In recent years LinkedIn has became a very popular way of job searching, headhunting and generally progressing your career. So having an effective profile is one of the keys to enjoying career success through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is now the world’s largest professional network with more than 546 million users across more than 200 different countries (source: LinkedIn 2018). So it will come as no surprise that recruiters can see the benefits from advertising their vacancies on this platform.
LinkedIn statistics are impressive with 22 million users viewing jobs on LinkedIn every week so if you are looking for work then it is imperative your LinkedIn profile is prioritised. Here are my top tips:
Ensure you profile picture is professional – ideally dress in work attire. LinkedIn is a professional network so no holiday photos or holding a glass of wine etc. Ideally your photo should just be your face and shoulders and not full length.
When you create your LinkedIn profile there will be a long string of code in the URL that doesn’t look very professional. You can customise your LinkedIn by clicking ‘edit your public profile’. Make sure you this is your full name and completely avoid using any nicknames here.
It is very important to get this right. When recruiters are searching for potential candidates you need to ensure you have the right keywords in your heading or you are not going to appear in recruiter searches! Probably the worst thing to write is ‘currently seeking new opportunities’ as you will not appear in any searches. You only have a 120 character limit so be succinct and to the point.
Don’t leave large areas of your profile blank such as your career summary. You want to ensure your skills are fully showcased.
Ensure you obtain these, particularly some recommendations from former colleagues. This is like having your references showcased so a very valuable feature and can set you apart from the competition.
Now there is huge debate around the number of connections you have. Some people like to have a small focused network with people they have done business with or may do in the future i.e. a quality network of connections, while others believe they should have as many connections as possible whether they have dealt with the person before or not. I personally believe the former. However, it could be argued it depends what kind of job you have. Previously LinkedIn ranked your profile based on the number of connections, but that has changed to be more focused on your behaviour and interaction with your industry (see next point).
Don’t just set your profile up and leave it. Treat it as a working document. Keep adding in achievements, new responsibilities or awards you obtain. Ensure you are engaging with your network; small comments occasionally on their posts is great; also if you can help them in anyway please do. This contributes to the “ranking” of your LinkedIn profile so is definitely a must.
To be as professional as possible and to simply display good manners and etiquette ensure you personalise your message when you are connecting through LinkedIn. This option is not available through your phone, but take the time to use a desktop and write a short message. They are more likely to connect with you and you will also set a good impression.
I hope that helps and good luck!
*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of TheCVGuru.co.uk which is a leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters in the UK. They also provide specialist consultancy services. Emma has over 10 years’ experience in recruitment and employment-related services covering a wealth of industries. Having been a professional employment consultant for several years, she has provided professional advice covering everything from professional CV/LinkedIn writing, effective job searching, interview skills and preparation, presentation techniques and general professional coaching.