When putting together a LinkedIn profile, many people make the mistake of duplicating their CV. But there’s so much more it can do for you. A LinkedIn profile gives you the chance to project yourself to your market and add legitimacy to your claims, all while engaging with other professionals and assessing where your skills put you on the market for jobs.
Almost 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn, including all of our managers – which means they’re ideally placed to advise you on how you can get the most out of it. Here are their top 10 suggestions:
Have a professional photo
People don’t really warm to a darkened, characterless silhouette, so include a professional-looking headshot. No grainy selfies, holiday snaps, family members or nights out. If you don’t have a serious picture, people visiting your profile won’t take you seriously either.
Use a catchy headline
Pretend it’s the front cover of a newspaper. Create a headline that will capture your target market’s attention and encourage them to view your profile. Include your position, business name and a strapline that quickly summarises what you do and who you serve, such as ‘Helping companies maximise their digital proposition.
Keep it updated
One of the pillars to social media success is consistency, so update your LinkedIn status regularly with useful content for your target market.
Be connected…but not too connected
People like to connect with connected people, so bulk up your list of contacts with alumni and former colleagues. Make enough connections so that your network is useful and your profile is visible, but don’t connect with people just for the sake of it.
LinkedIn is all about building relationships, not spamming people to see if they’ve got any jobs going. Once you start engaging with people in your groups or liking and commenting on the same content, then you can ease your way in for a more personal dialogue. People will be far more likely to interact with you if you’re personable.
Add media to your summary
Go beyond your CV by sharing media such as videos, images, presentations, articles, blogs or any other media that illustrates what you do. Include your Twitter handle and any websites. This type of content not only gives you a more engaging profile, but also helps to position you as an expert.
Load up the keywords
Firstly define what words potential employers will be searching for to find you. Strategically place your chosen keywords throughout your profile and summary to improve your chances of coming higher in search rankings. But be careful not to overdo it or your profile will lose its impact.
Get yourself out there
Marketing is all around you: it’s in your social platforms, it’s in the media, it’s on your way to work. Make sure you take it in. Keep up to date with innovations in your market and develop your skills by attending networking events and courses. Digital is always evolving – you need to evolve with it.
Get your connections to recommend you to help you build credibility within the market and distinguish you from the competition. Any more than 10 is a good number, with no more than two from any one job. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and former colleagues for recommendations to help start you off.
Okay, so you might get endorsements from people you don’t know for things you don’t do, but having no endorsements looks suspicious. Besides, people do look at them. You can delete endorsements and rearrange them in order of relevance if you need to. Endorse other people to encourage them to endorse you back.