Once you’ve written your cover letter, have your references ready, and your social media pages have been cleansed, it’s time to pay attention to your LinkedIn profile. The right LinkedIn profile is a huge asset when trying to land your dream job, and it’s worth investing some time into perfecting it. Do you have an existing profile in need of some TLC, or are you starting from scratch? Either way, there’s a range of features and tools available, making it easier than ever to create a professional profile bound to get you noticed.
Even if you’re not using LinkedIn to apply for jobs, many employers will check out a job seeker’s LinkedIn profile during the recruitment process. So, it’s important to ensure your LinkedIn profile really pops and that it showcases your work experience, skills, professionalism and personality. Read our top 10 LinkedIn profile tips.
1. Sell yourself with a great LinkedIn headline
Your headline is the first thing that jumps out when someone visits your profile, and getting your headline right is top priority. As an alternative to simply writing your current job title, include dividers (|) to list core responsibilities and industry experience. For example: Social Media Marketing | SEM | Fortune 500 Experience. It’s concise and professional. Having these keywords in your title immediately tells potential employers what you’re all about.
2. Choose a great LinkedIn photo
A clear, smart, smiling photo wins every time and gives a warm and positive first impression to potential employers. Did you know that LinkedIn profiles with colour photos that clearly show your face receive over 20 times more profile views, and 9 times more connection requests? A clear image will also make it easier for someone to identify your profile after meeting you in person.
3. Avoid buzzwords in your profile
Terms such as responsible, creative, analytical, organisational, driven, and innovative are some of the most overused buzzwords on CVs and LinkedIn! Be more creative and avoid being vague - really think about your top job skills and how to best describe your value and experience. Instead of simply stating that you’re ‘hard-working’ or ‘results-driven’, for example, demonstrate what these qualities have enabled you to achieve. Specify how you added value, made progress, or achieved a certain result. Simple, practical terms also help you steer of overused buzzwords; ‘solved’, ‘launched’, ‘orchestrated’, and ‘optimised’ are action verbs that demonstrate responsibility and make you look great.
4. Use a customised profile URL
Your LinkedIn profile URL by default is usually your first and last name usually followed by a sequence of alphanumeric characters, and it doesn’t exactly jump off the page... Did you know you can edit it? Change the URL to simply read your first and last name e.g. linkedin.com/yourname.
5. Write LinkedIn articles
Articles which you’ve created on LinkedIn appear on your profile, so it’s a great way to communicate your professional interests and industry knowledge. To get started, click Write an Article at the top of your homepage, which takes you to the publishing tool. You can also add images and rich media when creating your article, for visual impact. Your articles are displayed on the Articles section of your LinkedIn profile, and are shared with your connections and followers in their news feeds.
6. Use added media on your LinkedIn profile
Creating a summary with added media can help make a visual impact with your profile. Adding a link to your website, project or video, or any additional media forms you’ve worked with, to bring your summary to life. Demonstrate the value you brought to your past positions and showcase experiences that have enhanced your professional development.
7. Collect LinkedIn recommendations
How powerful is it when someone sings your praises, giving future employers an insight into how professional and experienced you are? LinkedIn Recommendations helps you do just that. To start requesting recommendations, head to View Profile, scroll to the Recommendations section and click ‘Ask for a recommendation.’ Be mindful about which recommendations appear on your page; the user can click on the post to learn more about your connection and their professional credentials.
8. List your Top Skills
Showing off your top skills provides a powerful overview of what you offer to potential employers. Highlight skills that set you apart from other candidates. Think carefully about the in-demand skills for your job industry and list the ones that you have, along with any skills which give you a competitive edge. Your connections can endorse you for your skills too, which really adds credibility.
9. Follow relevant LinkedIn groups
Following community organisations or industry groups can add a professional touch to your profile. It helps to provide a picture of your values when people can see which news sources, influencers and brands matter to you.
10. Include educational background and awards
Finally, don’t forget to include your educational background, and any honours and awards you’ve received - you can even mention relevant volunteer experience, or languages you’re fluent in. These are accomplishments that can differentiate your profile from those of other candidates with similar work experience and job skills.
The decision to start looking for a new job is exciting, and your new career might be just around the corner.