According to the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to headhunt candidates or eliminate people on their shortlist. Therefore, you DO NOT want a LinkedIn profile that will disadvantage you.
Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to showcase your skills and talents and help the right people and opportunities find their way to you. As your professional representation online, you can set it up to be discoverable through the millions of searches on leading search engines and on LinkedIn. Therefore, a strong profile is essential to your LinkedIn campaign. It is, after all, what expresses the value you will deliver to employers.
Maximise your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn's CEO recommends the following three tips to maximise the potential of your LinkedIn profile:
- Keep your profile up to date.
- Be comprehensive about current skills and objectives.
- Highlight your recent experience.
Your photo, name, and headline (which is listed below your photo) are the only items people see when they do a search. However, you don't want it to look like you haven't updated your page in a while when a recruiter or hiring manager views your profile. The more complete your LinkedIn profile, the greater your chances of being found and contacted by an employer. For the best chances, use your LinkedIn profile like your resume, providing a prospective employer with the BEST first impression and all the detailed information they need about your skills and experiences.
Have your LinkedIn Profile regularly updated
If you want to attract recruiters or hiring managers to your profile, make sure you regularly update it, including:
- Professional headshot profile photo: LinkedIn members with a profile picture are 14X more likely to receive page views.
- Background image: When a recruiter or hiring manager is using LinkedIn to reduce their shortlist, you want your profile to pop for them. Similar to a website banner, the LinkedIn banner can be designed to add a further layer of intrigue to the reader.
- Features: You can also strengthen your profile by adding links to download your resume, visit your professional website or view your online portfolio. Instead of using generic words to describe your skills, upload an example of your work to your profile such as a photo, video, or presentation. For recruiters, this will give them a great, visual display of your accomplishments to date – and is a great way of standing out from the crowd!
- Make your headline count: Your LinkedIn headline, name, and profile photo are the only things a LinkedIn user will see when s/he conducts a search on the LinkedIn database. Therefore, your headline is your online personal brand and the only cues that user will get before deciding whether to click through your headline to your full profile. As such, your catchy headline should be used to help you stand out by sharing your top skills or highlighting the type of position you are looking for.
- Summary: The summer section is similar to a cover letter, it should be designed for the reader and inform them of what you can offer, rather than telling a reader what you want.
- Education: People with at least one education listed are 7X more likely to be viewed in general.
- Skills: LinkedIn research has found that almost 89% of professionals feel that skills are more important than job titles. LinkedIn allows a maximum of 50 skills to be added to your profile and more than 45,000 skills to choose from. So many people keep adding to their list, without removing anything that is no longer value-added. For example, if you are a Graduate Accountant and you still have hospitality skills in your LinkedIn list, you will be attracting recruiters for hospitality roles. If you keep your skills to a targeted minimum, recruiters will quickly see that you have a career progression in mind. A bonus to keeping your skills to a minimum is you have a higher chance of your skills being endorsed. (See how to get endorsements below).
- Recent experience: Members with at least one past position listed on their profile are 12X more likely to be viewed for potential opportunities through LinkedIn. To achieve an “All Star” status, you need a current job to be listed. If you are currently unemployed, create a ‘current position’ anyway so that you show up in search results. In the employer section, mention ‘Professional Skills” for now and discuss the transferable skills that you can offer the next employer. Avoid using the words “seeking opportunities” because they can make you look desperate. For the title, you could write, “My career highlights” Or something catchy, then highlight your Top 10 achievements.
- Previous Experience: You also want your previous experience evident to anyone who views your page, especially when you are actively engaging with connections and companies to land a job.
- Less commonly completed sections: Listing your projects, courses, and accomplishments are all added ways that you can enhance your profile.
Make your LinkedIn Profile FUN!
If your profile is just a boring chronology of the jobs you have held, you are missing out on the branding power of a well-written LinkedIn profile. Add some elements to give your profile spice and substance, such as your best-ever PowerPoint presentation or a video of you speaking to a group. Use the Status Update feature to share a blog or article you have written, invite people to an event you are holding and anything else that will add value for your LinkedIn connections.
When you share content, you can ensure your personal branding gives a GREAT first impression by adding LinkedIn symbols to spice up the content. We recommend the following when updating your profile to professionally increase the reader’s engagement (please note, due to Unicode being used, the symbols will look slightly different when copied into LinkedIn)
- Emphasise your bullet points in your detailed experience summary: ♦✦✔►✩
- Heading symbols to show career growth, you are results or data-driven: ▂ ▃ ▅ ▆ ▇ ▉
- Emphasise a quote: ❝ ❞
- Contact details if you add them to your summary: ✆ ✉ ☎ ☏
- Catch the reader’s attention to key strengths: ☑☑ ✓ ✔
- Symbols to point to your website or portfolio in a post: ☜ ☞☝ ☚ ☛ ☟ ➟ ➡ ➢ ➣ ➤ ➥ ➦ ➧ ➨ ➚ ➘ ➙ ➛ ➜ ➝ ➞
- Create a list: ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄ ➅ ➆ ➇ ➈ ➉ ➊ ➋ ➌ ➍ ➎ ➏ ➐ ➑ ➒ ➓
- Website to change the position overview font: https://www.messletters.com/en/
Beware! Do not go symbol overboard! You want your content to still be readable. If the symbols are well-placed and used sparingly, symbols can certainly help you to stand out.
If you would like to have your LinkedIn professionally updated or if you require any further assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you with it.
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