A whopping 90 per cent of recruiters and employers head to LinkedIn to search for quality jobseekers, across all industries and from entry to senior levels.
This highlights the importance of a LinkedIn profile that ticks the boxes and looks professional.
Without a LinkedIn profile, you’re missing opportunities without knowing it. A poor LinkedIn profile sends the wrong message about your hard skills, soft skills, experience and major achievements.
Tips for whipping your LinkedIn profile into shape
Here are tips from face2face recruiters to help whip your LinkedIn profile into shape.
Include a professional-style photo
Include a photo—always. These days, mobile phones take amazing photos.
Pose naturally with good posture.
Dress professionally for your photo.
Look direct into the camera. Smile.
Follow these helpful hints and read ‘Your resume: photo or no photo?’
- Be dressed as you would for a job interview. This is not the time to look like you’re heading to a bar or the beach.
- No funny selfie. You may find it hilarious, but professionals likely won’t.
- Look direct at the camera and smile. Opt for a flattering image of your face and upper body.
- Stand naturally. There’s no need to pose like a super model, which could send the message you’re vain.
- Have good posture. Stand straight with shoulders back. Slouching can make you look lazy.
- Crop the photo well and make sure the image is clear. Poorly cropped, fuzzy photos could send the message you don’t care about quality.
- Have a friend or colleague take photos so you can test different shots and select the best.
The summary is your chance to make a memorable connection and show soft and hard skills (learn about the difference in this expert article) and a bit of your personality.
Write in the first person (I, my, me, myself). Capture your major achievements and attributes employers seek, such as being a team player and excellent time manager.
Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn’s search algorithm to find potential candidates. The job title carries the most weight in the algorithm, so use this space for the keywords that best describe your job title and industry.
Use a string of at least five keywords, starting with the job title, then location and then keywords relating to the position. Here’s an example:
Finance Manager, Canberra, Budgeting, Forecasting, Financial Analysis
This approach enables recruiters and employers to filter the number of candidates who come up in a search and locate highly targeted candidates.
This section needs to be ‘wow’.
- Be precise and include evidence of your experience where possible (numbers, statistics, specific accomplishments) not generic, vague statements.
- Use key words because this is how recruiters and others search for certain jobseeker skills and experience.
- Where possible, add company logos for places you’ve worked, for visual interest.
- Use short, sharp bullet points so readers can skim.
Hint: Be sure your LinkedIn profile content matches your resume content.
Put your most senior level of education first and avoid going way back to kindergarten.
Where appropriate, include professional development courses demonstrating you keep your education up-to-date.
Licenses and certifications
Add licenses and certifications relevant to your career and positions you aspire too. This can include, for example, MYOB if you’re in finance. Stay away from hobby-related certificates unless they’re relevant.
Giving back, through work or in your personal life, shows you support your community. Potential employers see this as positive.
Skills and endorsement section
Since anyone can give a thumb’s up to anyone else, this section is questioned by some recruiters and prospective employers. Still, endorsements can’t hurt.
Be careful with mutual connections (like your direct colleagues). If that’s all you have, this section could look rigged.
The more recommendations you have, especially from managers and clients, the higher you’ll appear in searches.
Correct and up-to-date information
Have your current contact info on your LinkedIn profile, such as mobile number and personal email address. Check that links are up-to-date and working.
Proofread and then proofread again
You won’t do yourself a favour if your LinkedIn profile has grammar and spelling errors. This suggests you can’t write well or proofread.
Read your profile several times and get one or two others to also proofread.
Keen to learn more?
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