LinkedIn is a great tool for job seekers these days. Unfortunately, just having a profile isn’t enough to market yourself effectively to employers. If you really want to impress recruiters, you should leverage LinkedIn for all it’s worth.

Thankfully, it’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, building an “All Star” profile on LinkedIn is pretty simple once you know how to do it. Here are some tips for upping your LinkedIn game:

1. Update your profile photo.

Make sure your LinkedIn photo is professional and up-to-date. Most importantly, make sure you HAVE a profile photo so people can put a face to your name. It’s part of your first impression, so make sure it’s a good one.

2. Use strategic keywords.

Recruiters search for specific keywords that tie to the jobs they’re hiring for on LinkedIn. For example, if a recruiter is looking for candidates for a digital marketing position, he or she might search for “digital marketing” or “social media marketing.” If those keywords aren’t listed on your profile, you’re going not going to show up in many (if any) searches. 

The more relevant keywords you list on your profile, the easier it will be for recruiters to find you in their LinkedIn searches. So, make sure you’re listing keywords and skill sets you have that relate to the job(s) you’re interested in pursuing after school.

3. Complete each section.

Make sure you complete every section of your LinkedIn profile, including your headline, summary, work history, education, and so on. Leaving empty sections is a wasted opportunity to optimize your profile.

4. Acquire more recommendations and endorsements.

Having a decent amount of recommendations and endorsements on your profile helps you prove to recruiters that you have the skills, personality, and aptitude to do your job. These are third-party testimonials of your work ethic, skills, and character that can help separate you from other qualified candidates. Aim to have at least 20 endorsements for each “featured skill set” and at least three recommendations listed on your profile.

5. Be active.

Don’t just get a LinkedIn profile, add in your work history, and let it sit there to collect dust. LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your “virtual” resume. However, it’s also a great networking tool. Make sure you leverage it! Take 10 minutes each day to engage with people on LinkedIn, whether that means connecting with someone new, checking in with an old connection, making an introduction, or writing a recommendation for a friend. Be active!

If you need more help with your LinkedIn profile, book an appointment with Longwood University Career Services and work with a career coach on your strategy.

About the Author

Ariella Coombs

Over the last 4 years, Ariella has been creating fun, yet educational blog posts and videos to help professionals build the career lifestyle they want. Her work has been featured in 12+ online publications, including TeenVogue, Business Insider, H&R Block, USA TODAY College, and more. One day, she hopes to host my own TV or web show for career-minded millennials.

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