The professional networking site LinkedIn has become a must-have career tool, hosting the working details of more than 160 million people in more than 200 countries. But your average user, says Wentworth’s director of career services Greg Denon, has a punchless presence. Here’s his advice for making sure your profile shines. —DAN MORRELL
HOW TO / OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
DON’T SKIP THE SUMMARY
“Most résumés don’t have summary statements,” says Denon, so this section gives users a chance to go beyond what HR requires. “It should really let the reader know what the person can do, why they can do it, and why they are interested in it.” Including industry-related keywords here can also help your profile get noticed by employers who use LinkedIn’s search function to find specific skills.
LOOK LIKE A PRO
Denon isn’t sold on using pictures for profiles—it can lead to biases, he says—but if you do decide to use a pic, make it classy. “It has to be a professional picture—it can’t be something from your Facebook page.”
CHECK YOUR CONNECTIONS
When you enter your employers, make sure you link them to the company’s official LinkedIn network. Denon says it can help get your profile in front of recruiters, who might visit a company profile first and identify potential candidates from there.
Those frustrated by the strict confines of a one-page résumé, rejoice: “There are no preconceived notions about length on LinkedIn,” says Denon. “You still don’t want to write your version of War and Peace in the profile, though.” Résumé rules still apply here, too: Be action oriented and as specific as possible.
“Be selective,” says Denon. It is quality over quantity here, with the goal being one or two really solid recommendations. “Too many, and it’s a red flag.”