Looking for a new job in the new year? One easy way to start is to update your LinkedIn profile.
(If you don't have one, create one right now.)
In fact, as Silicon Valley venture capitalist told CNBC Make It, "If you're not on LinkedIn, you might as well not exist in this world. Everybody needs to be on LinkedIn."
Your LinkedIn profile, which is essentially your online resume, serves as a starting point for recruiters and hiring managers to learn more about you. It's also a great link to include when applying to new jobs or even new business opportunities.
Take the advice of best-selling leadership author and CNBC contributor : "If you maximize your LinkedIn profile, you may not be looking for your next job. It could come find you."
Here are her seven steps to make sure your profile stands out:
"You've probably been told 100 times to leave the objective off of your resume," Welch says. "The rules are different here."
The summary section on LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your achievements and professionals goals. In fact, recruiters consider it the most important section of your profile, according to LinkedIn.
"Use it as an opportunity to talk about your experience, motivations, interests and skills," says Welch. "It matters."
According to LinkedIn, profiles that include a photo are 21 times more likely to be viewed than those without one. They are also nine times more likely to receive connection requests.
Opt for a flattering, professional photo that best represents you. Skip ones that are poorly cropped, low-resolution, or include another person (or your pet).
You know what they say: location, location, location. It seems simple, but it goes a long way.
"Recruiters screen by location," Welch says. "Leaving your location off leaves you out of the running for a lot of jobs."
By adding your city or metro area to your profile, you will boost your chances of being seen by 23 times, according to LinkedIn.
By adding your school or schools, hiring managers and former classmates are more likely to find you in searches. In fact, profiles with completed education fields receive 17 times more messages from recruiters.
However, you may want to consider leaving off your graduation year, which can signal your age to potential employers.
Each week, more than 300,000 people search LinkedIn profiles by industry, the company says.
Listing the industry you work in, or the one you'd like to break into, helps you come up in those recruiter searches. It also helps LinkedIn connect you with the right job listings, events and trending articles.
Having an outdated position on your LinkedIn profile page looks bad to recruiters. They might think that because you haven't updated it, you aren't active on the website and wouldn't return their message, or even that you don't take your online professional presence seriously.
It only takes a minute, and it's a great way to show your professional trajectory. Be sure to include your current title, company and start date.
Don't think of skills in strictly technical terms, Welch suggests. If you have great negotiating or public speaking skills, list them.
More employers are looking for people with , so it can only help you. According to LinkedIn, you should include five or more skills to showcase your different talents.
This is an updated version of a previously published article.
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker.
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