Our Top Ten Tips for LinkedIn
Many people consider LinkedIn just for managers and more senior roles, but there are now 15 million UK members, so it’s now in general use and a useful tool for almost every job seeker.
In our judgement, LinkedIn is possibly more important to your career management than your CV or resume. It acts exactly like your personal website and is highly rated by the major search engines. Here is what we look for in a candidate’s profile:
Number of connections
We’re not impressed just by numbers, but if you claim to be a great networker and have 58 connections, we’re going to find it hard to believe you. If you were in an IT related industry we’d expect you to be a little savvier than the norm. And any salesperson with less than, say, 100 connections, isn’t aware what LinkedIn could do for them to find new sales opportunities – and that’s not going to help.
Anybody in sales or marketing with a flat, unsmiling selfie, clearly doesn’t understand some of the basic principles of packaging and presentation. You don’t have to smile, but it probably helps. Pictures on holiday, or with children or pets also lose house points. Best advice is for a head and shoulders shot of good quality. It doesn’t need to be a work of art, but it does need to look presentable.
This has the capacity to not just include a job title, but also add an interesting fact or feature. This is highly rated for key words, so you should seek to take full advantage.
This section is very important. Your LinkedIn profile is a chance to betray a little of your personality, so take it. We’re not saying shout from the rooftops, but do try to avoid generic phrases and predictable words. Use language with energy and a crisp, deliberate tone. And use key words and phrases. They’re easy to spot and indicate that you may know what you’re doing in this digital age.
Keep it short and accurate. Resist detail and focus on your main responsibilities and your key achievements. Say what you did overall and add a little colour by including those things of which you’re particularly proud.
Not really relevant unless you’re a recent graduate, so keep it short.
Not essential, but keep your interests INTERESTING, or don’t bother.
Have some! And if you can get them from customers, great. Even if you have all your recommendations from colleagues in a one-month window (which shows you’re looking for a job or else why would you bother?), at least we know you have some organisational and persuasion skills.
Although we’ll all have endorsements from people we don’t know, over time they will league table your top skills and they’ll register with us. They’ll help your search ratings too.
Join them. You can find them by sector and job function, and don’t just join the big groups, as some of the smaller groups will indicate some niche skills that mark you out as different.
What else can be useful?
If you did everything that LinkedIn makes available, it can look too fussy. If you’re job hunting a short YouTube profile could be good – and you can display that in your profile. That also applies to a PowerPoint CV/resume on SlideShare.
You can also publish your own blogs on “Pulse”. It’s very easy to do and they can demonstrate your expertise to a willing audience.
Make it easy for people to reach you, and show your contact details.
Keep things high level and clear. Don’t write War and Peace, but don’t look lazy by writing next to nothing. Don’t be afraid to show some personality – your LinkedIn profile can add real value to your job search, so you should make the most of the opportunity.