How to Quickly Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Keep up to date on your LinkedIn profile with these helpful tips from Entrepreneur.

How to Quickly Update Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re in a hurry to give your LinkedIn profile the once-over, there are five areas where you should focus your attention:

  1. Headline
  2. Photo
  3. Skills & Experience
  4. Location
  5. “Open to Recruiters” status

Updating these areas will give you the most bang for your buck, in terms of time. Below is a little more information explaining why these have high value and how you can make the most of them.

1. Write a headline that sells you

Your LinkedIn headline is the short statement that appears below your name. That headline is to a recruiter’s search what an online headline is to SEO. The headline needs to say what you do or what you want to do. And it should hit those points using keywords.

Let’s say you currently work as an editorial assistant at Jolly Magazine, but you have prior experience as an editor and writer. You want your career to move toward more writing and editing. Your headline should use the words “writer” and “editor.”

If, however, you want to push your career into covering local news, then you need to reflect that. “Writer and editor” might still fit, but you’ll need to include “news” and “journalism” in there, too. You might end up with something like this:

Writer and Editor | Passionate about local news journalism

That headline has the right keywords, indicates where the person wants to take their career, and doesn’t stretch the truth.

2. Update your photo

Do you need to pay for a professional headshot for LinkedIn? No, you really don’t.

Unless you work in photography, modeling, or acting, the headshot is something of a formality. A great profile picture won’t get you an interview, but a terrible picture (inappropriate, creepy) could be the reason a recruiter weeds you out.

To take a photo, enlist the help or a friend or family member. Put on an appropriate shirt because it might show up in the final picture, and try to smile. A scowl or a creepy smirk isn’t going to go over well. Go outside into natural daylight. Stand in front of a neutral background that doesn’t cast any obvious shadows. Have your friend frame your head so that you get a little bit of your shoulders in the photo too. You can always crop it. Take at least 15 pictures, right from the outset. If you have 15, one of them is bound to be decent.

3. Punch up your keywords

Keywords appear in a few places on your LinkedIn profile. The most important place they appear is in your headline. The second most important place is in Skills & Endorsements.

The Skills & Endorsements area is nothing more than a list of keywords. When recruiters are hunting for candidates on LinkedIn, they enter requirements that the employer gives them. The requirements are usually a list of skills. So, to increase your chances of getting a job that lines up with your skills, make sure you hit all the top words that reflect your experience here. When you open this area to update it, LinkedIn suggests skills to you.

Because your skills here are keyword matches, be sure to list even the most obvious ones. Machines are reading them more than humans. If you’re a programmer who has held four jobs as a programmer, you should still add “programming” to your skill set. You should also add the languages you use for programming.

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