LinkedIn has proudly established itself as the serious player in the social media game. It allows you to create a professional profile, network with recruiters and showcase your skills and achievement in a way no other social network can. While job seekers are regularly advised that social media can quickly turn into an enemy to your professional self, LinkedIn is considered one of your best friends. Keep reading to find out why that is, and how to make the most of its features.
Every detail on your LinkedIn profile matters and can work for or against you. Whether you have set up an account already or not, follow the tips below to optimise your profile and make it noticeable for the right reasons.
The first thing people see on your LinkedIn profile is your title. So make sure it’s the right one. Don’t worry too much if you’re not employed at the moment – your title doesn’t necessarily reflect your current position. A lot of people choose a title that highlights achievements they’re most proud of, or the career they’re looking for. If you don’t have a lot of experience and achievements, choose a title to reflect your dream career. Use keywords that will make your profile easy to find and a title that will make a recruiter read the rest of the page.
2. Profile picture
Your profile picture appears on top, right next to the title, so it’s just as important. Choose a neutral picture that reflects your professionalism and ambition. Avoid dark backgrounds and images, especially those from nights out and holidays. If you don’t have a picture that fits this description, just take one against a neutral light background – all you need is a digital camera and a friend to take it. No selfies on LinkedIn, please.
Treat your LinkedIn summary like your sales pitch or CV summary. Briefly highlight your experience, skills and achievements, as well as your career aspirations. Use as many keywords as you can – that’s what really counts in search terms, especially if you don’t have extensive work experience.
This is the next section…as a student or graduate, no-one expects you to have loads of experience to list. However, try and not leave this section blank. List any voluntary experience you have, any society positions you have held at university, and any part-time jobs you’ve had. Focus on the skills you have gained, how the experience has helped you grow and progress; don’t worry too much about the duties and how (ir)relevant they might be to your ideal job.
This is pretty much obvious, but make sure you include as much detail as you can about your education; that includes the modules you have completed. The great thing about LinkedIn is that it has a lot of extra modules that don’t usually fit in within the usual CV format. For example, you can upload your projects, publications, links to your work. This makes for a really versatile profile that will attract the attention of recruiters.
And these are the first 5 tips on building a LinkedIn profile that will attract the attention of recruiters. Keep your eyes peeled for the second part of this post! In the meantime, let us know if you’ve found this useful and if you have any questions in the comments below!