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10 Ways To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Hello

This is the fourth of a series of blog posts on how to get hired, aimed at non-native speakers of English looking for a job.

I’m Jenny, the person behind Business English HQ’s social media profiles. If you talk to us on Facebook or Twitter, you’re probably talking to me!  I love helping people use social media so I have written you a list of 10 easy ways to improve your LinkedIn profile.

1. Smile for the camera. Including a good profile photo is very important; it puts a face to your resume and employers are more likely to remember you.  A profile without a photo looks unfinished.

2. Make your headline count. Your headline is the first thing future employers will see when they look at your profile. Make sure it includes your current or preferred job role.

3. Customise your URL so that it includes your name. This makes your profile look more professional and it is easier for employers to find you.

Dr. Bonkowski's LinkedIn profile

Dr. Bonkowski’s LinkedIn profile

4. Keep your summary up to date (and write one if you haven’t already). If you graduated a year ago don’t describe yourself as a recent graduate. Use the space to write about what you have done since graduation.

5. Be selective. Don’t connect with everybody you know. Your old teachers and your entire graduating class don’t need to be part of your network. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform; connect with your next-door neighbour on Twitter and your next boss on LinkedIn.

 6. Be concise. Don’t write whole paragraphs for each job or project on your profile. Keep it short and sweet and full of statistics, e.g., I increased sales by 47% in my first year as head of the department.

 7. Build a multimedia profile. Add links to your previous employers, current team members or examples of work you have done. You can also use LinkedIn’s “Professional Portfolio” feature to include visuals to make your profile stand out.

 8. You can include more detail in a LinkedIn profile than a hard copy resume. Projects, coursework and volunteer work provided a more comprehensive picture of your interests and skills.

A screenshot of Craig Gonzales' LinkedIn profile.

Craig Gonzales has included volunteer work on his LinkedIn profile.

9. Ask for recommendations and endorsements. They look great on your profile and will impress employers. Don’t forget to return the favour and say a nice word about somebody you have worked with.

10. Drop the buzzwords and use action words instead. Buzzwords are overused and don’t impress employers, whereas action words demonstrate your skills and employability.

Buzzwords: Team player, Hard worker, Self-motivated, Responsible, Creative, Passionate.

Action Words: Achieved, Improved, Managed, Created, Resolved, Influenced, Volunteered.

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