Emma Alkirwi, aka CV Guru, has some advice on how to use LinkedIn effectively to get the job you want.
As we near the end of 2022, there are over 800 million people with profiles on LinkedIn. Officially the largest professional platform in the world, an optimised LinkedIn profile is essential for job seekers. If you’re new to LinkedIn, or it’s been a few years since you updated your profile, you might not be sure where to start. Emma Alkirwi from CV Guru has some expert advice.
Before thinking about content on a deeper level, it is important to get the fundamentals right. First things first, go into your settings and ensure that your profile is public – otherwise prospective employers won’t be able to find you.
Next make sure that your core information is up to date, including your:
Recruiters have admitted that they can be put off job seekers due to an unprofessional profile picture up to 70% of the time – so making the right first impression is essential. Make sure that your image is recent and dress in business attire. A LinkedIn profile picture will typically be a shot of your head and shoulders. If you can’t find a professionally taken image, make sure the one you use is a solo image of you, and that there aren’t distractions in the background.
You could even take things one step further and use a profile video instead – this is an engaging new way to introduce yourself and let people see a bit of your personality. If you do want to take a video, think about your set-up and background, and ensure there is no noise interference.
Once your profile picture is sorted, think about the header image on your profile. Does your current organisation have one you could use, perhaps adding your job title? This would also be a great place to highlight accolades you have received in the past – if you have a picture of you receiving an award, use it here.
Your headline doesn’t just exist on your profile. It is also visible within the LinkedIn search results and is the information people will see any time you comment on content.
You only have 220 characters, so make each one of them count. Don’t just list your job title. This is a great place to emphasise any key skills you have, perhaps framing them as the keywords that recruiters advertising your dream role might be looking for.
So many people on LinkedIn are underutilising their headlines, so this is a very effective way to stand out from the crowd.
Your ‘About’ section on LinkedIn can be a maximum of 2,600 characters, so this is where you have your best opportunity to dig deep into your experience to wow prospective employers. As LinkedIn is more personal you should write in the first person unlike your CV. So using I is perfectly acceptable.
Covering your specialist experience is essential. Give examples of past successes and show your progression up the career ladder. Talk about what these experiences taught you, and ultimately how they make you better at your job.
Keep keywords in mind once again, but ensure they are laser-focused on the kind of position you are looking for. Buzzwords like “disciplined,” “hard-working”, “passionate”, or “dedicated” are overused and don’t say much about your experience, so try and avoid them if you can.
LinkedIn has space for you to add details about your current and previous employment, so you can almost treat this section as you would a traditional job application. Add your position, time at the company and key information about the work you did there.
Again, tangible examples of your successes will be useful here, along with any awards or accolades or work you published during your time there.
Ensure that your education information is fully up to date. Mention your higher education here, but focus more heavily on qualifications that are relevant to your position or the kind of job you want.
You don’t need to add dates if you don’t want to – and it might be an idea to avoid listing them to prevent any age discrimination issues that could crop up.
This one can be tricky if you need to hide that you are searching for a new job from your current employer. If there are previous employers, colleagues or even clients that you can reach out to, ask them if they can write a recommendation on their experience of working with you.
This helps prospective employers and recruiters to build a clearer picture of how you would fit into their team and interact with others.
You can also get endorsements for skills on your LinkedIn page. Think about the core duties you have performed in your job, and then ask colleagues to endorse you for them. Examples of these skills could be:
– Data Analysis
– Project Management
– Social Media Marketing
Hopefully, this blog has helped you understand how to optimise your LinkedIn profile to stand out to recruiters and employers on the platform. Ultimately by making these changes, you will make your job hunt as seamless and stress-free as possible and will hopefully discover a new way to find your dream role.
*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of the CV Guru which is the leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters in the UK and they also provide specialist consultancy services. If you don’t have the time to make these updates yourself, CV Guru can help. Its LinkedIn Profile Services are fully inclusive of all the sections mentioned above in template form. There is even an option where they can upload all of the information for you.