Profiles that are considered “complete” by LinkedIn’s standards receive 40 more “opportunities” (contacts from prospective hiring managers and recruiters) than incomplete profiles, according to the social networking site.
Filling in your profile improves your chances of being found by people searching for you specifically, or someone with your qualifications, credentials, and background. And that’s true even when using sites like Google and Bing. As LinkedIn’s own materials say, “LinkedIn profiles typically appear among the top search results when people search by name.”
LinkedIn has its own criteria for “profile completeness,” which has changed somewhat over time. As of June 2012, to be considered “complete” by LinkedIn’s standards (the score you see on the right side of your “Edit Profile” page reflects how close you are to finishing these items) you need these items in your LinkedIn profile:
- Profile photo
- Your current industry
- A current position with description
- Two or more positions
- At least five skills
- At least 50 connections
- A summary
To maximize your success in using LinkedIn in your job search, you should also complete these activities:
- Customize your LinkedIn profile URL (www.linkedin.com/in/yourname)
- If you’re including a link to your website or blog, customize the text link (rename it so it doesn’t just say “Personal Website” or “Company Website”).
- Include your contact information. LinkedIn allows you to add your phone number (designated as home, work, or mobile), Instant Messenger contact information (AIM, Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, or GTalk), and multiple email addresses (in addition to your primary/sign-in email).
- Add languages that you speak
- Fill in key projects you’ve worked on (this is a separate section within the profile).
- Add a list of courses you’ve taken. (This helps with keyword searches)
- In the “Settings,” change the “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” to “Your name and headline (recommended).”
- Proofread your profile carefully. Check grammar and spelling!
- Update your profile regularly! Not only will your connections be notified when you update information on your profile (bringing your profile additional visibility), but you’ll also be confident that someone searching for you will have access to the most current information!