Anyone looking for a job should be on LinkedIn. It’s effectively Facebook for business. A place where you can keep up to date with your industry, and network with like-minded people.
Aside from that, it’s the first place employers look for candidates. It will inevitably increase your chances of getting hired.
Optimising your profile is relatively simple. LinkedIn gives you a profile rating, and your aim is to get to ‘All Star’ level. Though there are a few tips for making your profile stand out.
There are a few no-no’s here. Many people think it’s acceptable to use a picture from a night out as their profile image. It isn’t. People also tend to use blurry, low-res images. Don’t.
Your profile photo should be professional. Use a simple headshot against a clear background (a blank wall). Black and white is ok, but no other filters.
If you don’t have a headshot, use a photo from a professional setting, i.e. you at work.
If you don’t have that, your last resort is to use an image of you pursuing one of your hobbies. This will show character. Have a picture of you running, cycling, skiing? Use that. But you MUST be alone in the picture – no group photos.
Finally, your cover photo. Don’t use a picture with an inspirational quote; it’s super cringeworthy.
You have 2.7 seconds to grab someone’s attention. Start with a great headline!
The purpose of your headline is to grab someone's attention and make them want to read the rest of your profile. It doesn’t necessarily need to be creative, but it needs to be intriguing.
The best (and easiest) thing you can do is state what your job is, and what you’re looking for. For example…
“Experienced retail professional | Looking for opportunities in Sales”
If you don’t want your manager to find out your job-seeking, replace what you’re looking for with the current market you service. For example…
“Experienced retail professional | Helping customers find the best outfits in line with the latest trends”
Your About section should be informative yet light-hearted. You want to keep people engaged, not bore them.
Give a two-sentence summary of your work, and why it’s helpful to the market you service.
Follow up with the techniques or systems you use to do your job.
State your biggest achievement at work.
Next, state what you’re looking to develop in. This enables you to show what you’re interested in moving forward in without giving any hints to your employer that you’re looking for a new job.
Finally, tell people a bit about you. What do you get up to outside of work? Give people an insight into your personality.
People neglect this section, but it’s the quickest way to show off your abilities.
Ask a colleague or your manager to write you a short review – why are you good at your job, what part are you particularly good at, and why do they like working with you?
Write this down in a Word or PowerPoint, pop the company logo underneath and the person who wrote its name.
Take a screenshot and upload the image to your Featured section. This acts as a testimonial and will display your strengths to a potential employer from a third-party’s point of view. Example below:
Barely anyone on LinkedIn is doing this, so you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Here’s where you give a summary of your employment. Again, this should be engaging but not dull. There’s no need to explain what the business is as people can click on the company link and find out themselves.
For each employment, give a two-sentence summary of your role. What is the purpose of the job, and what do you do to achieve that?
List your main responsibilities using bullet points (no more than five points!)
State your biggest achievements at each job (no more than two!)
It’s important that you link to the company’s you’ve worked at so their logo displays on your profile, and employers can click through to the company pages. Don’t include any dead links!
Skills get you found. If you’ve listed Photoshop as a skill, your profile will appear when an employer searches for people with experience in photoshop. Therefore, it’s essential to add as many as possible, but be relevant!
Once you’ve listed your skills, ask your friends and colleagues to ‘endorse’ them. This adds validity to your profile.
This section is in the depths of your profile and rarely gets a look in. However, filling it out helps to improve your LinkedIn profile rating. If you have undertaken some relevant courses or speak a second language, people will certainly want to know about them.
Include everything work-related you can think of – publications, courses, languages, etc.
Following pages and influential people is a great way to stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry, or the industry you want to go into.
It will also give potential employers an insight into what you’re interested in, and whether or not that aligns with their industry and interests. If you follow pages related to the industry you wish to enter, chances are employers from that industry will be impressed and feel you’re well-aligned to work with them.
If you are completely inactive on LinkedIn, your profile will still be found (by those who look hard enough), but people probably won’t contact you because they’ll assume you’re never online to reply.
Being active will…
Be active, build a network, get employed.
There is a box you can tick on your LinkedIn profile that lets people with a Recruiter License know that you’re open to opportunities.
You can check the box and list a bunch of job titles you’d be open to. This encourages people with those opportunities available to get in touch with you.
Plus, LinkedIn hides this feature from anyone else that works at your company, so there’s no risk of your current employer seeing it.
If you’re on the lookout for a new job and would like some help getting your LinkedIn profile up to scratch, get in touch below, and we can line up a call to do a LinkedIn session 😀.
Jae Jackson-Loveridge | Director