Your Linkedin profile is your shop window to recruiters and potential employers and the first place in which potential recruiters will look when they are considering contacting you.
Here are our top twelve tips to make sure your Linkedin profile is found by the RIGHT people:
1. Consider your job-seeking objectives
Like any social networking medium, you need to first decide why and how you will use LinkedIn for your job search. Before you can use LinkedIn, you need to have decided on what role you are looking for. It is no good branding your LinkedIn profile for a role within a professional practice if you decide you want to go in-house.
2. No typos, spelling, or grammatical errors, please
You don’t need to tell us that online first impressions count just as much as face-to-face first impressions. It’s also even easier to make assumptions about someone or some group when working with them online rather than face-to-face. Make sure that your profile as well as being error-free is succinct and articulate. Ideally, spend as much time working on your LinkedIn profile as you would your CV.
3. Who do you want to be seen as?
Every time you appear on LinkedIn your headline or personal tag line goes with you. Make sure you brand your headline as what you want to be seen as by the online community, and especially potential recruiters. It is better to brand yourself for the job you want rather than the job you have. The reason? Recruiters will often search for a specific job title when looking for potential candidates.
4. Write your elevator pitch
The summary box in your profile needs to be your personal elevator pitch but targeted at the people you want to see it – i.e. recruiters. Your elevator pitch needs to be why you are different and the value you can bring to an organization. Make sure you include some of the keywords that recruiters are likely to be searching for.
Use the second paragraph – specialties, to list your specialties as this is a good opportunity to add in keywords as recruiters search on this section.
See more at How to Write Your Elevator Pitch.
5. Public Profile and URLs
Fight for the right to have your personal name in your LinkedIn profile URL, i.e. “http://linkedin.com/in/yourfullname.” As well as your LinkedIn URL you need to think about other websites that you want your profile to display. Do take the time to put the actual title of the link in rather than leaving them as ‘My company’ or ‘My website’. For example, instead of ‘My Company’ – I have written ‘The Efficiency Coach’. Do include links to any profiles you have on social media sites where you maintain a professional presence.
6. Connect up your social networking presence
It is very inefficient to manually update all of your social networking presence. Luckily, Linkedin can be used to connect up all of your social networking presence. The application Blog Typepad can pull in an RSS feed from your blog(s) and Twitter feed. If you write a WordPress blog, there is a WordPress application that lets you display your blog on your LinkedIn profile. (Although Blog Typepad will do the same thing for you)
Most social networking sites have the ability for members to collect recommendations and testimonials. LinkedIn is no different – and your recommendations are very prominently displayed. Do take the time to ask your clients and colleagues to recommend you on LinkedIn. For example, after I finish a coaching relationship I ask my client if they are willing to write me a LinkedIn testimonial. A bunch of positive recommendations can often be the deciding factor between being rung up by a recruiter.
For more, see How to Get LinkedIn Recommendations.
8. Make it consistent
Consistency just like integrity and reliability is very important in the online world. Make sure the messages on your website, Twitter biography, (business) Facebook page, and other online sites you maintain a profile on are all consistent. For example, you should use the same avatar for each online profile. Recruiters will do online searches for you BEFORE they decide whether to call you.
Search Engine Optimisation is very important on LinkedIn. Annoying, but true I’m afraid. Your profile on LinkedIn is about to become your electronic resume. Therefore, all those keywords which you put in the ‘electronic’ version of your CV need to be liberally scattered through your profile. For example, do remember to put the industry in your professional summary because recruiters often use that field to search.
More on keywords at How to Make Google Love Your LinkedIn profile.
10. Update your status regularly
LinkedIn can be your very own micro-PR machine. I’m not sure how many characters LinkedIn will limit you to on the status update feature. Regardless of how many characters you are allowed; regularly tell potential employers and recruiters what you have achieved, or are doing in the course of your normal working life. For example, tell people about great client wins, new recommendations, product or service launches, networking meetings you are attending. Recruiters are looking for evidence that you are keeping your LinkedIn profile active and up to date.
Do remember to update the content in your LinkedIn profile regularly. For example, you should refresh your profile at least once a quarter. You are more likely to show up in the LinkedIn updates if you regularly update your status and general profile.
If you are actively (and openly) looking for a new role, then sprinkle your updates with phrases such as this:
“Sam is looking for a new senior audit manager position in London. Who do you know who may be hiring?”
“David is ready for his next senior interim HR generalist position. Who can you introduce me to?”
11. Add more content
Boringly you will achieve more with LinkedIn the more content-rich you make it. So do use the experience section to explain what each company you worked for did and what you did there. Remember to include any board, advisory, or voluntary positions.
For the qualification section, do add context to each qualification you quote, such as why you went there and what value it may or may not bring to your professional or business life.
12. Make sure you are open for business
If you are on LinkedIn and using it to look for a job you DO want to be found. Common sense really! Make sure your contact settings are set to include, career opportunities, consulting offers, new ventures, job inquiries, reference requests.
Make sure your profile is public, and as suggested earlier, customize your public profile URL so that it contains your name.