- February 20, 2017
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Candidate, Recruitment, Social Media
When you’re not looking for a job, it can be easy to ignore your LinkedIn profile. Sure, you add people you meet at networking events as contacts and accept requests as they come in, but everything else? Eh, you’ll get to it when you need to.
While we definitely don’t recommend this approach (hey, the recruiter from your dream company finding you and offering you a job? It could happen), we get that there are times you need a total LinkedIn profile overhaul. And for those times? We’ve got you covered!
Here, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about tricking out your LinkedIn profile—from crafting a stunning summary to selling your accomplishments, projects, and skills—in one place. Read on for expert-backed ways to make your profile seriously shine—and start getting noticed by recruiters.
1. Put in the Time to Make it Awesome
Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds that recruiters will find you in the first place. So, completeness is important from that standpoint. It’s also important after a recruiter has found you and decided to click on your profile: He or she wants to know what your skills are, where you’ve worked, and what people think of you. So, don’t get lazy—fill out every single section of your profile. The good news? LinkedIn will actually measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer suggestions on how to make it stronger.
2. Get a Custom URL
It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL (ideally linkedin.com/yourname), rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. How to get one? On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.
3. Choose a Great Photo
Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional image, and pop that baby up there. Not sure what “appropriately professional” means? Take a look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Match that. (Pro tip: “If you can show yourself in action, do it,” says a blogger who experimented with multiple LinkedIn photos to see which garnered the most attention. “A photo can go a long way to convey passion, energy, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that are hard to write about.”
4. Write a Headline That Rocks
Your headline doesn’t have to be your job title and company—in fact, especially if you’re looking for jobs, it shouldn’t be. Instead, use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty, value proposition, or your “so what?” The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.
Read More: Does Your LinkedIn Headline Suck?
5. Use Your Target Job Descriptions to Your Advantage
Take a look at the job descriptions of the positions you’re after, and dump them into a word cloud tool like Wordle. See those words that stand out? They’re likely what recruiters are searching for when they’re looking for people like you. Make sure those words and phrases are sprinkled throughout your summary and experience.
6. Don’t Waste the Summary Space
“Ideally, your summary should be around 3–5 short paragraphs long, preferably with a bulleted section in the middle. It should walk the reader through your work passions, key skills, unique qualifications, and a list of the various industries you’ve had exposure to over the years.” Career Horizons
7. Use Numbers Right Up Front
“Much like the rest of your resume, you’ll want to highlight past results in your summary. When possible, include numbers and case studies that prove success. Social media consultant and speaker Wayne Breitbarth, for example, quickly establishes credibility with his audience by stating in his summary’s second sentence: ‘I have helped more than 40,000 businesspeople—from entry level to CEO—understand how to effectively use LinkedIn.’ Never underestimate the power of a few key stats to impress a reader.” American Express OPEN Forum
8. Be Warm and Welcoming
“The summary section is your primo opportunity to showcase the good stuff about you, with your target audience in mind. Give ’em a little chance to get to know you. So what do you think the first impression is going to be if you craft your summary like some long, pompous speech? Or worse, craft it in the third person? They’re going to think you’re pretentious. And it’s going to be hard for that reviewer to get a feel for your personality and style. Be you here. Keep the brand message in line with all of your other professional marketing materials, but realize that LinkedIn is a platform designed for interaction.” JobJenny
9. Avoid Buzzwords Like the Plague
What do the words motivated, creative, enthusiastic, track record, passionate, successful, driven, leadership, strategic and extensive experience have in common? They’re the most overused buzzwords on all of LinkedIn. Come on—we know you can be more original!
10. Treat Your Profile Like Your CV
Your CV isn’t just a list of job duties (or, at least, it shouldn’t be)—it’s a place to highlight your best accomplishments. Same goes for your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your experience section is fleshed out with bullet points that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.
11. But Use the First Person
You shouldn’t use the first person on your CV, but it’s actually fine to do so on LinkedIn (think “I’m an accomplished Business Development Manager who secured funding lines of £4,500,000 for new business customers last year,” not (“Harry Stevens is an accomplished Business Development…”).
