5 Essential tips for making your LinkedIn profile look good to an employer

Getty Thinkstock

While you probably give your Facebook profile a lot of love on a daily basis, it's important to remember that you should maintain a professional profile. If you don't have a LinkedIn account, you should - it's the Facebook of the employment world - and here are some tips to make it look great to potential employers.

First impressions

Despite the equal opportunities society we live in, LinkedIn is one place where your image also speaks volumes about your professional capacity. Upload a top quality photo - and better still if you can afford it, a professional portrait. A suit and tie isn't essential, but looking spick-and-span is. Also make sure the background is relevant to your work, or use a plain one. And remember to smile!

Connections old and new

Besides comprehensively filling out all the sections - from "Basic information" to "Summary" - it's vital that you appear to be well connected. Ensure you are linked in to previous employers, colleagues and customers as well as current ones - and not just your friends and family - in order to boost numbers. This will demonstrate your ability to get along with people, even if you no longer work for them. Aim for 501 - the magic number where LinkedIn calls your contacts "500+," making you look extremely well connected,and therefore more employable.

Seal of approval

Ensure you are "recommended" on your profile, another sign of a dependable worker. Click on the drop-down menu "Profile" then go to "Recommendations." This is a reciprocal section, so if you give a colleague or a former boss the thumb's up, chances are they'll recommend you right back with their own seal of approval. you should aim for at least 10. You should also get your "Skills and expertise" endorsed, another reciprocal way of improving your profile.

Silky skills

Besides ensuring all CV information, such as employment and education, are up to date and free of typos and errors, also "Add sections." In this area, you can boost your profile with extra details about language skills you have - you never know where those Brazilian Portuguese classes at night school will take you - and projects you have worked on. These all go towards boosting your profile.

Key words

LinkedIn is all about SEO (search engine optimisation) and key words. So make sure that you define what your key skills are - then use them wisely throughout your "Background" profile. It is through key words that potential employers will find you - leading you on to your next career move.