How to Build the Perfect LinkedIn Resume
We all know the importance of a first impression. Often, it’s what determines whether you’re invited into the office to meet in person after a phone interview. But these days first impressions are happening without your knowledge. No longer is the first impression made over the phone or in person. Instead, the employer makes this impression the first time that they google your name.
Internet searches come up with a wide range of information about you. Potential employers digest this information and it shapes their opinion of you. But it’s only the first few search results that come up that employers look at in-depth. And one of the results that always appears in the first three? Your LinkedIn profile. This profile is your living resume. It makes the necessary first impression to convince an employer to call you in for an interview.
So how do you build the perfect LinkedIn profile? You start by using all the tools LinkedIn has and remembering to stay professional in all your posts.
LinkedIn Basics – The Foundation of Your Living Resume
- Create a Headline that speaks to where you are now. This doesn’t have to be your current position or your last position. Make this unique and tailor it to the field you want to work in.
- Write a Summary that encapsulates your achievements. Include achievements in work and education. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine as well. Write it in the first person and make it unique. This should be around 3 – 5 paragraphs. Use bulleted sections to highlight skills specific to the area you’re trying to find employment in.
- Give yourself a Custom URL. Don’t keep the string of numbers LinkedIn first generated for you. Instead update your URL to be: “linkedin.com/in/yourname”.
- Upload a Photo of yourself. Choose a professional head shot where you are smiling and looking your best. You want to come off as friendly, yet professional in the photo. This photo can translate to soft skills that employers look for.
Experience and Education – The Framework
- Under each role you list in your Work Experience, add bullets describing your job duties. Make these as specific as possible, with achievements made in that role listed there as well.
- Under each degree you list, add activities you participated in during that time and a brief description of each one. Be sure to list specific course-work you completed and the achievements you made.
- Always list a current position, as either the position you’re currently working or the last position you held. This will allow you to show up in more search results.
LinkedIn Extras – To Enhance Your Living Resume
- Add any extra categories that LinkedIn offers that apply to you.
- Add any Volunteer Experience you have under its own section. This lets employers know what you’re passionate about and that you make time to do good in your community.
- Add any Languages you know. This lets employees know the diversity of your skill set. It makes you more appealing to international companies.
- Add Skills to your profile, but keep them relevant to your current career interests.
Connections, Endorsements, and Recommendations
- As a part of a living resume, the people you know on LinkedIn are a large part of how your profile stands out among the rest.
- Make Connections with people you know, whether from work or school, and reach out to people you don’t know. You can find these people with either a 2nd or a 3rd next to their name. This indicates how far removed from you they are. Reach out to the 2nd people by discussing a connection you have in common on LinkedIn. Through this, work your way towards including these people in your community. Then, build up to connecting with those 3rd people.
- Give people you know Endorsements on their skills, and they will likely return the favor. These endorsements show employers that you have people willing to vouch for you.
- Reach out to people you’ve worked with in the past and ask them for Recommendations. These live on your profile and are a way for employers to learn more about you. Reach out for one recommendation about every month. You don’t want to end up with a flood of recommendations all at once. Be sure to ask people to give you recommendations on a specific skill set. That is better than many generic recommendations on your profile.
Why Your LinkedIn Profile Matters
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you move on in the hiring process with a potential employer. It’s a living resume, that you should update as your career changes or as you gain new skills or education. As it’s on the internet, anyone can access it. This is both helpful and a detriment. It means you must look over your profile with care. Work to ensure everything is accurate, and don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar!
- “The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers.” The Muse. Accessed 17 July 2019.
- “Learn LinkedIn: How to Build Your Living Resume.” MakeUseOf. Accessed 17 July 2019.
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