If you’ve gone job hunting recently, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the importance of having an updated and optimized LinkedIn profile. There are a number of companies that won’t even look at your resume if you don’t have one uploaded to LinkedIn. While most HR departments and others hiring new employees don’t care how many “followers” you have, they do care what’s on your profile. So if you’re looking to land a job in Memphis, here are a few ways to optimize your profile to help set yourself apart from the job-hunting competition.

Start with the photo

Your LinkedIn photo needs to be different from what you might use on Facebook or Instagram. It needs to be professional. Avoid the blurry images you have of yourself, or anything that has you out with friends. It needs to be of just you, wearing a professional outfit. Even if you need someone to help you take a professional headshot, do so. The only time you should even consider moving away from this is if you work in a specialty career path. For example, if you’re a chef, have a picture of you in the kitchen (but always make sure it’s still a profile picture of your face). Or, if you’re a videographer, you can be holding a camera. If it’s brand- and career-related, it’s OK to have it included. But other than this, always go professional.

Creative headline

Your resume will include all the bullet points of your working history. The headline is what helps turn heads, so get creative with this. When looking for Memphis jobs, you want someone to see a bit of your personality. You’re not just a mindless drone floating around. So, showcase yourself and your personality in the headline. Here are some creative examples if you need inspiration.

Create professional blogs

LinkedIn is not the place to upload spammy content to try to sell something. It’s not a place to post YouTube videos of your vacation to the Bahamas. However, it is the perfect spot for you to craft a blog geared toward your profession. If you’re a marketer, keep a blog about marketing, using social media to expand a brand, SEO, mobile marketing and so on. You can also upload from your blog if it’s located on another website. This keeps your profile fresh, relevant and in front of employers.

Participate

LinkedIn might be for professionals, but it is still a social media platform. When looking at getting a job in Memphis, join a related group that connects you to other Memphis professionals. Maybe you connect with other kitchen operators or hotel managers. Whatever group you join, make sure to post, stay active and participate. There’s no point in joining a group if others don’t know you exist.

Set yourself apart

These are just a few ways to set yourself apart from other job seekers in the greater Memphis area. Just remember, as is the case with your paper resume, keep it up to date and comb through it for any errors. A clean, easy-to-read and concise resume will let potential employers know everything they need to know about you, which helps boost your chance at landing that all-important interview.

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