We often make the mistake of assuming that a LinkedIn profile is a kind-of duplicate of our CV or, at least, an extension of it. However, a LinkedIn profile is more informal than a CV and allows you to present a more dynamic version of yourself, so you can choose a style and a tone of voice that best suits your audience.
LinkedIn profiles have also come to play an important role when job hunting. It is a great way to present your business case – so it’s worth exploring if you can. 85% of recruiters make their shortlist decisions based on LinkedIn, and as many as 48% of recruiters post jobs solely on LinkedIn! It has become not only a place to ‘advertise’ yourself, but also to make connections – with old colleagues, people in your field and, more importantly, potential employers and recruiters. So, here are some easy ways to make the most of this marketing tool:
- Think about your audience and what you are trying to achieve and choose your language and style accordingly, making sure that it is easy to read whilst remaining natural.
- Your photo is very important, so don’t miss this opportunity to give a good impression. If you can, use a professional headshot of yourself in work clothes, with a plain, non-distracting backdrop, and make sure you’re smiling! If not, something simple you’ve taken yourself could be just as effective.
- The headline is your opportunity to summarise your strengths, so it is key to make it snappy. Give a brief, but rich, description of yourself and try to get creative by including a sentence that will catch your audience’s attention.
- The summary is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile, so have a go at using the 300 words that you are allowed wisely. Make a business case for yourself and establish your credibility by giving a good illustration of your professional self. Pull out the key functions of your current or most recent role and use them, but try to keep it short as, unlike in your CV, you don’t want to give too much away.
- In the Experience section, try to match up the job titles on your CV, use key words, and 3 to 5 bullet points.
- The more connections you have, the higher you will appear on LinkedIn rankings, which will make you more visible to potential employers. Also, use the endorse and recommend tools with your connections so that you can receive some in return.
- Whilst it may feel a little daunting at times, joining groups so that you can participate in discussions and share content is a fantastic way to hear about the latest vacancies.
- Optimise your profile for LinkedIn’s search engine by using keywords to make it easier for your target audience to find you. Think about the words a potential employer might type when searching for someone like you.
- When it comes to career breaks, LinkedIn can be different to a CV. Employers are becoming increasingly open to employees having career breaks, so don’t feel the need to justify, apologise or, worse, try to hide it on your LinkedIn profile. If you’re worried about age discrimination, it is perfectly acceptable not to include your earlier career or dates on your education. For more information on career breaks read the article…
For more information on LinkedIn and to make your own account, visit their website about.linkedin.com