If you are looking for your next career move, passively or actively, it’s important to mark your profile as Open to Opportunities. If you don’t, it’s going to be much less likely for any recruiter or recruiting company to click onto your profile when they search for potential candidates.
Profile Picture. Your profile picture is probably the first thing someone you’re trying to connect with, a colleague or a potential employer, is going to notice.
This is your first impression. The rules for this one are easy.
Your picture should look professional and smart regardless of what role you are applying for. This DOESN’T mean you need to be wearing a pencil skirt or a suit and tie, or that you need to shell out £££ for a professionally taken headshot in a studio.
What this does mean, is that you should have washed your hair and made sure you’re wearing clean clothes. Have a friend take a picture of your head and shoulders against a plain background, rather than snapping a quick selfie in your bedroom or whilst you’re walking down the high-street.
This is potentially your only chance to give a potential hirer a first impression of you before they decide whether you would fit the open role they have.
A good rule of thumb is to present the person looking with the same image of you that would walk into an interview room.
Have your full employment history - including current job set up. We’re not just talking company names with dates. Make sure you include specific details about your responsibilities and key aspects of your job, your title doesn’t actually tell anyone anything – a breakdown of what each role included, that’s the most important and useful bit of your employment history.
Having key skills on your LinkedIn profile is important. A recruiter or hiring manager is only going to find you in their LinkedIn search if you’ve marked down the skills that match their search criteria. LinkedIn is very clever, but it’s not magic, you need to give it a hand.
Get skill endorsements. You can list all the skills you want on your LinkedIn page, you are instantly more credible, and your skill set more reliable if previous colleagues and managers have confirmed that you do indeed have the skills you claim by endorsing them on your profile.
Recommendations do the same for your character, work ethic and general ability as endorsements do for the skills you claim to have. Ask managers, co-workers and team members to write a brief recommendation for and of you.
LinkedIn makes this easy to do, you can send a recommendation request via LinkedIn messenger, you can even have LinkedIn send the person little reminders. Usefully, you can choose whether or not to display your recommendations on your profile. SO, if someone were to write a bad recommendation, you wouldn’t have to display it.
Make sure you fill in the; Education | Volunteer Experience | Licenses & Certifications | Accomplishments | Interests sections
These sections of your profile give you an opportunity to bring more facets to your personality. They allow you to demonstrate more about who you are outside of your professional persona and allow you to shout a bit about what you’ve achieved and are interested in outside of the office.
Invest time in your LinkedIn profile. The more time you spend getting the detail and the information right, the more powerful your profile will be.
A profile with something in every section and a decent amount of recent activity will always be more impressive and eye-catching than a profile that looks empty when you open it.
Treat your profile as your informal CV. Use it to display who you are professionally and what you’re interested in. But write as yourself, not in the third person. This profile is about selling the humanised, multi-faceted, 3D perspective of the professional you.
Keywords, Keywords, Keywords. But NO buzzwords.
Keywords are important. Recruiters and hiring managers search LinkedIn using keywords. If you’re and RPA developer and somehow don’t use the keyword RPA, then you may not appear in a recruiter’s search for RPA developers.
Ultimately, the more keywords you use the more likely you are to be found.
NOTE: keywords are not buzzwords. You want to refrain from using buzzwords and phrases like; organised, proactive, hard-worker, works well independently or in a team, self-motivated, strategic thinker, reliable, efficient etc
The final tip that our consultants have to give you, is that even if your profile is one of the best on LinkedIn… it won’t mean anything if you’re not actually active on the platform.
Think of the platform like being at a networking event. Even if you’re the best dressed, smartest and most articulate person in the room – you won’t get anything out of it if you stand in the corner and don’t engage with people.
So be active, share articles you find interesting, engage with other people’s posts, like, comment and share. Start discussions in LinkedIn groups, encourage people to engage with you by asking questions and asking for feedback, post a blog. Let your professional interests and personality shine through.