If you’re job hunting and you don’t have a LinkedIn profile…well, it’s about time you get one!
LinkedIn is a resource you should always be considering when you’re on a job search, but how do you get noticed? What kinds of things do you need on your profile to optimize your chances of landing a job or even being head hunted? Yes, head hunting happens ALL the time, so you want to ensure you’re profile is prepared.
We’re both massive fans of LinkedIn and we always try to keep our profiles up to date. Again, why should you take advice from us? Julia has been head hunted numerous times on LinkedIn which let’s be honest, is the ultimate dream.
We’ve done the research for you, so open up your LinkedIn profile, your resume, grab a coffee, and get ready to create a profile that ACTUALLY stands out!
#1 Your Profile Photo
Whatever you do, DO NOT post a selfie of you as your profile photo. This isn’t Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll just look silly. Also, don’t NOT have a photo. LinkedIn research has shown that your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photo.
No, this should be a professional headshot of you. When we say headshot, we mean a photo of you from the shoulders, up. You want to make sure people can recognize who you are and actually see your face.
No, you don’t need to hire a photographer to take the photo. Try and take the photo somewhere with great lighting, a non-distracting background, and don’t forget to smile!
Make sure you also dress the part. Beach wear, low-plunging necklines, no shirt, are all no no’s when it comes to clothes.
#2 Include Your Full Name
No nicknames guys! Just use your first and last name. If you’ve got a middle name, feel free to add that in as well.
#3 Have an Amazing Headline
Your headline is that short section just below your name. Keep it clear an concise, and tell people why they should read on. It should consist of keywords that allow anyone who is looking at your profile, know what industry you work in.
Enter in your current job role, as well as a few keywords that are related to your industry, and then how you provide value. For example:
“Experienced Copywriter | Sales Marketing Specialist | Secures sales and long-term customer loyalty”
Now, if you are currently unemployed, you can put ‘looking for new opportunities’, or something similar to let people know you’re on the hunt.
#4 Make Your Summary Engaging
This is one of the most important sections of your LinkedIn profile. You want to keep your viewer engaged and eager to learn more about you.
Your summary should be just that…a summary. Summarise your professional experience, any qualifications you have and be sure to chuck in some personality! The last thing you want to do is bore your reader.
Your summary should have a mission. What do you want to communicate to your reader? What do you want them to know about you? Here are a few things you can cover in your summary:
- What you’re passionate about – and how that ties into your work experience
- Any accomplishments – it’s your profile so you definitely have bragging rights
- What are your strengths – tell people what you’re good at!
- Include statistics – people love numbers, especially when those numbers mean positive results
You can choose to either write your summary is first or third person, that’s all down to your personal preference. We prefer first person as we like to be personable with our profiles.
Feel free to add in any contact info as well at the end of your summary. Whether it’s an email, a website, or phone number.
If you need some extra inspiration, we loved this article about writing engaging LinkedIn summaries.
#5 Listing Your Work Experience
If you already have a resume, this part is easy. But don’t just copy and paste your resume into your LinkedIn profile. This is YOUR profile and you have the opportunity to showcase your personality…do it!
You want your profile to be inviting, approachable, and engaging. Feel free to write in the first person if that’s something you want to do!
Keywords are great! If you’re applying for a job within a specific industry, it doesn’t hurt to do a bit of research to ensure that you’re targeting that industry. Have a look at a few job descriptions and see what keywords are being used. Try and incorporate as many as possible into your professional experience.
Keywords will also help your profile be found by LinkedIn searches. Really, your whole profile should be filled with keywords, starting with your headline.
If you’re getting stuck, take a break! There are so many ways to write the same thing and sometimes you just need to get in the zone for this part. Don’t do anything half-heartedly. Remember your goal is to get a job, and you want to ensure this section is optimized to help you do just that.
Have your most recent employment at the top and if something isn’t relevant to the industry you’re applying for, leave it out!
Make sure as well you list what industry or industries you’ve worked in. Again, this helps people find you. According to LinkedIn research, by adding in your industry, you can receive up to 9x more profile views…and who doesn’t want that!
#6 Collect Those Endorsements
Having people endorse you for skills on LinkedIn is just more validation that you know your sh*t. People are vouching for you!
Your first step is to actually list your skills. Make sure these are RELEVANT skills as well. Relevant to the industry you’re applying to, and your past work experience.
Sometimes LinkedIn will prompt you to endorse someone, and you definitely should when that little window pops up! People are then more inclined to return the favour.
Or, if you want more endorsement, ASK! This awesome article on Portfolium has a great draft email you can use to send to people if you’re looking for endorsements.
Another way to get endorsements is to keep updating your skill set as you go. When you post updates, this will pop up in your connections’ feed.
#7 Ask For Recommendations
This is just more icing on top of the cake for you. Not only can it improve your credibility but it also make you stand out from someone who doesn’t have any recommendations.
It’s like when you go to buy a product online that you’ve never tried before, you like to read the reviews to see if people are raving on about it. The same goes for you!
Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation! If you’re changing jobs, just ask your boss or one of your colleagues to write a short paragraph on why you’re so awesome. The worst thing they can say is no.
#8 Identify The Most Important Sections On Your Profile
You can actually rearrange sections now on your LinkedIn Profile. Cool right?! (ok, maybe not cool, but helpful).
You may want your skills section to show after your profile summary, or your education straight after your summary. Prioritise your sections as to what you want people to see first. There are no rules, just do what’s best for you and your personal brand.
#9 Build Your Connections
Aim for at least 50 connections. Ask your colleagues, friends and family if they have a LinkedIn Profile and connect with them! This will also help boost you up to All Star status.
According to LinkedIn research, those profiles who hold an All Star status are 40x more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
Your profile will tell you what you need to do to achieve All Star status, and when you’ve reached it.
#10 Enter In Your Education
No, you don’t need to put grades or years if you don’t want to – again, there aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to your LinkedIn profile.
Start with your most recent education and work down from there. And hey, if you did well in a subject or received an awesome GPA, put that in! It’s your profile, so you absolutely have bragging rights.
By adding in your education this is also a great searching tool. It allows others who went to the same uni that you did, find you and connect with you. And don’t be afraid to do the same. Even if you don’t know the person.
Say for example, someone from the same uni pops up in your ‘People You May Know’ section. They might work for a company you’re interested in, or have experience in an industry you want to get into, feel free to connect and contact them! You’ll be surprised how going to the same uni can form a bond between people.
Ok, so that was a lot. Did you find it helpful? Now it’s time to implement all those tips to your own profile and get your LinkedIn profile to All Star status.
Have you guys ever been head-hunted or had any success finding jobs using LinkedIn as a platform? We’d love to hear you stories!
Don’t forget to check out our article on how to write a killer resume and cover letter for more tips…and to grab your free resume and cover letter templates!
Amanda & Julia xx