6 Ways To Boost Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is tricky to navigate, and everyone has their own opinion as to what works. How much or how little information should you include? Will recruiters care about that temp job from 10 years ago? What skills will help you to stand out and get noticed? Here are 6 tips to help you get the most out of your LinkedIn profile:
1. Attention-grabbing headlines.
Underneath your name, the headline is the first piece of information recruiters will see. Make the most of your 120 characters by including your job function, industry, and a short status update to clarify your unique situation, for example: “Expert ITIL-Certified Technical Support Specialist seeking new government role” or “Second Year UNSW Law Student with practical legal experience seeking internship at a leading firm”. And while you’re at it, edit that URL so you don’t have 20 numbers after your name – it looks much sharper.
2. Selfies are not professional.
Recruiters are likely to reject LinkedIn profiles without profile pictures – so get one! You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional photographer (consider a shop that offers digital passport photos) but a selfie is a dead giveaway that you aren’t taking your job search seriously enough. Even if you decide to use your phone to take the photo, at least get a friend or co-worker to hold the phone for you. Also, wear work-appropriate clothing, make sure you’re standing in front of a plain background, and smile!
3. Keep the summary simple.
Ever heard of an elevator pitch? Yes, you need one, and it should be short and sweet – and relevant. Don’t write about every subject you aced in high school, or that reception role you held 15 years ago which has nothing to do with the job you just applied for. Basically, your summary should let recruiters know who you are and what you have to offer in a few sentences and bullet points (try to include facts and figures). Create a short but cohesive story of your job history and future career goals, and try to include a recent achievement, your main strengths or specialisations, and some industry keywords to make yourself more searchable – but lose the jargon.
4. Experience doesn’t mean just paid work.
Explore the different sections on LinkedIn. You can add memberships, internships, professional training and volunteer experiences – these are all valuable ways to stand out from the crowd and create a well-rounded profile. Remember to link your experience to the company if they have a LinkedIn profile. And use current tense for your current job and past tense for your past jobs. Common sense, right? It’s also just as important to make sure there aren’t any unexplained gaps in your history, incomplete or inconsistent information (like missing dates or errors), or discrepancies between your LinkedIn profile and your resume – because recruiters will look at both. Any red flags could mean the difference between getting that interview or a rejection message.
5. It’s still about who you know.
In a world of fake profiles and resume bots, building online legitimacy is essential to getting headhunted. Profiles with only a dozen or so contacts are very unappealing because effective workers are also effective networkers. Having over 50 contacts is great but ideally you should be aiming for 200 or more in your network. To start with, connect with your friends, co-workers, people in your industry and people from your school or university. You can also reach out to contacts of your contacts, people you meet at social events, and people who work in companies where you are applying for a job. To add even more legitimacy to your profile, you can also ask for recommendations, such as short references from former managers or positive feedback from clients.
6. Advertise your availability.
Use the “Open Candidates” option so that you can privately tell recruiters you’re on the job hunt without alerting your current work. That way you’re much more likely to be contacted about potential opportunities. And the stronger your LinkedIn profile, the closer you are to landing that dream job.