So you’ve decided to join the LinkedIn community…welcome! (where have you been all this time?!) We believe this will really help you to excel your job search.
Let’s get you set up…
Step 1 – let’s get the basics right
- Headline – this is arguably the most-important part of your profile! It’s important to be clear but creative, and include key terms that make it easy for others to quickly understand what you do.
- Name – this may seem obvious, but sometimes people can get it wrong! Include your first, last, and middle name (if applicable). This is not the place for nicknames, emojis or made up job titles (such as “Accounts Rockstar” or “Finance Ninja”).
TOP TIP: Add your industry when adding your name and headline to become more visible to employers
URL – LinkedIn gives you the option to customize your URL to make it easy for people to find you. Keep it simple and do away with a URL full of digits and symbols.
Step 2 – let’s put a face to the name
First impressions count and so your photo is a crucial part of your profile. Consider who will be viewing your profile and the desired outcome of securing a new role – now choose the most appropriate headshot.
The do’s and don’ts for choosing your LinkedIn profile –
- Take a high quality image – a blurry image does not set the right tone, so make sure that your image looks sharp. Consider asking a friend to take the picture for you, or even better invest in a professional photographer if you can!
- Look personable – gone are the days of folding your arms and pulling a stern face in your professional headshot. Be yourself and your photo will look genuine and therefore you’ll look approachable.
- Fit the frame – your photo should be of your head and shoulders with your face central in the frame. Think passport photo style (but with a smile!)
- Choose and unprofessional photo – LinkedIn is not Facebook and the selfie you took at your friend’s wedding after one too many champagnes is probably not appropriate here.
- Include family members – as above, LinkedIn is not the place for family snaps. Make sure your profile photo features you and you only.
- Choose a busy background – it’s best to opt for a simple background that does not distract from you. A photo with lots going on in the background may not stand out clearly on other’s feeds.
FUN FACT: Adding a photo to your LinkedIn profile can result in 14 times more profile views!
Step 3 – let’s add some detail
- About – Write a clear and to the point description, including your present and future business ambitions. This is also a good place to link any other social profiles or media links to support credibility. Provide links to slides, videos, podcasts, blog posts, and more.
- Featured – This is the perfect place to showcase content that you’re producing through LinkedIn. Consider writing articles or posting updates and then feature them here on your profile to make them clear and visible to employers.
- Experience – Think of your experience section as a reflection of your CV but with the links to videos, in-article quotes, slides, and other content you created. Adding detail and a variety of links here will keep the employer actively reading your profile for longer.
TOP TIP: In the experience section, try and avoid jargon or buzzwords that will switch off an employer – keep things interesting and tell a real story with your profile.
- Education – The education section is more critical for entry-level job seekers, but that said all LinkedIn users should include information about qualifications achieved – both at school, college and university level.
- Skills and Endorsements – Add skills that define your professional role, experiences, and capabilities. This attracts like minded professionals
FUN FACT: LinkedIn users who include skills on their profiles receive on average 13 times more profile views
- Recommendations – Recommendations add more credibility to your experience and work history. Having a selection of recent and relevant recommendations can go a long way in helping you have successful interactions on LinkedIn. Be sure to ask people you have a professional relationship with if they would mind providing you with a recommendation as soon as you set up your profile.
- Connections – Aim to make (at least) 300 connections as a minimum. However, we recommend broadening your network as much as suits you and the time you can invest in the platform. Be strategic in making connections with colleagues and peers in your industry, as well as present and past clients / customers.
- Groups – Join groups to maximize LinkedIn’s networking potential. Joining relevant groups is important because your profile is 5 times more likely to be viewed if you are active in groups. You can also message people who you’re not connected with if you’re both in the same group!
That’s it! You’re set up! There’s lots more to learn about LinkedIn and now your profile is ready we highly recommend that you start using the platform and engaging with others.
For more advice on your job search check out our other blog posts.