LinkedIn is a social network for professionals to make business connections, share work experiences, and find jobs. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft and has over 575 million users and 40% of these users access it daily.
LinkedIn uses algorithms to ensure your profile is at the top of a recruiter or hiring managers search.
To ensure you will be at the top of searches, you will need a complete profile and engage regularly. Below you will find 10 Tips on How to create a great LinkedIn profile which has worked for me since I became a member back in 2008.
Stick around to then end for some bonus tips!
1. Profile and background picture
Most recruiters and employers will check out your LinkedIn profile even before they call you and they will want to see a professional photo with a smile. Say cheese!
Try and use a photo which has been professionally taken rather than a general photo you have taken with friends and family, this will show the employer or recruiter how serious you are about your profile.
Stay away from photos with multiple people, wearing sunglasses, holding alcohol or blurry photos. I see these types of pictures daily and I would skip past them as they are unprofessional. First impressions count so dress business smart and make a good first impression with a potential hiring manager or recruiter.
There is a cool website called Photo Feeler where you can upload your photo and others will rate your photo based on skills like Likeable, Competent, and Influential. Listen to the feedback and then upload your photo!
As well as your profile picture you can include a background picture, use this space to sell your skills. I have a background picture which has images of people and a statement ‘helping you take control of your career’. The background picture makes an instant statement to those viewing my profile and shows my speciality is within careers.
The headline within LinkedIn tells the hiring manager or recruiter what you do or specialise in and appears after your name. It is your opportunity to hook your audience!
A finance specialist will have a headline like ‘helping companies achieve sustainable growth, improve cash flow and profits’, this clearly explains their skills and encourages the hiring manager or recruiter to continue looking at their profile.
Many individuals do not use a headline however use the opportunity to show how you can solve a problem. If you are not sure what to write, check out similar LinkedIn profiles or just use a job title you are targeting.
Remember LinkedIn’s algorithms requires a completed profile relevant to the industry and job role you are targeting.
3. About Section
This will be the first area hiring managers and recruiters read so use it to sell your skill set and strengths. Tell them what you can do for them and why they would want to hire you.
Think about keywords that they will be searching for to find your skill set and strengths and ensure they are included in this section.
4. Work Experience
Your LinkedIn profile is not your CV so you do not need to include everything you would in a CV / Resume. LinkedIn is more of a snapshot of your background so as long as you include the company name, job title, dates of employment and a brief summary of your work experience this will suffice (you can always upload your CV / Resume to your profile).
You want the hiring manager or recruiter to want to learn more about your experience so ensure there are keywords and let the rest be told in your CV / Resume.
We live in a world where we like to see recommendations and LinkedIn is no different. It is like everything you choose in life, if you have the option to purchase the same product and one comes with no recommendation however the other has multiple recommendations then you will choose the product with multiple recommendations as it makes you feel safe.
The same principle is used in LinkedIn, hiring managers and recruiters want to see recommendations of the work you have done, it makes them feel safe. Be sure to have recommendations from previous managers as well as colleagues.
6. Contact Details
If you are looking for a job and have updated your LinkedIn profile, please make sure you include your contact details. Hiring managers and recruiters can only message a certain amount of individuals like you each month depending on their package with LinkedIn, once they have reached their amount of messages for the month they have no other way of contacting you unless you supply them with your contact details. Include either a mobile number or email address or both!
7. Education & Qualifications
You may need a specific degree or qualification for certain job roles, so include this on your LinkedIn profile! Include name of degree or qualification, which university or qualification body and dates. You do not need to include things like what you did in your dissertation as they can ask you for this at a later stage.
Once you have your profile, do not just wait for hiring managers and recruiters to come to you about job and career opportunities. Be proactive and connect with people you know, send them a personal message saying you feel connecting will be mutually beneficial.
Do not start spamming multiple people you do not know as the LinkedIn algorithm will block you from using the site. When I first started using LinkedIn, I wanted to reach multiple people so was sending multiple requests to connect however I got blocked and was unable to use the site for weeks.
I use LinkedIn as a daily tool, so to not have it available is like a hairdresser not having their scissors!
Post regularly to show your connections your expertise in your chosen field or industry insights. Your connections will like and share your posts which will then spread to their community. The more individuals looking at your profile the more chance you have of being noticed and contacted for jobs or just to pick your brain on your expertise.
10. Custom URL
When you join LinkedIn, you are provided with a URL (the address of a web page) for your profile however it will be a long set of numbers. LinkedIn enables you to shorten the URL to just include your name. Go to profile, then edit profile and URL on right rail and enter what you would like your URL to be called and then click save. One of my pet hates is when I read CV’s / Resume’s and candidates include their LinkedIn URL and it has 15 numbers after their name. Go the extra mile and spend 60 seconds to have your own URL, it looks better on your CV / Resume!
To make you more personable include interests and maybe charities you support however these are not generally searched for by hiring managers and recruiters.
There are various community groups on LinkedIn in your chosen subjects. Ask to join and participate in discussions to get noticed and become the go to person for your chosen field.
Remember LinkedIn will be used for the duration of your career so ensure to update it every time you change jobs, take on a new qualification or have a new skill. Recruiters and hiring managers are moving away from the traditional methods of recruiting through job sites. They rely on headhunting candidates through LinkedIn so you need to be on the site to be noticed. Do not hesitate and use our 10 Tips on How to create a great LinkedIn profile.
If you have created a profile, please comment below, and let us know what does or does not work for you.