A complete LinkedIn profile drastically increases your chances of receiving employment opportunities through the social network. Although it can be time consuming to optimise your profile, utilizing its full potential can make your profile stand out from competing profiles in the same industry. On average recruiters spend just six seconds looking at the profiles of potential candidates, therefore it behoves you to do everything in your power to capitalize on this small window of opportunity.
We’ve put together the ultimate guide for you to consult when updating your LinkedIn profile. If you follow its edicts you’ll stand a better chance of grabbing the attention of recruiters.
Your headline is the most important element of your profile as it’s what people see when you appear in search results. Ensure it’s succinct, creative and includes key words related to your role and industry. LinkedIn scans for keywords, so it’s vital you limit the previous job titles you list, featuring only those which expand on your stated professional job title.
It’s important to define yourself as a credible professional from the start so input your proper full name. Always bear in mind that LinkedIn is a professional social channel so pet names, nicknames, handles and terms of affection are to be eschewed.
Viewers form their first impression of you based on your profile picture, so make sure it’s a professional, high resolution shot of you against a plain bcakground. Your goal should be to look professional and approachable rather than quirky or photogenic. It’s imperative that you attach a photo as profiles with an image get 14 times more views than those without.
A bespoke URL immediately suggests that you’re aware of your personal brand and are possessed of at least elemental technical skills. Again, LinkedIn is a strictly professional channel, so customise your URL to your name and not anything quirky or fun. The goal here is facilitate your profile being discovered by recruiters. Your URL can be edited by clicking on the light grey box below your name and photo.
Your summary should be a concise description of your professional background which makes reference to your present and future career goals and ambitions. It’s an opportunity for you to list your most valuable assets and other key information which distinguishes you from other candidates. It’s advisable to include contact information so recuiters are incentivised to contact you.
To give your profile more personality, you can include media such as videos, slideshares, and articles. The addition of such content demonstrates your skills and abilities and lends credibility to the claims made in your summary.
In a similar fashion to your resume, you should list your work history, beginning with your most recent post, including details such as job title, employer’s LinkedIn profile and relevant dates. You should also add a brief summary of your responsibilities and key achievements from each job. You can pad entries with media attachments pertaining to particular jobs. Try to include apt keywords which will boost your visibility in searches.
Seize the opportunity to add any significant projects that you have worked on and demonstrate your skills. You can add links to these projects, as well as the details about who you worked on the projects with & links to their LinkedIn profiles. College projects can also be included here.
Include information about degrees acquired and schools/colleges attended. Although details of education are only really important for candidates applying for entry-level positions it’s still an integral part of a complete profile. It also opens up networking opportunities on the platform.
Skills and endorsements
Add skills that are relevant to your profession, background and interests. These will help you to appear in search results for these specific terms. Furthermore, people who flesh out their profiles with relevant skills attract 13 times more views than others. Once skills have been added, your connections are then able to endorse you for these, thereby making you a more credible candidate.
We hope you find this guide helpful in completing your LinkedIn profile and that your optimised presence on the platform yields desired results in your employment search.
For more advice on securing your next role read our