Whatever career you aspire to have, whether you’ve graduated or never even attended university, we are all in the same boat when it comes to job hunting. I’m sure you’ve heard by now about LinkedIn and it’s essential networking capabilities for our careers – and if you don’t have a profile, well, I suggest you make one and bookmark this page!
It’s not just about uploading your resume though. LinkedIn acts as a search engine for professions and candidates (don’t forget it works both ways!), so you want to make the best impression. Have you ever thought about what your LinkedIn profile says about you?
1. Upload the Right Profile Picture
This may seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t add a profile picture – or worse, add a bad one! Make sure you select a recent headshot that looks like you and isn’t blurry.
You’ll want to avoid:
- Distracting backgrounds
- Frowning and funny faces
- Inappropriate clothing
- & Other people in the picture
2. Create a Custom Link
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View profile.
- Click Edit public profile & URL in the right rail.
- Under Edit your custom URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL. (It’ll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname).
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
- Click Save
3. Include Experience in your Summary
The first thing to say about your LinkedIn summary is – make sure you have one! It’s amazing how many people still leave this field blank when creating their LinkedIn profile. Your summary is your chance to tell your own story – so don’t just use it to list your skills or the job titles you’ve had. Try to bring to life why those skills matter – and the difference they can make to the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to invest some time, try a few drafts, and run your summary past people you know. This is your most personal piece of content marketing – and it’s worth the effort.
4. Update your Relevant Skills
Don’t forget to ask for endorsements!
5. Request Recommendations
When you left your last job, did your boss offer to provide a future reference? Ask them if they could support your current job hunt by adding this reference online – especially if you’ve got several or better referees for an application!
6. Update your Profile SEO
If LinkedIn works as a search engine, then you should work like you want to rank number one on google’s search results. Update your profile with keywords and buzz terms related to your industry to ensure your profile can be found.
7. Join Industry Relevant Groups
Join groups in your industry, city, state, former university or in your other interests. If one is not available, create a group of your speciality.
8. Spotlight the Services you Offer
Services is a new LinkedIn feature that helps consultants, freelancers and those working for smaller businesses to showcase the range of services that they offer. Filling out the Services section of your profile can boost your visibility in search results.
9. Take a Skills Assessment
A skills assessment is an online test that enables you to demonstrate the level of your skills, and display a Verified Skills badge on your profile. Data shows that candidates with verified skills are around 30% more likely to be hired for the roles they apply for – and displaying proof your abilities strengthens your personal brand more generally as well. Displaying the results of your skills assessments is entirely voluntary, and you can retake the tests as often as you like before showing that you’ve passed.
10. Proofread Vigilantly
Spelling and grammar errors aren’t the end of the world, but they can send a negative message to people who are considering you for work. Keep your profile as professional as possible by double-checking all of your work and having someone else proofread it as well. If you can write eloquently and without error, this can help your chances of landing your next job!