A Professional LinkedIn Profile matters.

 A Professional LinkedIn Profile matters.

According to survey data, a full 94% of Recruiters use LinkedIn in their recruitment efforts. And that is across the board from receptionists to CEO’s. And yet people are puzzled, or at least, cynical as to why tools like LinkedIn can be such a deciding factor.

It’s easy to ignore your LinkedIn profile if you’re not actively looking for a job, BUT having a completed, professional LinkedIn profile can be immensely helpful when lead gathering, networking or job hunting.

It’s all about being able to be found by the right people at the right time. LinkedIn is an advert of “you” that anyone can find. Be it for a collaboration, network purposes or hey, the recruiter from your ideal company to work for, finding you and offering you a job? It could happen.

So let’s begin:

  1. Complete your profile

The more complete your profile, the better chance you have of a recruiter finding your profile. Ensure you fill out every single part of your profile. A recruiter wants to know what people think of you (Referrals/References), what skills set you to have, where you’ve worked etc. LinkedIn will suggest on how to make your profile stronger which is a great help. LinkedIn reckons your profile will appear 40 times more in search results if it is “complete.” So you’d have 40 times more opportunities if you do this. Here is LinkedIn’s definition of a 100% Complete Profile:

  • Your industry and location
  • An up-to-date current position (with a description)
  • Two past positions
  • Your education
  • Your skills (minimum of 3)
  • A profile photo
  • At least 50 connections
  1. Get a Custom URL

It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL (ideally linkedin.com/your name), rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up. How to get one? 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.

  1. Profile photo

Your photo is the first impression people will get. Choose as head and shoulder professional photo (or get one taken) LinkedIn is a business and professional site. No photos with busy backgrounds, or other people in it. You’re aiming to portray reliable and trustworthy, not sexy or funky.

  1. Headline

Include important key words of what you do if you want your headline to be searchable. Your headline should showcase what you do. You can also describe what makes you different to others in your profession.

  1. Summary

Think of this as your “elevator speech” and you need to grab the reader’s attention quickly. Bullet point for easy reading. Your 3 best achievements, your top qualification, top industry exposure, countries worked in. Make sure you write in the first person, be genuine, be you and remember your target audience. At the end of this section, the reader must have a strong impression of who you are and what you do.

  1. Experience

Treat this section like a cv. Interested parties want the detail (from the most recent position) Make sure your experience section is fleshed out with bullet points that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.

You don’t need to list every job that you’ve had either. Only list the ones that are relevant to your current career goals.

Ensure you include your current position because you’ll probably get missed in most searches if you don’t. Why? Because most Recruiters solely use the present title box to search for candidates; otherwise they’d have to sort through thousands of candidates who held a certain role (for example, electrical engineer) as far back as 20 or more years ago.

Add your company websites, projects you’ve worked on, articles you’ve drafted, or anything else that can provide a more multimedia look at your work.

Add volunteer experiences if you have any and any additional languages you speak (recruiters search on that too)

  1. Recommendations:

Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.  Reach out to past colleagues, managers, and associates and ask that they write you a recommendation

When someone says, “You did a great job on that project!” ask the person to take a snapshot of that success by writing a recommendation on LinkedIn. And don’t be afraid to specify what you’d like the recommender to focus on. Getting generic recommendations that say, “Jack was great to work with” aren’t very helpful—but something specific, like “Jack’s contributions to the project enabled us to increase forecasted savings by 5% over our original plan” will really showcase your strengths.

  1. Final tips:

  • Make sure people can find you quickly. Add your email address, or Twitter handle or any other means you can be found at. Add it to your Experience section at the bottom. Way too many people leave this off.
  • Use status updates to share industry-relevant material. This can help show recruiters that you are dedicated and in-the-know in your industry.
  • Don’t request a connection add, from all and sundry. If too many people reject your request and say they don’t know you, LinkedIn can close your account.
  • Keeping your job search “undercover”
  • Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn does have privacy settings—for a reason. You want to be discreet when looking for another job, and not alerting your boss to the fact that you’re on the market (actively adding recruiters to your connections, revamping your profile etc.) You can modify your settings so that your boss doesn’t see that you’re looking for opportunities.’ The privacy settings are easy to find: Just sign in, and then select ‘settings’ from the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner.”
  • Groups | Alumni | Associations are great ways to build your network.
  • Lastly, you can have too much information on your profile in terms of many jobs, lengthy job descriptions etc. Don’t! Concise and to the points best.