12. Get Personal
“Your profile is not a CV. Write as if you are having a conversation with someone. Inject your personality. Let people know your values and passions. In your summary, discuss what you do outside of work. You want people to want to know you.” Forbes
13. Show Your Achievements
Recruiters spend countless hours scouring LinkedIn in search of the high performers. And when they find them, they contact said high performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a high performer in your summary and experience section (think action words, accomplishments, talking about times you’ve been promoted or hand-picked for projects).
14. Include a Current Job Entry, Even When Unemployed
“If you’ve only listed the past positions you’ve held in the experience section but show nothing current, you’ll probably get missed in most searches. Why? Because most recruiting professionals exclusively use the current title box to search for candidates; otherwise they’d have to sort through thousands of candidates who held a certain role (for example, graphic designer) as far back as 20 or more years ago. The simple workaround, if you’re unemployed, is to create a dummy job listing in the current section that includes the job title(s) you’re targeting—‘Full-Time Student/Financial Analyst in Training’—followed by a phrase like ‘In Transition’ or ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ in the Company Name box.” University of Washington
15. Add Multimedia to Your Summary
“A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words, especially when it comes to showcasing your work. LinkedIn lets you add photos, videos, and slideshow presentations to your profile summary. So instead of just talking about your work, you can show examples. Or show yourself in action. Or share a presentation. Click ‘Edit profile,’ scroll down to your summary, then click on the box symbol, then ‘add file.’” Business Insider
16. And Your Work Experiences
You can do the same thing for each of your work experiences. So, use this to your advantage: Add your company websites, projects you’ve worked on, articles you’ve drafted, or anything else that can provide a more multimedia look at your work.
17. Add Projects, Volunteer Experiences, or Languages
Do you speak Mandarin? Have a project management certification? Adding these “additional” profile features (listed on the left when you’re editing your profile) is a great way to showcase your unique skills and experiences and stand out from the crowd.
18. Request One LinkedIn Recommendation a Month
When someone says, “You did a great job on that project!” ask him or her to take a snapshot of that success by writing a recommendation on LinkedIn. And don’t be afraid to specify what you’d like the recommender to focus on. Getting generic recommendations that say, “Lea was great to work with” aren’t very helpful—but something specific, like “Lea’s contributions on the project enabled us to increase forecasted savings by 5% over our original plan” will really showcase your strengths.
19. But Make Them Strategic
“Make a strategic plan for your recommendations,” says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert. “Approach different people and suggest particular skills or experiences you would like them to highlight.”
20. Update Your Status
Just like on Facebook, you can update your LinkedIn status as often as you wish. So, do! Update it professionally and strategically (share the article you just wrote, or an interesting piece of industry news that you’d like to share… Not what you ate for lunch today!), ideally once a week. Your entire network will see your updates, both in their news feeds and in the weekly LinkedIn network updates emails they receive.
21. Be a Groupie
LinkedIn Groups are an incredible resource—and they can do wonders for your job search. By joining groups relevant to your profession or industry, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your field. But more importantly, you’ll instantly be connected to people and part of relevant discussions in your field—kind of like an ongoing, online networking event.
22. Have at Least 50 Connections
Having 50 or fewer connections on LinkedIn tells recruiters one of three things: 1) You are a recluse who knows very few people, 2) You’re paranoid about connecting with others, or 3) Technology and social media are scary to you. None of these are good. We’re certainly not suggesting you need to be one of those weirdos who wears your “abnormally large number of connections” like a badge of honor, but you really should have at least 50-100 people with whom you’re connected as a starting point.
23. Make Sure People Can Find You
Don’t forget to add your email address (or Twitter handle, or anywhere else you’d like to be found) to the contact information section. You’d be surprised how many people leave this off!
24. Be Excited
At the end of the day, the most exciting people to hire are the people who are the most excited about what they do. So, make sure your LinkedIn profile shows your enthusiasm. Join and participate in groups related to your field of expertise. Use your status line to announce stuff you’re doing related to your field. Share interesting articles or news. Connect with the leaders in your industry. Fly your cheerleader flag.
If you’d like some more tips on improving your LinkedIn profile and standing out from the crowd using Social media Download our FREE candidate ebook here.
In this FREE guide we’ll also show you…
- How to step off on the right foot when it comes to starting the search for your next career challenge
- And share some great interview advice, from pre-interview preparation to using the STAR technique to deliver superbly structured answers
Nailed all of the above and you’re ready to start getting noticed by employers? Submit your CV here or get in touch and let’s chat
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