If you are a professional it is very likely that you have a LinkedIn profile - you and 720 million others globally (at time of writing).
At launch, LinkedIn promoted itself as a 'professional networking' tool and, whilst this broad definition still works, LinkedIn has essentially morphed into a recruitment tool, according to their own business model.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, it therefore makes sense to view it as your de facto online resume. Your viewing audience certainly does.
With that in mind ask yourself, how well does it serve that function? As a recruiter I look at LinkedIn profiles all day, every day so I have strong opinions on what makes a good profile. Here are three key tips to improve your online presence.
1. Make sure your profile photo shows you in the best light
None of us are good judges of our own photos so best to outsource the decision. You can ask friends and family but they are not objective either, so I use a website called www.photofeeler.com to crowdsource opinion. It is a very cost effective way to get brutally objective feedback on a range of headshots. Examples below:
2. Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date
One huge advantage of a LinkedIn profile over a regular resume is that is is dynamic, but only if you maintain it. So often we see profiles that have not been updated. Perhaps set a diary note to give your profile some love once every few months.
3. Pepper your profile with keywords
You may not realise it but your resume is searchable by recruiters and potential employers, both through LinkedIn's own search engine and on the wider internet. Generally searches will be based around key criteria for the job and, if your profile is light on detail, you may well miss out on being contacted for a great new career opportunity. Make sure that you use keywords that reflect the job you are looking for next.
There are plenty of other great ideas available on line but, suffice to say, the more work you put into your profile the better your chance of being visible to, and making a great impression on any future employer.
Dr. John Bethell has 25 years experience in medical & life sciences recruitment. He is co-founder of two successful recruitment firms employing over 100 staff.