With over 575 million users and counting, it’s no surprise that LinkedIn is now one of the most actively used platforms when it comes to recruiting, professional networking and keeping up to date with industry knowledge.
As a Digital Recruiter, I personally use the platform to head-hunt talent both locally and internationally. It’s a great source that enables you to reach out to people who are not only actively looking for new roles, but those people who are passively interested also. You’d be surprised about how many placements are filled by those who actually hadn’t been considering a move initially.
“Great – So all I need to do is create a LinkedIn account and the job offers will start flooding in?” Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that…
But here are 10 tips that will help enable you to effectively manage your LinkedIn profile so that it stands out from the rest of the crowd:
1. Start with a professional photo – An appropriate photo for LinkedIn is one of the key starting points that needs to be managed for your profile. The reason why this is so important is not about being judged on looks, but rather it might be the first impression that new potential employers might get a look at.
2. Make your headline stand out – Your photo and your headline are the first things people will see when looking at your LinkedIn profile. You want your headline to be relevant and clear. Typically, people tend to put their job title and company which is fine, but in some companies’ job titles may be unique which means you need to ensure the role is relevant to the job you’re actually doing... Not just what your company might be calling it. Often people who are looking to recruit you may search under ‘current job titles’ which means your profile could easily be getting over-looked. One thing for sure is to avoid long spammy titles.
3. Make your LinkedIn summary about you, not everyone else – Your LinkedIn summary is a chance to write a brief statement or a few short paragraphs about yourself to give people a better understanding about you personally. You want to avoid buzzwords and writing the same jargon that a lot of people typically tend to put on their summary.
4. Keep your work history relevant and up to date – When listing your career history, you don’t need to put every job you’ve ever worked, potential employers won’t care about your paper-round, so it’s best to only list the jobs that are relevant to your career experience and goals.
5. Treat your profile like your resume – For this, be sure to go into detail about your responsibilities and accomplishments that you’ve achieved in your work history. Far too often profiles get overlooked because recruiters and employers are looking for specific experience which they can’t tell whether you have or not because your profile is list of job titles without the details.
6. Endorsements and recommendations – Another effective way to have accomplishments listed is to have people do them for you. Recommendations and being endorsed for relevant industry skills give people a great insight into what you’ve managed to accomplish and achieve. And when it comes from someone else, it can be very effective. Don’t be afraid to ask ex-colleagues and people you’ve collaborated with for LinkedIn recommendations, especially if they’ve given you a job well done before-hand. Endorse colleagues for skills you feel they excel in and they are also likely to do it back.
7. Add links to relevant sites – If you have any work-related blogs, online material that supports your career achievements or an online portfolio, make sure you utilize the URLs that LinkedIn allow you to add to your profile. These are all essentials that could help potential employers and recruiters reach out to you. And from my experience, these always help to impress.
8. Languages – Something that is often over-looked is adding what different languages you can speak on your profile. Being able to speak different languages at a professional level is a great skill and can really help make your LinkedIn profile stand out from other people, this is especially relevant for international employment. Some recruiters will actively filter their searches based on people that might have the requirement to speak a specific language and if you’re someone that does but doesn’t have it listed on your profile, you could be missed.
9. Become a groupie – A great way to show that you’re engaged and active within your profession or industry is to join relevant groups. LinkedIn is full of groups and communities that actively engage in discussion and often you’ll find you can make many connections to people who are also working within the same field as you.
10. Publications – Don’t be afraid to become an author. All users can write and publish their work on the platform, with this being a great way of getting noticed as it enables you to share your perspective about what’s going on in your field or discuss the latest trends and developments. If you have external publications or articles, don’t hesitate to post these on your LinkedIn either.
In summary, LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool when it comes to your career. Whether you’re just looking to grow your network with professionals within your industry or you’re looking to utilize it as a tool to help you find a new opportunity, it needs to be managed correctly to have the desired effect.
As mentioned at the start of my article, in my opinion it’s always worth staying on top of your LinkedIn, even if you’re not currently looking for a new role, you never know when recruiter might drop into your inbox with your dream opportunity… so it’s best to give them every reason to do so.