With over 610 million members, LinkedIn is one of the worlds largest networking platforms for professionals and can, therefore be classed as a very powerful recruitment tool for job seekers and recruiters alike. We understand these insights can be daunting, that's why it's so important to make yourself stand out when on the search for a new career.
Your profile needs to effectively demonstrate and display your expertise, ability and experience (without being a replica of your CV) in order to convince recruiters, hiring managers and potential employers that would you make a tangible difference to their organisation.
To support you in your job search we have detailed some tips and tricks on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile for job-seeking purposes and make YOU visible to all of the opportunities out there.
Your headline is the first thing a recruiter, hiring manager or potential employer will read. Craft your headline to be a mini value proposition, packed with verbs and relevant information that you want recruiters to know. Additionally, make sure to add the industry you work in.
For example, instead of your headline reading “Head Chef”, it could read, “Award-winning Chef and creative mastermind seeking fresh opportunities.” However, tread carefully and ensure that your headline is still professional and respectful.
TIP: Make your headline stand out or people will move on!
Secure the best first impression by adding a professional picture that will make your profile more inviting and personal to recruiters. Choose a current high-quality picture with great lighting and simple background that would encourage your profile viewers to feel confident in trusting you with their business.
Having a profile picture is extremely important when seeking new opportunities. Profiles without a picture portray a lack of credibility and personal branding. Remember to keep your picture fresh and up-to-date!
TIP: Profiles with a picture are likely to have 21 times more hits and 9 times more connection requests.
Make it easy for your network to contact you. Provide a list of your own email address, mobile number, your company website and even your personal platforms such as a blog or Twitter page.
Customised LinkedIn URL
Customise your LinkedIn URL to make your profile personal and professional. Ideally, your customised URL should read wwww.linkedin.com/in/yourname/
Use your customised LinkedIn URL on your CV, covering letter and other material materials, including email signatures and your blog.
TIP: If you have a popular name, insert the first letter of your middle name or add a number to make it unique and memorable.
For further instructions on how to customise your LinkedIn URL, please click here.
When writing your summary, begin by following the 3x3 rule; three paragraphs with three or fewer sentences in each.
First Paragraph: Reiterate your purpose from your headline in the first paragraph and detail basic information about yourself.
Second Paragraph: Get more specific about your work, projects you have undertaken, results you have driven, companies you have worked with etc.
Third Paragraph: A concise call-to-action that makes it clear why and how a recruiter, hiring manager or potential employer should get in touch with you.
TIP: Throughout your summary, include keywords that recruiters, hiring managers and prospective employers might search for.
Keywords should be relative to your role, experience and expertise. As an example, keywords for the hospitality industry might include; customer service; interpersonal; relationship building; flexibility; multi-tasking; client management; crisis communication.
Experience & Volunteering
Your experience and volunteering ventures should be a brief overview of your resume. Lists all the professional positions and titles you have had throughout your career and show the support you've carried out for your chosen cause or charity.
A combination of sentences and bullet points is becoming the trend as opposed to a straight bullet point list. Be sure to use simple and concise language that is easy to read.
TIP: For some organisations, volunteering experience is just as important as your professional experience.
Record your skills and ask your connections to endorse you. This is a great way to quickly display your expertise. Make sure to place the more important skills at the top and use high-volume search words, to ensure you appear higher in searches.
TIP: Make sure your skills and endorsements are relevant to your sector. This will also help to improve your LinkedIn search rating.
If you have the ability to speak multiple languages, make sure you list them. Whether you are looking for a role in hospitality, tourism or in an office environment, the ability to speak additional languages is a huge benefit to many organisations.
When adding languages, LinkedIn will provide you with options to list your proficiency in your particular languages. The six-proficiency options include native or bilingual, fully professional, professional, limited working and elementary.
TIP: Even if you are currently studying a language, this is a great asset to highlight.
Education & Awards
Add your education history and experience. It should include any degrees, qualifications or certifications that you have studied or achieved.
When reporting your education achievements it is great to include any grades or marks that you received either during or at completion. You should report these in the standard in which they were issued. You can divulge further information and the corresponding grade equivalent later in the recruitment process if required.
TIP: You should also include any online or CPD (Continual Professional Development) course you have taken.
Recommendations are a great way to make you and your profile stand out. You cannot write your own recommendation, but you can request them from past and present colleagues, clients, past and current employers. However, be sure not to ask for a recommendation until you have been working with someone for at least six months.
To start with, aim for five to ten recommendations to include on your profile with a mixture of client, colleague and employer recommendations spread across your previous roles. The two most recent recommendations for a given role will be visible next to the corresponding experience position.
TIP: Recommendations from clients are invaluable to your profile, as their testimonials will drive up your credibility. They also provide valuable references.
Show recruiters, hiring managers and potential employers that you care about what you do by joining groups that reflect your industry and line of work. Go the extra mile and participate in group discussions to really impress!
TIP: You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn, but remember to keep them applicable to your interests or industry.