Many organizations will look at your LinkedIn profile before they decide to hire you. Direct hire recruiters will look at your LinkedIn profile before they decide to contact you. Your LinkedIn profile should be a professional and accurate representation of yourself. Some human resources managers feel that resumes will become obsolete in the future, and they will just look at your LinkedIn profile instead.
Start with a professional picture, if you decide to use one. There is some debate about whether you should include one. If you feel it helps your job search and career, include it. If not, you can leave it out. However, interviewers may assume something about you since so many people do include their picture. Are you too old or too young? Too skinny or too fat? Still have a mullet or the hairstyle you wore in high school? If you do decide to include a picture, keep it professional. This is not Facebook — selfies are not appropriate, nor is showing your décolletage (for women).
Spend the money and get a good picture, and keep your picture current. If you’ve gained 50 pounds since you took that picture, your interviewer is going to be taken aback when you show up. Interviewers don’t like surprises. It is discriminatory to base a hiring decision on gender, race, religion, age, skin color, disability, national origin or familial status (pregnancy), but it still happens.
Make sure your profile is complete and accurate. Do not embellish or falsify dates. Too many people who either worked or are working with you now can bust you if you stretch the truth about your dates of employment, your responsibilities or your title. Because LinkedIn is social, everyone can see it.
Rewrite your headline. Your headline should say something about yourself. I work with a recruiter whose headline says: “Changing Lives One Conversation at a Time”. Isn’t that better than “Direct Hire Recruiter”? Add your phone number. Change your headline up on occasion.
Ask and give recommendations. Giving someone a recommendation is a great way to ask them for one.
Broaden your network. Reach out to people, but don’t just use it as an opportunity to sell. I have accepted LinkedIn invites that I later regretted because they were trying to sell me something. To many, this tactic is perceived as unprofessional.
Join groups and follow organizations. If you are trying to get a job at a company, follow them. Reach out to people who work there that went to the same school you did. If you get an interview, be sure to ask them some preparatory questions such as: Do they know the person you are going to interview with? Can they tell you something about them – hobbies, schooling, interests? What do they like about the organization? What is the culture like? Do your homework.
Post articles or links of interest about your industry. Start setting yourself up as the expert in your field. Again, don’t use it to sell, this may just turn people off.
Like or comment on other people’s posts. Everyone likes to get positive feedback. Even if you don’t agree with the post, you can start a civil conversation with your point of view.
Update your LinkedIn regularly and look at what other people are doing. Have some fun, as long as it’s clean and professional!
A Product Manager with expertise in pharma marketing and sales operations