Getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn gets a fair bit of air time in many of our career-based programs as it is an effective way to job search, network and stay informed. For our Career Transition programs, we have introduced hands-on fortnightly LinkedIn sessions which are run by one of our skilled consultants.
The interactive sessions compliment what is covered in the 1:1 meetings between candidates and their Consultant. Often the information put into a LinkedIn profile is a natural extension of the reflective work our candidates do as part of their program. We get candidates to reflect on their key marketable assets, like their core strengths, achievements and unique value proposition. This information is applicable to all aspects of a job search strategy – resumes, interviews, networking, LinkedIn, etc.
Because a potential employer will often see your online profile before they see your resume, it’s really important that you’re sharing the best bits about you, your career and your interests.
Here’s a few of our key tips:
> Know your intentions
Are you using your LinkedIn profile to find your next job, or is it purely to build your professional network or to keep in touch with your contacts? How you position yourself on LinkedIn should (ideally) be different depending on your intentions. If you’re actively job seeking, your profile needs to clearly demonstrate your proven value to your target organisations. Do this by outlining your core strengths, backed up and quantified with specific examples and key achievements.
> Be strategic; use keywords
Whatever your intentions might be, everything comes down to one thing – being found! If you can’t be found on LinkedIn, your profile is essentially redundant. Research the most commonly used keywords in your field and industry, and be sure to include them in your profile. You might think you’re being creative or setting yourself apart from the competition by using uncommon synonyms – but if you’re using language and keywords no one is using, the likelihood is that no one will think to search for them!
> Keep it up to date
This is a basic one, but so often we see out of date profiles. The danger of this is that it makes you look lazy. This can be as simple as making sure you change previous roles to past tense, and adding just a couple of lines to your current job summary.
> Don’t be afraid to sell yourself
Talking about ourselves, and particularly our achievements can be very uncomfortable for some people. But remember, that’s the whole point; if there is ever a time and place, it’s LinkedIn (and your resume and interviews of course!). If you’re stuck, ask colleagues and friends, often they’ll be able to provide insights you hadn’t even thought of.
> Get a second opinion
Another basic step, but this one is truly crucial. It’s even better to get multiple opinions. Is it succinct? Does it speak to your achievements? Does it align with your Personal Brand?
Once you have your profile looking good, you now need to use it. At first it can feel a little daunting to post on social media, which is why we suggest that you start with ‘Like’ a post. Then once you feel confident you may want to ‘Comment’ on a post, and then when you find something interesting and relevant you’ll feel ready to ‘Share’.
Remember, you can be active on LinkedIn without posting articles. Every time you ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’ on someone else’s post, it comes up on your feed for your network to see. By doing this regularly, you will start to create an on-line presence and this is how you can keep front of mind with your networks.