7 Tips for a Better LinkedIn Profile

Whether you're searching for a new job, looking for new referral connections, or just trying to look your professional best online, maintaining a LinkedIn profile is mandatory. Today, 93 percent of recruiters use social media sites to vet employees. Fortunately, a great profile doesn't take long to create with these seven tips: 

Write an eye-catching headline. LinkedIn defaults the headline beneath your name to whatever your current job title says. Change it up to get noticed with action verbs and descriptive nouns. You may be a "marketing analyst," but a "10-year marketing veteran with a proven eye for viral content" is more powerful. 

Use a professional headshot. According to Rick Sass, career coach at Lee Hecht Harrison, recruiters are 70 percent more likely to read your profile if you have one. 

Take advantage of the background image. Showcase your interests like skiing, hiking or cooking. Avoid copyright issues by using personal or public domain photos. 

Make your Summary special. The Summary section makes LinkedIn more powerful than a résumé. You can convey skills and experience with a readable narrative that also showcases your personality. At the bottom of your summary, include a section called "Specialties." Load this section with suitable keywords employers or referral partners might search. For example, if you work in advertising you might include: "Specialties: copywriting, social media and split-testing." 

Highlight transferable skills. The Experience section is the closest thing to a résumé on LinkedIn. Don't use it to write a laundry list of duties you've performed for past employers. Confidently and conversationally highlight skills you developed in each position, and show how they apply to the job you want or the market you serve. 

Quantify your accomplishments. There's credibility in numbers, so use specific data to demonstrate your expertise. Don't just say you're "a sales expert," include data on actual sales. If you've increased social media followers, give the percentage. If you don't have hard data, link to samples of your work in the Experience section. 

Get a proofreader. According to Jobvite, spelling and grammar mistakes put off recruiters. Ask a friend or trusted colleague to check your spelling and grammar. 

Creating a LinkedIn profile that helps you get noticed or hired isn't difficult. It takes a small investment of time now to create big dividends in the future. Schedule some time to update your profile this week! 

Sources: Forbes, Success.com