According to Avocado Social, there are 20 million UK professionals using LinkedIn, therefore making it a powerful tool for candidates, businesses and recruiters alike.
However, for job seekers, failing to get it right can be the difference between getting a job or not. (Gulp!)
Think of LinkedIn as an online CV. You wouldn’t send a potential employer one riddled with gaps, spelling mistakes and other errors.
Professionals use the social media platform to get a snapshot of a candidate’s life and their previous experience.
With this in mind, here are seven top tips to make sure your profile ticks all the right boxes with your future employer.
1. Customise your URL
A simple change, but one that many forget to address. Ditch the clunky set of numbers in your profile URL and opt for a customised one – i.e. your name.
To do this, just go to the Edit Profile option on the right of your screen and go to the bottom of the grey window which displays your basic information.
Here you’ll see an edit option next to your profile URL. Once you’ve changed it, click Set Custom URL.
This quick fix will instantly show professionals you care about attention to detail.
2. Capture your best side
Your profile picture is arguably one of the most important elements of your profile.
When recruiters or businesses are snooping around, they’re always naturally curious to put a face to a name.
Give them something to smile about by taking a professional headshot. Always choose a neutral background and try to smile.
A pout or ‘Blue Steel’ look could give them the wrong impression.
(Remember, you want to be taken seriously.)
3. Ditch the job role
Your headline doesn’t always have to just tell other professionals who you work for and what your job title is.
If you’re actively looking for work, freelancing or want to inject some personality into your profile.
So, try writing a headline that tells them what your speciality or value proposition is.
4. Show the real you
The summary section is an ideal opportunity to add a human touch to your profile and highlight your key skills.
As a rule, always look to include keywords which are relevant to your industry so that other professionals can clearly see your experience at a glance.
If you’re a freelancer, self-employed or a contractor, the summary is also a wonderful opportunity to include a call to action.
After all, you want other professionals to get in touch and increase your chances of securing more business.
5. Use keywords in your job description
You could craft a well-written job description. However, if it doesn’t resonate with the reader, it could fail to make the impression that you crave.
Once you’ve finished your job descriptions, copy and paste them into a word cloud tool like Wordle.
This should then give you an idea of the types of words you are consistently using throughout your profile.
Ask yourself; are those words key to the industry you work in?
If not, add the ones that are.
6. Statistics are on the money
Businesses and recruiters love to measure the effectiveness of something. So if you give them a reason to back up what you’re saying, they will start to really believe in what you have to say.
Think of it this way, anyone can write what they like on their LinkedIn profile. But if you showcase facts and figures, you’ll set yourself aside from the others.
For instance, “I helped Coburg Banks generate £10,000 in new contracts via one direct mail campaign to 25 cold prospects.”
Instantly, you have backed up your knowledge with something quantifiable.
And if an employer wants to check that your numbers add up, you can either get your old employer to write you a recommendation stating this on your profile or simply give the professional their details to act as a reference.
7. Avoid buzzwords
While I highly recommend adding in industry-related keywords, buzzwords are a whole different story.
For example, a marketing professional who includes keywords like SEO, social media strategising and PPC expertise are perfect.
However, buzzwords like creative, analytical, strategic and driven are absolute no-nos.
Recruiters and businesses will turn a blind eye and start to ignore your content altogether if they see masses of buzzwords.
Stand out from the crowd and get inventive with your language.
Ultimately, you want to stand out.
Cut the waffle and catch the eye of the people that really matter.
That’s what you should be aiming to do, anyway!
And if you find this blog post useful, then you might enjoy reading this one: ‘7 Ways to Boost Your Job Application’.
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