A LinkedIn profile for a candidate like yourself is not an option, it’s a critical requirement for your career. It’s your digital resume, your brand so to speak, live 24/7 for the business world to see. To illustrate this point, you never know when your job circumstances might change, or when you might get a tap on the shoulder from a recruiter. This happens more often than you think because we believe the best candidates are already working and kicking goals with their current employer. By following these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to a much-improved LinkedIn profile and in the process, open yourself up to a range of exciting career possibilities.
Essentially the more connections you have, the greater the credibility you’ll hold as a candidate. For example, executive roles generally seek well-connected candidates that have strong working relationships within their industry. While this is not necessarily an exact translation of your networking skills, the more quality connections you have, the better your position in the eyes of a hiring manager or recruiter. In addition, recruiters often seek referrals from LinkedIn contacts, so if you’re well-connected with many individuals in the same industry, this will further improve your standing and the chance of being presented with a new opportunity.
Your photo is one of the first things people notice, so present yourself as if you’re going to a job interview. To make a good impression, use a clear and professional close-up of your face and edit out any family members or pets for a truly professional pic. Better yet, work with a professional photographer to get that perfect headshot. And to be as authentic as possible, ensure that the photo you use is recent and not from a decade ago!
This is the short sentence at the top of your profile that acts as your marketing tagline, so make it short, sharp, and relevant to your industry. It should explain what you do in a single sentence. The tricky part is to creatively communicate your role within such a limited number of characters, so take your time to consider this and look up other industry leader profiles on LinkedIn for inspiration. If you settle on a headline but you feel like it’s not cutting through, ask a colleague or friend to view your profile to see if they get a sense of what you do. If they don’t, edit your headline and check in with them again to make sure it’s on-point.
This is the “About” section and here you can go into a bit more detail about yourself and your most recent work experience. This section is effectively a mini-bio and should summarise your entire career in two to three short paragraphs. Use this summary to detail ‘why’ you believe in your job or the industry you’re working in and how you got to this point in your career. It is here where you can really sell yourself, your passion and convey why you are the best candidate in your field. If you are looking for some inspiration, the LinkedIn Talent Blog has a range of helpful resources and summary examples to help you craft your own personal story.
Like your physical resume, LinkedIn is a great tool to communicate your employment history. When detailing your “Experience” in this section, it is important to keep it as brief as possible. No one in your network, and especially not a recruiter, will appreciate reading about every single task you were accountable for in your career to date. Make it easy for people to get a sense of your skills and experience by summarising your responsibilities and achievements within three sentences for each role. Importantly, always focus on your results and what you have been able to achieve for your employer or the business you are consulting with. Also be mindful of adding in correct dates for your employment and making sure you note any career breaks you have had, planned or unplanned. PRO TIP: Bullet points work especially well in this section.
In advertising, one of the golden rules is to stay top of mind to maintain your relevance in the market, and the same applies to your LinkedIn presence. By engaging in the platform, it suggests you’re current and up to date with industry developments – something employers and recruiters view favourably. It’s a good idea to get into a rhythm of proactively joining new groups, commenting, liking, sharing relevant posts and publishing your own posts to further build your brand. There are several free social media tools available that you can use to create content and schedule posts directly to your LinkedIn profile. If you can get into the habit of creating weekly content and ideally sharing up to 3 posts on your page each week, this is a great way to build your personal brand and communicate to your connections the business themes and ideas you are most interested in.
When posting, be sure to include any relevant hashtags and tag people or businesses that your post relates to widen your reach and attract new connections. And on the subject of connections, don’t be afraid to request new connections regularly. Make it part of your standard meeting or email practice to connect with people on the day you meet, that way you’ll have a better chance of them accepting your request as you will be top of mind.
In summary, LinkedIn is an ideal platform to grow your professional network, stay in the loop with the current job market and potentially even become head-hunted for a new opportunity.
Remember, networking isn’t about how many people you know, it’s about how many people know you.
If you would like more advice on how to optimise your online presence, get in touch with the Perks People Solutions today.