If you’re going to apply for a new role, it doesn’t matter how great your CV is if your LinkedIn profile is terrible or even average. The first thing we do (no doubt like most agencies and corporates) after reviewing a good CV, is to head over to LinkedIn to get a feel for the applicant. We cross reference the CV against your employment history in LinkedIn, we look at your pic, read recommendations, we basically review the entire content of your profile. Coupled with your CV, it helps paint a picture of who you are and what you’ve done in your career. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a great LinkedIn profile. With this in mind, I have some tips and tricks to help you put together a profile that will help you get noticed and up your chances of securing a new role.
Tips and tricks to pimp your LI profile
- Let’s start at the very top of your profile. The public URL that LI issues you is usually a random number. You should change this. It’s your own personal link to your profile. Try to use your name where possible. Add an NZ if you need to further distinguish it. The link to your profile should go on your CV, so don’t go too crazy. Don’t use linkedin.com/buffdaddy007. Whilst it has a great ring to it, that’s a big no-no.
- Your picture should be next level amazing! I’ve lost count the times that I’ve gone to review a profile and found no profile picture. There’s a lot of power in a profile pic that exudes confidence, shows warmth and even intelligence. I’m not talking about an image with your sunglasses on and a beer/wine in your hand. Unless of course you run a bar. This is a professional network picture, emphasis on professional. If you can, get it professionally done. No webcams, no selfies in the mirror. And please, don’t have a picture with your partner in there. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify who in the picture the profile relates to. At a minimum, get a high res shot on a smartphone taken by someone else. Dress up smart, adjust the image with a nice filter, and smile!
- Your profile summary should be short, succinct and on point. It’s your intro, your chance to shine. It doesn’t have to be war and peace. It should contain a short synopsis to explain who you are, what you’ve done, your skills and education, and something personal. Think of it as your highlight reel. Time to market yourself. If you’ve applied for a role and a recruiter or hiring manager is reviewing your LI profile, this section will help them decide whether you are of interest. 3-5 paragraphs that should highlight why you are perfect for a role or your chosen profession. Some people write in the 1st person whilst others use 3rd person. I’m more of a fan of 1st person. It’s personal and sounds like you wrote it, rather than paying someone to write an intro for you. Example – I’m a passionate and dedicated developer… rather than Pete is a passionate and dedicated developer. Your call though. Just don’t waste that space!
- Experience/career summary. I’ve also reviewed a lot of profiles that have no detail on the roles they’ve worked. Role titles these days can be crazy. They might not tell me what your role and responsibilities were. Again it doesn’t have to be war and peace. A summary of your role and what you did will suffice. You can also include your greatest achievements, but this may be better placed on your CV.
- Utilise the skills and endorsements section. Add your skills so people can endorse you. These skills should relate to the roles that you’ve worked or your education. Don’t be silly and include “Cheese Toastie Maker” unless of course you’re a professional Cheese Toastie Maker…
- Add your education. You worked hard at this, so why not list it? It helps complete your profile.
- Recommendations. Do your best to source recommendations. I’m terrible at asking people to recommend me, it doesn’t mean you have to be too. Get a colleague or even your boss or ex-boss to recommend you. A nicely written recommendation goes a long way!
- Have some interests! Follow people and companies that you are interested in. All the better if it actually relates to the field you’re in.
- Add content! LinkedIn allows you to contribute through articles and posts. Make sure you don’t pick a contentious topic that is likely to reduce your chances of securing that next role. Leave politics alone. Again, an article should be on point. If you sell cloud solutions, why not write about the benefits of cloud solutions over hybrid or on-prem solutions? If you’re a SysAdmin you could tackle the rise of Continuous Integration/Delivery. There’s plenty of cool topics out there. If you’re not a writer, then don’t panic. This isn’t a must, but it will be a good look!
- Make yourself available. If you’re interested in looking for a new role, you don’t have to put up the bat signal. Just make sure you have an updated profile and you’ve selected the option to allow people that are not 1st connections to contact you. Have your contact details listed or allow inmails. Have you seen the movie Taken? “I will find you…”. A good recruiter will find you.
- Connect with people. The bigger your network, the bigger your chance of getting noticed. Connect to like-minded people. Don’t connect with everyone. This is a professional network. You should be thinking, “will this connection further my network or career”. If the answer is Yes, smash that connect button.
- If you meet a recruiter from an agency such as Find, ask them what they think of your LinkedIn profile. I’m always happy to share my opinion when I’m meeting a candidate. It’s my job to make you as marketable as possible!
I hope that information helped. Have a great weekend and enjoy updating your profile :). It will be worth it in the long run.