Do you wonder what it takes for your LinkedIn profile to rate as an “All Star?” Beyond that, how can you increase your odds of being found by hiring employers and recruiters? It is based on specific criteria and, yes, you can control your odds of being found for suitable roles. The following are a few of the top suggestions to strengthen your LinkedIn profile.
Earning Your All-Star Status
If you view your profile, you will notice a blue dashboard with your current status. The top level is “All Star.” If you accomplish the seven steps listed below, you can earn your All Star status. The status simply means that you have completed the tasks to strengthen your LinkedIn profile.
1.) Include your industry and location when establishing your profile.
2.) Upload a photo.
3) Include a current (to present) position.
4.) Include at least two past positions.
5.) Update your education section.
6.) Add a minimum of three skills.
7.) Acquire at least 50 connections. (Some have said that the new number is 75.)
Strengthening Your Profile to Get Found
Customize Your URL
When you network, a custom URL helps people find your LinkedIn profile. It is especially important if you share your name with a dozen other people.
Get rid of the shadow image and upload a professional photo. When recruiters and hiring managers are skimming a list of potential matches on their screen, they are far more likely click to view your profile if you have a photo. You do not have to book time with a high-end photographer to get a professional, read this blog on how to take a quality DIY photo.
If you have relevant videos, photos, and links to news articles, upload those to your profile page.
Customize Your Headline
If you do not customize your headline, LinkedIn will place the default headline, which is your current or most recent position. That may not align with your current job target. In most cases, it is better to write a custom headline rich with keywords that are aligned with your goal.
Write a Value-Focused Summary
Many people skip the summary and others write a personal message about their dreams and ambitions. Neither of those tactics are going to increase your hits. The summary is another chance to include keywords that demonstrate the value you offer relevant to your career goal. I prefer two effective formats. The first is to start with a narrative of your major skills and relevant knowledge, followed by three to five bullets with your top career accomplishments. The second is to keep it brief with a straight-forward overview of your value. Skip the dreams, needs, and ambitions. This is not about what an employer can do to make you happy and fulfill your dreams. When writing your summary, focus on keywords.
This section will vary based on your industry and level of authority. For example, in some legal and finance occupations, there are regulations that restrict a professional from sharing examples of past successes. Outside of those settings, it is wise to include brief highlights of your accomplishments and scope of authority for your recent jobs. Keep it relevant your target job. If you are changing careers, try to focus on the most relevant facts. Be thoughtful about the job titles in your experience section. If your company uses a non-standard title (Revenue Guru) or a non-specific title (Associate), add something to the title to show what you did and your level of authority (Revenue Guru/National Sales Director) or department (Associate, Auditing Department).
If you have a break in your career history, volunteer experience can demonstrate accomplishments for that time period. Also, if you do not have a current job, a current volunteering role can provide the “to present” criteria that some recruiters establish. (When faced with a deep candidate pool, some recruiters use "To Present" as search criteria to eliminate candidates without a current position.)
Take advantage of the space. Include your major and minor field of study, honors, awards, and relevant organizations. Spell out your degree or include both: Bachelor of Science (BS). Remember you are trying to get keyword hits. Use the university’s official name so that the university is identified by LinkedIn and the logo is displayed. If your degree is more than 15 years old, consider omitting your dates. If you show your dates, include a starting and ending date for networking purposes.
This is your keywords gold mine. Review target job postings and identify the skills required. If you possess those skills, load them in your LinkedIn Skills section. It will increase your viability for a target posting.
If you have the required skills and experience and you follow the above tips, you will increase your odds of connecting with recruiters and hiring managers. The above tips are not all inclusive. There are other ways to optimize your profile. If you would like help writing your new LinkedIn profile, contact me. I would be happy to help.