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15 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Paper résumés aren’t exactly passé, but they surely have lost much of their punch

2. Customize your LinkedIn address

Click on "edit profile" and change the URL to: www.LinkedIn.com/in/yourname. Then include that address on your résumé, cover letter and the bottom signature line of your outgoing email, too. Consider creating a QR code that links directly to your profile. You can use free tools like QReateBUZZ or Kaywa to generate your QR code. Make sure to add your LinkedIn QR code to your business cards and résumé. Android phones come with QR code readers and there are free reader apps for iPhones, so it's simple for someone to scan your QR code and be sent straight to your LinkedIn profile.

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3. Create a bold headline

Your professional headline runs directly below your name on your profile. By default, your current job title will fill that space. Don't let a run-of-the mill title command that key space.

When employers run a LinkedIn search, the results that appear display names, photos and headlines. You want to have something that captures people's attention, so make the most of those 120 characters. Tailor it to say exactly what you do, or the kinds of jobs you're seeking. For instance, mine reads, Expert/Author/Speaker. If you aren't sure what to type in there, LinkedIn has a prompt for you to click and see what others in your industry are using.

4. Join groups

Get involved in LinkedIn groups that relate to your current work, alma mater, past employers or other interests. Comment on posts from others and add your own. It displays your expertise to prospective employers. Plus, it's astonishing how many new "connections" you can make, when you interact.

5. Create regular updates

If you've read a terrific article — share it with your connections as an update. It illustrates that you're continually learning new things. "Statistically speaking, we know that if you share once a week you increase your chances of having your profile viewed by a recruiter tenfold," says LinkedIn's career expert, Nicole Williams.

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