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Optimise your LinkedIn profile for job seeking
18 February 2016
With over 4million-registered users, LinkedIn is a very powerful recruitment tool. However, when you are seeking new employment opportunities your LinkedIn profile should not just be a copy of your CV.
Your profile needs to effectively demonstrate and display your expertise, ability and experience in order to convince recruiters, hiring managers and potential employers that would you make a tangible difference to an organisation.
To help you in your job search we have detailed some tips and tricks on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile for job seeking purposes.
Your headline is the first thing a recruiter, hiring manager or potential employer will read. Don’t just write your job title. Craft your headline to be a mini value proposition, packed with verbs and other active language. 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!
Adding a profile picture makes your profile more inviting and personal to recruiters, hiring managers and potential employers. Let it be clear that LinkedIn is not Facebook. Do not use photos that were taken during a night out or when you attended a festival. Strive for a professional, but not too stiff image. Choose a current Hi-Res picture that would make a person feel confident in trusting you with their business.
Additionally, do not include other people in your profile picture as this has the appearance of a ‘Facebook’ type of photograph. This includes your partner, children and other family members.
Having a profile picture is extremely important when seeking new opportunities. Profiles without a picture portray a lack of credibility and personal branding. As mentioned, adding a picture makes you more inviting and approachable. Also, remember to keep your picture fresh and up-to-date.
TIP: Profiles with a picture elicit a 40% In Mail response rate.
List your email address, phone number, company website and other professional networks, such as your blog or Twitter handle. You want to make it easy for people to contact you.
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, project you have taken on, 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.
Your experience sections should be a brief overview of your resume. Lists all the professional positions and titles you have had throughout your career. Although it is great to write a few sentences about the organisation, be sure to include details about your responsibilities and achievements.
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: The focus of this section should be about your achievements and the results you have generated. Be sure to mention any interesting methods or tactics you have used.
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.
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 to list them and let recruiters, hiring managers and potential employers know. 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, full professional, professional, limited working and elementary.
TIP: Even if you are currently studying a language, make sure to list it.
Add your education history and experience. It should include any degrees, qualifications or certifications that you have studied, received or achieved. Be sure to also add any specific study or focus areas that you completed while studying.
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.
Honours & Awards
List any honours and awards you have gained or won. These can be both internal and work-related or external and relating to life outside of work.
TIP: Be sure to add a brief description about the honour or award.
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.
Do you have any volunteering experience? Make sure to add it onto your profile as it is a great feature to show support for your chosen cause or charity.
TIP: For some organisations, volunteering experience is just as important as your professional experience.
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.
Your LinkedIn profile is a very powerful tool that can have a significant impact on your employment prospects. When looking for new employment opportunities, ensure your LinkedIn profile is working for you by following these simple tips.
If you have any questions about LinkedIn, or would like assistance in optimising your LinkedIn profile for job seeking, please contact a member of the team who would love to help.