So you’re moving to your dream city and you don’t want to arrive without knowing a single professional colleague. Naturally, you head to your LinkedIn page to make a few tweaks.
Then you pull up your profile and your inadequate LinkedIn page slaps you in the face.
That’s the same resume and blurry photo of you and your cat that you slapped on your profile five years ago. And what about your puny number of connections? That’s not likely to impress.
Looks like it’s time for a LinkedIn makeover. Below are 10 tips for sprucing up your LinkedIn profile for your new life:
1. Change Your Location Before Relocating
It’s a good idea to change your location on your profile to the place where you’ll be moving, says Mindi Rosser, a social media and business strategist. If you’re moving to the suburbs of a metropolitan area or a nearby small town, choose the “Greater X Location Area” option.
2. Use Location-specific Keywords.
Use keywords related to your new location, says Karen Taylor Roane, a specialist in social media marketing. For example, if you’re a realtor moving to Key West, add the words “Key West” realtor. “Be specific so that folks in your new area can find you through the search engine,” says Taylor Roane.
3. Research the Area.
First search for potential target companies in your next home, says Alex Twersky, co-founder of Resume Deli. “Once you’ve sorted these, you can probe your LinkedIn network to see if anyone you’re connected to has any inroads to these companies,” he says.
4. Make the Right Kind of Connections.
Having 500+ connections makes you look important and popular but make sure those connections are relevant to your industry and job target, says Twersky. Potential employers want to see “industry movers and shakers, or at least industry-relevant contacts,” he says.
5. Reach Out to Current Connections.
Tap your closest connections on LinkedIn first and send each a personal note telling them you’re relocating. “You can gently prod them to see if they have any good professional resources or contacts in that city,” says Twersky. “Most people are happy to be helpful.” They might even write you a recommendation.
6. Write an Eye-catching Headline.
Professional headlines separate you from the pack, says Melissa Fears, a social media specialist. Avoid cheesy taglines like “social media superstar” or your job title alone, she says. Fears discourages “seeking new opportunities” in the headline because it makes you look desperate. Instead, use the open candidate on LinkedIn to discreetly signal recruiters.
7. Adjust Your Settings.
8. Create a Custom URL.
That makes you easier to find in search engines and allows for continuity across social media, says Cuevas. You can put it on your resume, too.
9. Attach Media.
To showcase your work to prospective employers or clients, attach video, pictures, files and other content to every part of your profile, says Kathy Harrell-Latham, CEO of Cadre Scheduling, a platform connecting job candidates with employers. “Use it but do so wisely by making sure it fits with the message you are conveying,” she says.
10. Publish Posts.
Posting articles shares thought leadership with your network and creates a portfolio that anyone can access, says Farrell-Latham. In the posts, link back to other websites or expand on information that showcases your knowledge. “This is also a great tool to improve the chances of people scrolling down your profile as the posts are located near the top and well placed content can help trigger interest,” says Harrell-Latham.