LinkedIn is the CV for the modern age; no-one needs to be told how important LinkedIn is for the modern day job search. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or happy where you are, your LinkedIn profile is a social representation of your career and should be kept accurate & updated. As a recruitment consultant I use LinkedIn on a daily basis and regularly see the fundamental mistakes being made on LinkedIn profiles. Keeping an eloquent LinkedIn profile is easy to do, so here are my top tips to make sure you’re showing the world your best face.
I’ve used images from my own profile to punctuate each section of this article.
Imagine you’re viewing your LinkedIn profile for the first time. As you scroll down one of the first things you’re going to see is what posts you’ve published (if you’ve published any). Posts are a fantastic opportunity for you to share your insight & advice about your industry, sector, role or even just a business interest, all of which will help you stand out from the crowd. If your network/followers engage with a post by liking or sharing it, it will in-turn be shown to their followers as well; thus increasing the potential reach of your content and profile (which is handy if you’re looking for a new role).
As you can see below, I’ve had the good fortune to interview Conrad Ford of Funding Options & David Tuck of Chaser, who shared their insight with me in interviews that I then shared on LinkedIn, which have helped me forge connections and start discussions within the Fintech industry.
Filling out your summary
Much like your CV is a professional document, LinkedIn is a professional network and as such leaving your summary blank and relying on your work experience to sell yourself is not enough. Your background summary is your chance to quickly establish your key skills & competencies. Remember this is one of the best places to add keywords which are important for SEO purposes and also help to ensure that your profile shows up in the correct searches.
A quick glance at my summary will show a viewer everything they need to know at a glance, specifically my job role and the industries I service. I’ve also included my communication details in my introduction, so it’s easy for people to get in contact with me.
A recommendation is a testament, in the words of others, of your excellence. Recommendations give a better idea of what you’re like to work with, where your true skills and passions are and what some of your strongest soft skills just might be. They also make it easier for opportunities to find you.
Remember that not everyone viewing your profile necessarily knows you, so your recommendations are the fastest way of providing solid references. Research shows that over 46% of people rely on reputation based referrals, so this step is not to be overlooked!
Recommendations once accepted (or given) appear in your timeline and in the other parties, so receiving a recommendation from a peer potentially puts that referral in the eyes of both networks connections.
It’s easy to ask your contacts for a recommendation but make sure you’re asking someone whose word is going to add value to your profile; for instance, a recommendation from someone that’s never worked with you will carry no weight, whereas a recommendation from a senior client you have worked with will.
When asking for recommendations always remember to use personalised messages, not only because it’s polite but also as it allows you to suggest the subject & theme by discussing the context with the recipient, by mentioning a project you worked on or a specific skill you demonstrated to them.
Got any LinkedIn top tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.