When it comes to looking for a new job your LinkedIn profile can work wonders! Sure, it’s great to have a fantastic profile all year round (you never know when a recruiter may come calling with your dream job), but if you’re just getting started with your job search, it’s the perfect time to review your LinkedIn profile.
If you want to have the ultimate LinkedIn profile that will maximise your chances of job search success, look no further! Following these tips will make your profile stand out and impress recruiters and potential employers.
1. Invest your time
The more complete your LinkedIn profile is, the better it is! Having a complete profile makes it easier for recruiters to find you, plus once they’re on your profile they will be able to get a really good idea of your skills and experience.
Be ready to dedicate a reasonable amount of time to getting your LinkedIn profile right. You should also take note of how complete LinkedIn is telling you your profile is and work through their suggestions of what other areas you need to fill in.
2. Use a professional photo
Your LinkedIn profile photo should be clear and you should look professional and friendly. How “professional” your photo looks will depend on the sector and industry you work in. If you’re unsure, then take a look at other people who work in your industry and see what they are wearing in their photos.
You should also make sure that nobody else is in your profile photo. When recruiters and employers are looking at your profile they want to instantly know what you look like.
Don’t underestimate the power of your profile photo. It suggests a lot about you to employers and if they can’t visualise you working in their industry or business then they won’t be hiring you.
3. Create a custom URL
When you initially set up your profile, LinkedIn will assign you a URL that is clumsy and usually full of numbers. However, it will be much easier for you to publicise your profile if you create a custom URL. This should ideally be – linkedin.com/yourname.
You can customise your URL by going to the edit profile screen and selecting the ‘edit’ button next to your current URL. This is located at the bottom of your basic information.
4. Write an awesome headline
Many people simply have their job title and company as a headline, however this won’t help you to stand out. Think about how you can use your headline to highlight your speciality and value.
5. Make the most of your summary space
The summary section of your profile is right near the top so will be one of the first parts that visitors read. Use this section to highlight your passions, skills, unique qualifications and some of the industries you have gained experience in.
You also have the opportunity to showcase some of your biggest career achievements in this section. Where possible, you should use key figures and clear evidence of your success.
6. Include multimedia
You can include multimedia (images, videos, web links, slideshows, etc.) in your summary and in each of your work experience sections. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to showcase your work and is clear evidence of your skills.
7. Steer clear of buzzwords
Using conventional buzzwords on your LinkedIn profile and CV does nothing to help you stand out.
8. Your experience section should be like your CV
When filling out your experience section on LinkedIn, treat it like your CV. Don’t add a job title and company and leave it at that. Instead, bullet point some of your key responsibilities and highlight your biggest achievements for each position.
9. Don’t use the third person
It’s much better to use the first person (“I”) on your LinkedIn profile. Using the third person can make you sound old fashioned and unapproachable.
10. Get recommendations
You should aim to get recommendations from a range of connections. These can include managers, colleagues and customers/clients. Look out for opportunities where you can ask people to write you a recommendation, for example when they give you great feedback on a particular project.
Recommendations look great on LinkedIn and show employers that lots of other people value your skills and work.
11. Join relevant groups
Joining groups and getting involved in discussions that are relevant to your industry are a great way to connect with new people and demonstrate your passion.
Top Tip: If you’re looking for a group that will help you with your job search, we recommend this one.
12. Build your connections
You should have at least 50 connections on LinkedIn if you want it to work in your favour. Any less than this can suggest that you’re unsociable and don’t know many people or that you aren’t very tech-savvy and haven’t fully grasped LinkedIn.
Don’t panic and send out tons of connection requests to people you don’t know. If you input your current and past companies, as well as your education history, there’s sure to be plenty of people popping up that you know and can connect with.
13. Check your privacy settings
Unless you’re currently out of work, most people prefer to keep the fact that they are job hunting under wraps. A sudden LinkedIn overhaul could alert your colleagues or employer, but luckily you can amend your privacy settings so that others aren’t alerted to this information.
To edit your privacy settings, click on “Me” in the top right corner and then “Settings & Privacy”.