8 easy steps to pump-up your Linkedin profile.
LinkedIn has quickly become one of the key tools in the recruiter’s armoury, with an estimated 93% of hiring managers searching the social media giant for their next employee, and if you want to stand a chance of winning the battle, then you need to optimise your LinkedIn Profile because you know very well your potential employers will check you out.
There’s a popular question that SEO experts like to ask whenever they’re giving a talk and it’s this. ‘Where do you hide bad news?’ Answer: ‘On the 2nd page of Google as no one will ever find it there.’ While this rather poor joke is normally used as an ice-breaker in their talks, the exact same principle applies to LinkedIn and if you’re not appearing high enough in search results, then you could be missing out on some great career opportunities.
By following our ‘8 easy steps to optimise your LinkedIn profile’ strategy, you can start to stand out from the crowd and have recruiters come to you.
1. Have a clear purpose
When setting up your LinkedIn profile, you need to have a clear purpose and reason for doing so. Without having any direction you’ll end up with a mishmash of information presented in an incoherent way.
If your purpose is to use your profile as a passive recruitment strategy, in that you’re fairly happy where you are, but you’re keen to hear about new opportunities, then your profile should contain keywords that recruiters use when looking for new candidates. Skills, experience and business buzzwords are great things to add.
If, however, you’re actively seeking work, then don’t be afraid to say that in your profile and you must in some way demonstrate the value you can add to a business by including previous examples of what you have achieved.
2. Get recommendations
Telling people you’re great is one thing but having other people say how wonderful you are, is even better. Former colleagues are often more than happy to write a recommendation and with LinkedIn, you get to see it before it goes live on your profile, so you’re in control as to whether it appears on your profile or not.
A slightly less authoritative approach, but no less useful, is to get endorsements of your skills. This requires even less work from your contacts – so more of them should be willing to do it – as all they need to do is click on an endorsement button and it automatically gets added to your tally. The more endorsements you have for a particular skill, the higher you’re likely to rank. The great thing about endorsements is that if you endorse someone else, then they generally endorse you back.
3. Stay professional
It’s not Facebook or Instagram and your contacts don’t want to hear about what you had for dinner or your woes about running out of space on your TV digital recorder. Instead, you have to keep any updates you post professional and focused on your career ambitions. When writing about your past experience, don’t criticise a previous employer or be negative about your reasons for seeking new employment.
This extends to the photo you use and while dancing at a music festival might show off your ‘true-self’, unless you’re going for a job specifically in that industry it might put some prospective recruiters off. A headshot is the traditional image to use but if you have something more dynamic, like you presenting on stage, then this could help you stand out.
4. Personalise your URL
When you first create your profile, the URL for it will contain not just your name but a mixture of numbers and letters. You can enhance the chances of standing out by personalising your profile URL. It’s a very simple thing to do, just go to the Edit-Profile page and you should see a little pencil icon next to your URL. Make sure the URL contains your full name and not your nickname or what your footie teammates call you on a night out.
Not only can it boost your search rankings but it creates a more professional impression and shows that you are somewhat computer savvy – and who doesn’t want to appear to be tech savvy? Plus, it’s much quicker to add into your cover letters and email signatures.
5. Get connected
Many people fill their connections list with friends, family members and those people they sit next to in the office, but how many of them can actually help you move jobs? Sure, it’s a great way to start off but you know what the guy next to you does, so there’s no point reading his updates. It’s far more beneficial to connect with decision makers and influencers in your industry or individuals you look up to. Having the opportunity to carry out dialogue with these people will boost your credibility.
And it’s not only about connecting with individuals. If there are companies that you want to join then follow them as they’ll often post updates on their vacant positions on LinkedIn. Join industry groups to allow you to stay up to date with what’s happening in the market so that when you do get an interview you can appear knowledgeable on not just the company but also its position within the market.
6. Be active
By commenting, posting and contributing to group discussions you’ll be increasing your visibility. Given the extendable reach of a social media profile, you’ll never know who’ll read your insightful post or well-articulated comment, so being active is a great way of enhancing your reputation. But caution is needed. You don’t want to be seen as one of those people who just spams someone else’s post to increase the views of their own profile and putting up professional content does require time being dedicated to it.
7. Complete your profile
Having a complete LinkedIn profile is an absolute must. By including details on your education, experience, interests, professional qualifications, honours, awards and contact details, you’ll be making it easier for recruiters to find you. It can also help cut down on the overall recruitment time as hiring managers will already have a good idea of what you can do.
If possible, try adding media such as Pdf’s, images and videos to your profile. It will help engage the reader and demonstrate what you’re capable of.
8. Spend time on your summary
It’s the part most people complete first but in fact, it should probably be done last and have the most time spent on it. Your summary is what all recruiters will read and if you don’t capture their attention within the first few lines, then all is lost.
There are a wealth of resources available online on how to write a great LinkedIn summary, so there’s no point us rehashing it here, but it’s worth repeating that your summary does have to be enjoyable to read, contain all of your key skills and the achievements you have reached in your professional life.
Your LinkedIn profile is like your shop window. You want people to look at it and be amazed at how spectacular you are and it’s not something that you can throw together in a matter of minutes and still expect recruiters to come calling with their job offers.
If you would like help in putting together your LinkedIn profile, follow this link to get in touch with us and we’ll show you how to optimise your LinkedIn profile to get in the right track to find the career you want.
This post was written by Neil Pinnock for People Place.
Neil is a Copywriter and Marketing Consultant. And having spent over a decade working for a top FTSE 100 company, now dedicates his time to working with businesses around the world to help them leverage their message and connect with their customers. With a passion for business enterprise, he wants to help more people discover their passion in life and go to work feeling happy each day. Neil cooperates with People Place in article writing among other contributions in regular basis.
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