When it comes to selling your value to a recruitment company like ourselves and the clients we work for, there are 2 pivotal documents that spring to mind. The humble CV is one, followed by your LinkedIn profile.
As LinkedIn is the biggest social business network outside China, with 850 million members listed, it is more crucial than ever to leverage the opportunities your LinkedIn profile provides as a positioning tool for your career.
In today's post, I want to share why your profile is so important and the easy, quick wins to ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd.
Your LinkedIn profile has many positive attributes. Unless you share a name with a well-known person, it is highly likely that your profile, if created properly, will appear on the first page of Google.
Even though your CV/Resume is a standard document that demonstrates your career journey, a LinkedIn profile can deliver even more insight about you as a potential recruit in an interactive and engaging style that a CV alone cannot achieve.
Headlines and Pronouns
Your headline is often the first text a recruiter or potential hiring manager will see, so make it count. Paraphrase what you do, and the good news is LinkedIn now allows 220 characters, including spaces.
With D.E.I. being on most workplace agendas, LinkedIn now allows you to add your preferred pronouns on your profile too.
A Professional Photo
LinkedIn produces numerous reports that demonstrate the power of imagery and media on your profile. Profiles with a professional photograph can get 14 times more profile views.
Phone technology today means there is no excuse not to have a professional LinkedIn profile picture. Ask a colleague or friend to take a photograph with their smartphone in good lighting. The quality is excellent.
Head and shoulders are the best shots. Your face, preferably smiling in appropriate business attire, makes the best impact. Remember, recruitment consultants viewing your profile are imagining how you will fit into their client's organisation, so this is an easy way to make an impact.
How To Get In Contact
As a first start, do you have all your contact details visible?
Make sure you have a mobile number and a Gmail/Hotmail address.
A professional url demonstrates your attention to detail, for instance, LinkedIn.com/in/Andy Gold as opposed to LinkedIn.com/in/Andy-Gold-2671c567.
Links to your blog where you share knowledge related to your sector are features many people forget to utilise.
Have you written papers or presented at an industry conference, or recorded any work-related videos? If the answer is yes, add them here, and this will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.
Your About Section
Please do not add only your essential skills or paste sections from your CV into your summary section. Use it to catch people's attention as you share relevant information about who you are and your skills and abilities; you have 2000 characters, so make them count.
In this section, talk about the value you will add to an organisation alongside your skillset. Be different and stand out by explaining how you might help a potential new employer solve their problems.
Our experience as recruiters is this attracts our attention, plus it makes it easier for us to 'sell' the fact you are a 'must see' candidate for our client.
Add to Profile and Open To
On the right-hand side of your profile, you will see a button that says 'add to profile'. When you click this, it reveals all the additional sections you can add to your profile.
From featured to licenses and certifications, and courses and recommendations. In the featured section, if you have written papers or presented at an industry conference or recorded any work-related videos, you can showcase them here.
If you are open to work and currently not employed, you can add this to your profile picture by clicking the relevant button.
In the 'add your profile' section under background, share details of all your work experience that will communicate your capability. Then list all your education and volunteer activities. Today, organisations have an active CSR programme; therefore, this area is essential to share too.
Under accomplishments, you can list publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honours and awards, test scores, languages and how you are involved with communities that are important to you.
This makes it easy for a recruitment organisation to identify your skills and expertise as a potential match for their client.
The big question is, does your profile
- Help your standout?
- Communicate your value, including providing supporting evidence?
- List your work achievements?
Depending on your current organisation and their social presence, you can share and like content. This unconsciously communicates to everyone how connected you are and what is important to you. When someone arrives on your profile, it is one of the first sections they can see.
You can now share an article or even upload a compelling image or create a video on your LinkedIn profile. All of which enable you to communicate your personal brand.
List The Skills You Know Are Important for Your Skillset
When it comes to skills, you can add up to 50, which could help you stand out to a recruitment consultant and your future employer. You don't have to add all of them as your top ten will be profiled, so make these the most important.
The UK is in the grip of a skills shortage. Therefore, if you know you have in-demand skills, communicate them on your profile. You would be surprised that this is an area often forgotten by even the best of candidates.
Endorsements and Recommendations
We all now live and work in the review society. Social proof is a significant influencer in our current community. Who has not viewed Trip Advisor before booking a restaurant or holiday with their significant other? It is the same in the business world.
Therefore, collecting recommendations and endorsements is crucial for your career. If you have not got any, ask for them from your contacts. All too often, people are shy about asking for validations of their work. The good news, which might surprise you, is that many people are more than willing to give you a recommendation.
Finally, Complete Your Profile in Full
A question for you? Are you using all the features we have mentioned?
Do you have a presentation or video on your summary? Have you got a link to a paper you have written?
It is interesting the impression people get from reading a full LinkedIn profile. It sends a message to recruitment companies that you are a person with attention to detail and take their career and work-life seriously.