Friday, June 1, 2012

How to Heat Up Your LinkedIn Profile

“As of March 31, 2012, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 82 of the Fortune 100 companies, with 2 new professional members added every second.”

Yes, having a LinkedIn profile is important for job/internship acquirement, but maintaining it is key. One of the most important ways you can “heat up” your LinkedIn profile is to add a profile picture! This may seem silly, but according to eye-tracking Heatmap testing, looks are the most important thing on your LinkedIn profile. According to a particular heatmap study, employers spend 19% of their time looking at your profile picture when they are looking at your profile as a whole.

So, what if I choose not to include a profile picture? What does this mean to employers? According to, Miriam Salpeter at U.S. News & World Report, not having a photo on your LinkedIn profile will make others assume that you're either "really ugly" or "don't know how to upload a picture." Personally, I believe that not having a photo portrays laziness because you may not feel like finding an adequate/appropriate photo. To ease frustration, Miriam offers tips on how to choose a photo by encouraging the use of current, close-up pictures of your face, posting a high-quality photo, and paying attention to background. She also advises against dramatic photos and large jewelry or accessories. Some of my own suggestions for profile pictures include looking professional/serious through your clothing choice and to stay away from photos with yourself and another person. Employers want to see who YOU are!

Of course, you still need to have appropriate and compelling content. Yes, your profile picture holds 19% of importance, but what about the other 81%? It is advised to update the “skill” section of your profile because employers are using LinkedIn to find skills and qualifications that are difficult to obtain. We all know that our profiles are simply “scanned” rather than “scrutinized” so include skills and accomplishments that are highly relevant to your field of work. On that note, turn up the heat!

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