When you’re not on the look-out for a new job, it can be easy to neglect your LinkedIn profile. But what many of us don’t realise is that companies and recruiters are continuously searching for candidates just like you for what might be your dream job.
We’re all guilty of putting LinkedIn on the bottom of our list of priorities, but with 86% of employers using the social media platform to find and engage with prospective new employees, it could be the best time investment you’ll make this year.
So show LinkedIn some love, you never know where it might lead.
We’ve skipped the basics because everyone has a LinkedIn profile, right? So here’s a few expert tips to give your LinkedIn account some polish – and get ready to start attracting employers who you’ll definitely want to get to know better.
It’s much easier to publicize your profile and make your profile memorable with a customised URL. LinkedIn automatically assigns you a URL made up of random numbers and letters, but ideally you want something a little more personal (such as linkedin.com/yourname).
Luckily for those among us that aren’t LinkedIn experts this is really easy to do. On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.
And voila! You have a custom URL!
Time for your close up
It’s not a passport photo, so now might be the time to ditch the ‘scared stiff’ pic on your profile. Yes, LinkedIn is a professional network, but that doesn’t mean that you have to don the standard white shirt and smile meekly at the camera. Take a look at some of the professionals in your dream company, see how approachable they look? Well that’s what you’re aiming for. And if you can show yourself in action (say if you’re a designer or carry out presentations on a regular basis) then upload away!
Some of the best photos I’ve come across show energy, passion and charisma so if you can, convey your enthusiasm in your profile photo.
Ditch that boring headline
Who says that your headline has to be your company and job title? Use this area to showcase ‘why I’m different’ and what specific talents, skills and experience you have that sets you apart from the competition.
Make it succinct and to the point though, don’t drone on or you’ll risk losing the attention of the reader.
Give buzzwords the push
There’s nothing more annoying than buzzwords – they’re the online equivalent of office jargon and grace the profiles of virtually every mediocre candidate on LinkedIn. If you’re guilty of overusing words like innovative, driven, motivated and organised then it’s time for a cull.
Get creative and inject some original personality into your profile without relying on the same boring buzzwords that everyone else does.
Think of your profile like an online CV
Your CV should highlight your skills and accomplishments, and your LinkedIn profile is no different. Make sure you completely fill in your experience section and use bullet points to illustrate what you did, how well you did it and the fantastic impact it had for that particular business.
Don’t think of this section as a list of your duties, rather a snapshot of your achievements.
Become a groupie
By joining some of the thousands of groups on LinkedIn, you’ll not only show that your engaged and interested in your industry or discipline, but you’ll be amazed at what these collections of like-minded individuals can do for your career.
If you are seeking a new challenge, joining a group will instantly connect you to others in your field and new opportunities are constantly being shared – you might even come across a role that you’ve never considered before.
Think of groups as a continuous online networking event, join in and you’ll reap the rewards.
Get found easily
I know I said I’d stay away from the basics, but you would be amazed at how many people forget to add their contact information to their LinkedIn profiles and then complain the network isn’t doing anything for them.
Don’t just stop at your email address, add your Twitter handle or anywhere else you’d like to be found.
Don’t forget to add your email address (or blog, or Twitter handle, or anywhere else you’d like to be found) to the contact information section of your resume. You’d be surprised how many people leave this off!