Written by Kathryn Hall
As of 2021, LinkedIn had over 756 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide and is an incredible platform for networking. That is 756 million people who could help you with finding your dream career or helping to develop that skill you have always wanted to do!
Think about LinkedIn as a gigantic spider’s web that stretches around the world multiple times and allows you to show people your value, skills and achievements in multiple locations not just in the UK. In the age of technology remember that “the world is your oyster” and you don’t necessarily need to be based in the country that the company is based in.
Your LinkedIn profile is your 365 day a year window for recruiters and network connections to truly tell your story about who you are and what you want to be known for. With LinkedIn “first impressions count” the more complete and professional your LinkedIn profile looks the better the impression you’ll make to a prospect, contact, recruiter or potential employer.
You need a great LinkedIn profile that draws attention, says the right things and helps you really connect with the people who can help you expand your career. The following tips will help you on your journey to creating an “All Star Profile”.
Upload a profile photo
Put a photo as this puts a face to your name and makes it more likely for people to view your profile as people buy people.
Write an eye-catching headline
This is the first thing that profile visitors read and often people will leave it with just their current position. You have 220 characters that you can use as a small advertisement for you and what you do. Consider your target audience and show them what you do, what you bring to the table and shows your credibility.
Use the Blue/Green banner/cover photo to enhance your profile
Remember to make a good first impression with this and make it as inoffensive as possible. There are a few options available to you.
- Use a picture of your favourite place or something which demonstrates your brand
- Have a picture of you doing your job
- Use words or a quote that sum you up
- Use it as a call to action with details of key strengths, skills and contact details.
Craft an interesting summary for the About section
You have 2,600 characters to use to show what you do well and what you can bring to a new employer. Paint a picture of what makes you unique and how you can fix the problem that an employer might have.
- Introduce yourself and the value you bring to an organisation
- What are your key skills, experiences and achievements
- Bring in a bit about you outside of work – this could bring you something in common with recruiters or network connections
- Call the reader to action by asking them to connect with you to discuss new role, network connections or whatever you want your profile to do
Highlight your experience
Rather than just regurgitate every duty completed or responsibility held in your current and/or past roles use this section demonstrate the impact you’ve made along with 2-4 interesting and impressive bullets for each job.
Customise your URL
Your URL is the web address for your profile and is set up with your name and some gibberish numbers. Try to make it more relevant and memorable. You can adjust it within the edit your profile URL down the right-hand side of your profile.
Ask for recommendations
This section is key when looking for another role as employers want to know that others have approved your work. By asking for recommendations this gives real examples of how you made a difference to previous organisations.
Make yourself accessible
Being clear on how a network contact or recruiter can get in touch is really important especially as most people only have the free version and are restricted at sending messages. It is therefore important to list your email and phone number in both your contact section along with prominently within the about section. Remember to weave any specific words or phrased that are used within your industry or job role as this will help you appear more within searches.
Avoid using Out of Work or Unemployed or Seeking New Opportunities in your Headline
Recruiters don’t use words such as out of work, unemployed, seeking new opportunities or job seeker in their searches. There are a couple of options available to you.
- Within the about section reference that you are seeking new opportunities
- Use the Open to Work option to let recruiters know that you are looking for a new role. You can specify job titles, location, and type of work e.g. hybrid, remote, office-based etc.
- If you are unemployed create a role listing the job titles you are interested in and open to opportunities or seeking new opportunities.
The LinkedIn profile page is the foundation for your personal branding and needs to form part of your weekly strategy, whether using it for networking or indeed searching for a job.
Download this free checklist to check that your LinkedIn Profile has all of the required elements to make it an “All Star” Profile.