Having a good written LinkedIn profile is more important than ever now as you’ll find 85% of recruiters go to LinkedIn before looking at any other recruitment tool. LinkedIn will not only connect you with employers but also relevant groups and academics.
The first thing to remember when creating or updating your LinkedIn page is that it is so much more than a CV. You are basically having a conversation with someone so, inject your personality into your page. Let people know your passions and values. You can even capitalise the use of Multimedia. With the option of videos, photos, links and PDFs. Utilising these functions, you’ll instantly stand out showing off your creative spark.
1. YOUR PICTURE.
Let’s start off with the basics. Your photo. If you don’t have a professional headshot, make sure it becomes a priority. Never underestimate the power of first impressions as a lousy photo or even worse, no photo, ultimately may cost you your dream job. Make it clear, friendly and professional. If you can show yourself in action, then do it. A picture is worth a thousand words and goes a long way to convey your energy and charisma.
This is your chance to really grab your reader. Make sure your summary gets to the heart of what you are interested in doing and conveys both your expertise and eagerness to learn and take on new challenges.
Ideally, your summary should be 4-5 paragraphs long with a bulleted section in the middle listing key achievements. Also, make a call to action. If you don’t mind being contacted, you can always let the reader know this and encourage people to get in touch. For example; open to new opportunities.
3. GO FURTHER WITH A LITTLE SEO.
LinkedIn is a network of 500 million professions and with recruiters looking for people just like you every day, you’ll need to make sure they can find you. Believe it or not, there are several SEO tricks you can practice.
The first one is to claim your custom URL. If you can, make sure you use your full name in the URL.
Secondly, expand your network. LinkedIn search results are based on your LinkedIn network, so in order to be found by more people, it’s important you build a strong network of first-degree connections. The members of your LinkedIn groups you have joined are also in your LinkedIn Connections, so join groups to expand your network.
Lastly, get involved with the conversation! LinkedIn wants to provide accurate and relevant search results. Users with up to date profiles and lots of activity are clearly actively using LinkedIn and providing value. When you engage regularly, LinkedIn will reward you with better ranking because they want to provide the searcher with relevant, active profiles in their search results.
This is the section most like your CV. However, unlike a CV where you tend to list only 2-3 jobs, here you can list them all as it improves your chances of being found. Recruiters often search for people who have worked at a particular company in the past and if you don’t include that company in your career history, we won’t find you.
For each section in your work experience, list your responsibilities and most importantly your accomplishments. A recruiter or potential employer must know how you made a difference to the Company, whether it was a return in investment, organisation efficiency or a project you managed. If you can, add your company websites to link the projects you’ve worked on, articles you’ve drafted, or anything else that can provide a more multimedia look at your work.
5. ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS.
For the opportunity to make a great first impression and build credibility, ask someone you know to write a recommendation for you. This is one area that always gets overlooked and you’ll need to be proactive about it. Recommendations can be from anyone: bosses, colleagues, clients, mentors, anyone who has benefited from your skills or advice.
The best thing you can do to avoid a generic couple of lines highlighting nothing particular is when asking someone to provide a recommendation, and asking each person to provide a specific skill or by giving them the details. For example, if you want them to highlight leadership skills, remind them of two or three instances when you skilfully led a project.
6. USE YOUR VOICE
A perfect way to impress potential employers or grow business relationships is to express how passionate you are in certain areas. The best way to do this is by using LinkedIn Pulse. LinkedIn Pulse gives you access to the right audience. The LinkedIn network as you know is a network of 500 million professionals. So Share your perspective about what’s going on in your field, weigh in on recent industry development, or show off your skills as a writer. It’s a great way to get noticed.
According to LinkedIn, your profile will appear 40 times more in search results if it is complete.
Here’s what to include…
- A professional profile photo
- Your industry and location
- An up-to-date current position (with a description)
- Two past positions
- Your education
- Your skills (minimum of 3)
- At least 50 – 100 connections.
WHAT TO TAKE AWAY!
At the end of the day, your mission should be to get involved with it all. The most exciting people to hire are the people who are the most excited about what they do. So, your profile has to express your enthusiasm. Share interesting articles, news and connect with leaders in your industry.
Build relationships with groups and network with people who are doing similar work. Contribute to the conversation and lend your expertise to benefit the reader.
And the last thing to remember… be yourself.