It’s no secret that Social Media is taking over the world. What some people don’t know is that more and more, social media profiles are being looked at by employers and hiring managers when they decide who to hire. So having a great LinkedIn profile is now a valuable asset in your job search. Here’s a ‘quick and easy’ guide to make yours awesome:
1. Own Your Abilities
Do you know what skills, abilities and attributes employers are looking for when they want to hire someone like you? Those words and phrases, found in job descriptions, job postings, and the resumes of others in your field are called ‘keywords’. Once you’ve discovered the core keywords that apply to you, it’s time to add them to your LinkedIn profile.
The most important parts of your LinkedIn profile to add keywords to are the Headline, Summary, Experience/Education, and Skills & Expertise. Don’t overdo your keywords to the point where your profile is unreadable and has no ‘flow’; usually focusing on 4-10 core keywords will demonstrate your expertise to a potential employer.
2. Tell Your Story
While the Experience and Education sections of your profile may be a little dry (like on a resume), LinkedIn has a ‘Summary’ section that gives you a chance to talk directly to your next employer. It’s here in the Summary section where you get the chance to share how you got to where you are in your career development, and where you see yourself moving next.
For best results, talk directly in a first-person style, showing how your previous experience and education gave you the skills and character you have now, and how that can be used in your next position. Highlighting your top accomplishments from your overall work history is also a great strategy to creating a killer Summary section. And don’t forget those keywords!
3. Get Accomplished
Another key technique to making your LinkedIn profile awesome is to focus less on duties and responsibilities in your previous jobs, and more on achievements and accomplishments. We’ve already discussed creating accomplishment statements for your resume, and the advice there can easily be applied to your LinkedIn profile.
4. Say Cheese
The statistics prove it: LinkedIn profiles with photos get clicked on, and profiles without photos get ignored. So what kind of photo should you have? Well, depending on the industry you’re in, your photo could either be more business-like or more relaxed. But these things are absolutely necessary:
- The lighting should be very good,
- You should be well-groomed, and
- People should clearly see your face and expression
Most people on LinkedIn go with a ‘headshot’ style photo with a neutral-coloured background. If you’ve got a good camera on your phone and a sunny room, you could probably snap a good LinkedIn profile photo right now!
5. Get Discovered
Here’s a kind of ‘sneaky’ trick that not a lot of LinkedIn users know about, and it’s a great way to make sure you show up when an employer searches for you.
When editing your profile, under your new photo is your profile’s individual web address, or URL. Click on ‘edit’ just beside the address:
A new page will come up with options to customize your Public Profile. At the bottom right, find the section called ‘Your Public Profile URL’ and click on the link to ‘customize your public profile URL’, like in the photo:
A new window will pop up, and you will then have the option to customize your profile’s web address to anything you want:
What should you customize it to? Why, your name of course! If you’ve got a common name (unlike mine) you may have to add a middle initial or middle name.
After this is done, you can add your profile URL to a traditional resume, share it in your emails to employers, and you’ll become much easier to find when an employer searches for you on LinkedIn or Google.
Taking the time to do these 5 steps will make your LinkedIn profile a valuable addition to a traditional application, and will allow you to start networking online with confidence. So take advantage of social media, and enjoy your digital selves!