LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media sites across the world. Essentially a user’s profile acts like an online, interactive CV. From a recruiter’s point of view LinkedIn is a searchable database of talents and skills. Indeed, it is estimated that 94% of all recruiters use social media in their recruitment efforts.

Everyone serious about building a career, whether currently unemployed or not, should be on LinkedIn. But just having an account is not enough; you have to stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips for building a strong profile for those on the job hunt and for those just looking to network:

Your Picture

Think professional. It’s perfectly normal to have a fun picture on your Facebook profile. On LinkedIn you shouldn’t use a picture that wouldn’t be appropriate for a physical CV. That doesn’t mean it has to be overly serious or boring; by all means smile and look pleasant. People tend to remember faces rather than names so make sure the image is a headshot.

Complete Your Profile

This should go without saying but you’d be surprised by the amount of unfinished profiles on LinkedIn.. Users with completed profiles are estimated to be opened up to 40 times more opportunities than those with incomplete profiles. To attain a 100% completed profile LinkedIn requires you to have the following:

  • Your industry and location
  • An up-to-date current position (with a description)
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • Your skills (minimum of 3)
  • A profile photo
  • At least 50 connections

Make Your Headline Count

Aside from your name and profile picture your headline is the only other thing that appears when you show up on a LinkedIn search. Most people put their job title down. Make sure it’s accurate and descriptive.

Strengthen Your Summary

This can be treated as a space with which to provide a brief biography, to list your accomplishments or to simply list your core competencies. Whichever avenue you go down, make sure to sell yourself as a strong, unique candidate. Grabbing the reader’s attention and compelling them to continue reading through your profile is the aim here.