page. Then, on the Edit my Public Profile page, select the Edit URL section on the right side and enter your custom URL. Special characters, symbols and spaces are not allowed, and your URL should be between five and 30 characters.
You Have Too Many Skills
Sorry, listing Microsoft Excel as something you're good at won't cut it any more. You're going to need to revamp that list of endorsements and skills you have on your profile, and that means you might have to let a few go to direct a viewer's focus to your more relevant skills.
You should consider your LinkedIn page a major part of your job application, and treat it with as much reverence as you do the cover letters and resumes you email or hand out to prospective employers. With the whole world gunning for jobs that may or may not exist in the next few years anyway, anything you can do to prove you're a valuable asset can and should be done. Besides, who doesn't love bragging about their accomplishments online?