Making your LinkedIn profile attractive increases your chances of being noticed by recruiters. Here’s how.
While it’s certainly possible to get hired without having a presence on LinkedIn, your chances of being found by a recruiter or someone else in your industry are increased if you’re on the professional networking site.
And, while that might be a bold claim, it might be better to have no LinkedIn profile at all than to have one that’s incomplete or poorly put together.
Like it or not, LinkedIn is becoming a key part of how we present ourselves to potential employers these days. In the online world, as in the real world, appearances are everything. It has nothing to do with what you look like, but everything to do with how you present yourself.
A good LinkedIn profile equals putting on a presentable outfit and performing well in the interview room.
Here are some tips on how to create your LinkedIn profile.
Once you’ve signed up for LinkedIn and created your account, you need to complete the basics of your profile.
To do this, click on ‘Me’ to view your profile. On a computer screen, you’ll find it in the top menu of the site alongside your messages, jobs, search bar, network, and notifications icons. Then click “View Profile” to get the edit.
You can update your profile description, name, profile picture, and cover picture by clicking the pen icons next to each section. We’ll see how to choose a profile picture later, but for now, let’s focus on writing a good profile description.
This is the information that appears under your name. It’s also called the title, which is a good way to think about it in terms of what you need it to do. Keep it short and simple: just include your job title and location.
Choose a good picture
A clear photo of you against a plain background will do. Think something with a bit more personality than a passport photo, but still has an air of professional seriousness.
Also keep your image updated. There’s no point in having a photo of you as a 21-year-old graduate if you’ve been working in your field for a few decades.
Likewise, don’t treat LinkedIn like a social media site. It’s a place for professional networking – no one wants to see a picture of you and a random friend vacationing in Fuerteventura in 2014.
Tell your story
Your LinkedIn profile is designed to look almost like a digital resume. Below the basic information, you will have the possibility to add more details about yourself, your previous professional experience and your professional interests.
Your “About” section is where you can really let your individual skills and experience do the talking. Keep your language clear and avoid clichéd sentences; recruiters aren’t interested in your own assessment of yourself as “amazing” or “goal-driven” because those buzzwords don’t really mean much.
Instead, say who you are and what you have done or achieved. If you’re just starting out in your career, say what you want to accomplish. Also, tell the world what excites you.
Don’t neglect your hobbies and interests
LinkedIn lets you add lots of little details to your profile to help you stand out from the crowd. Enjoy it.
For example, you can add your volunteer history for recruiters to see. It is definitely worth adding to your previous work experience as it shows that you are a balanced person who cares about others.
Edit your vanity URL
Even if you’re not applying directly for a job through LinkedIn, many employers will want to know if you have a presence on the site. So if you send a resume when applying for a job, you should include your LinkedIn profile URL so an employer can view it.
You can include a hyperlink under your other contact information at the top of your CV document.
Auto-generated LinkedIn URLs will typically look like this: https://www.linkedin.com/in/firstname-surname-123456789/.
A list of random numbers after your name looks a bit messy when printed on a resume. But you can easily change your URL to get rid of the numbers. To do this, click on “Edit public profile and URL” at the top right of your profile. This will take you to a new tab where you can manually enter your own custom URL.
An example of what this might look like would be: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname/.
Click save and you’re done.
Expand your network
When your profile is in shape, you can start building your professional network. As you start following people relevant to your professional interests, the site’s algorithm will continue to suggest other people to follow and connect with.
You can also follow hashtags, such as #softwaredevelopment, to see posts relevant to those topics. The more you work on curating your feed this way, the better LinkedIn will get to know you and suggest jobs, contacts, and posts.
Post and comment intelligently
We have already discussed the difference between LinkedIn, a professional networking site, and social platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
When you choose to publish your accomplishments and career milestones, do so sparingly and wisely. It is not necessary to update your LinkedIn network every day. However, it’s always good to let people know if you’ve taken on a new job or been promoted or recognized in some special way by your employer.
When commenting on other people’s posts, do so gracefully. You can show your personality and share your opinions, but also be careful. Don’t post anything on LinkedIn that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying in a professional environment.
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