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Quick LinkedIn Touchups Can Have Long-Term Value

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In the modern job searching landscape, there's no question that having an up-to-date and high-quality LinkedIn page can help applicants improve their chances of finding a great job. A 2013 social recruiting survey hosted by Jobvite found that recruiters favor the social network over all other Internet tools when hiring workers, as they can browse, search, monitor and contact different candidates depending on what their specific needs entail at any one time.

With the power of LinkedIn only growing, it's important for you to keep tabs on your profile often, although LinkedIn profiles are not resumes. There are some opportunities that you can use when updating information on the site that will allow you to better show off your skills - but even simple changes to expected elements can have huge benefits.

Photos

US News and World Report wrote that nearly one-fifth of recruiters' overall time spent on LinkedIn involves looking at a candidate's picture. That may seem strange, but it needs to be kept in mind whenever possible. If you don't have a picture up, there's a decent chance that your profile can be passed over completely. While some industries will expect this photo to be taken professionally, you don't necessarily need to follow that trend. What you will need is to have a plain background and for the picture to be taken from a small distance away, in order to preserve your features and keep you as visible as possible. 

Business Insider reported that in some cases, you might not want to use a fully professional picture at all. For tech workers and those hoping to join a fledgling startup company in any number of industries, wearing a suit and tie can be a big turnoff for hiring managers. This has more to say about startup culture than you yourself, but it shouldn't be ignored. These businesses often succeed despite not having stringent dress codes, and that reflects back toward the bigger-picture problem of company culture. Making sure you're the right fit for a workplace may not be directly influenced by a shirt and tie, but it can point to a potential culture clash in the future. Make sure your picture represents you in a way that will resonate with any given hiring opportunity, and look to other professionals in your field if you need more information.

Headline and summary

LinkedIn also gives its users a quick and easy way to present themselves exactly as they hope to be seen. This is done using the social network's headline and summary features, which often are broadcasted at the top of your page. For the headline, you have 120 characters to create a sentence that describes you in a unique format. You should work to do more than just a generic presentation here, considering what you hope the next step of your career to be. If you see any connections or similar types of language on any colleagues' applications, you'll have the first step that can improve your profile.

Meanwhile, your summary is necessary in your profile. Instead of the mere 120 characters allowed for the headline, this summary can be a small essay up to 2,000 characters. US News and World Report suggests that your summary should be a more in-depth explanation of where you've been in your career, what you've managed to accomplish at this point and what your next steps will likely be. This helps flesh out a recruiter's idea of you as a person and gives you a chance to stand out among your competitors. You might also want to throw in keywords, if applicable, which will appeal heavily to recruiters.