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Four Steps to a Better LinkedIn Profile

What’s worse than not having a LinkedIn profile? Having an empty LinkedIn profile that contains nothing but a two-line description of the babysitting job you had five years ago.

LinkedIn has exploded onto the recruitment scene in recent years. It is now one of the best places to find and advertise job opportunities. When people search your name on Google, your LinkedIn page will often be one of the first results displayed. Therefore, it’s vital that it leaves a good impression.

Here’s our guide to what makes a good LinkedIn profile—use these criteria to choose what information you include and it won’t be long before the improvement is obvious.

Keep it relevant

All the information you include on your profile should have some relation to the industry you are pursuing a career in. While it may seem interesting that you spent 6 months manning an ice cream cart, it won’t do you any favours in the IT industry. This doesn’t mean you can’t include any variety, just make sure you can explain how each role contributed to your professional development and gave you the skills to be where you are today.

For example:

“Worked at a café for five years” can be spun into “Spent five years in hospitality at Romano’s. Responsibilities including rostering wait staff and handling customer complaints.”

Make sure it’s up to date

Your LinkedIn page should always be updated when something changes in your professional life. Whether it’s a new qualification, attending an industry event or landing a new job, include this information as it happens to ensure all information is current. It’s much easier to do on an ongoing basis: if you leave it until you look for a new job, you may find yourself spending hours changing the entire page.

For example:

Post a picture of the last conference you attended, update your page if you completed a new training module or remove a qualification if it lapses. These updates are sometimes sent to your LinkedIn connections, keeping contacts active and in the loop.

Focus on information that’s clear and concise

Just like this paragraph, you don’t want to overwhelm the reader; you’ll quickly start repeating yourself and clutter the page. If in doubt, follow K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

For example:

Scrap the paragraph that says “I worked at the old bar up on Smith street called Pulse, it used to be run by an Italian guy but he ended up selling it to an old friend from school who gave me the job and played in my basketball team…”. Instead, try “Worked for 3 years as a bartender at Pulse. Supervised a team of seven employees and managed stock orders.”

Everything MUST be accurate

You’d be surprised how quickly people can find out the truth, especially in this age of social media and access to information. Avoid over-exaggerating information and never lie or you’ll find it coming back to haunt you down the track.

For example:

If you occasionally contributed to the local newsletter, don’t say you’re a regular columnist with a leading publication.

 

There is plenty more to talk about when it comes to LinkedIn, but creating a decent profile page is the first step to take. From there, the rest will fall into place.

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