The Job Seekers guide to a killer profile – Land you dream job with a few simple steps
You may have all noticed that we now live in, and have done so for some time, the “Digital Age”. When it comes to your professional world and career I have no doubt that it has affected the way you do things on a daily basis compared to 1, 2, 3 or more years ago!
By “Digital Age” I mean the use of technology, computers, handheld devices, internet, social media, and mobile optimisation – basically the almost immediate ability to transfer information quickly and freely worldwide.
As a Recruiter, a huge game changer for our industry has definitely been LinkedIn. This by definition is THE professional social networking site (like Facebook, but definitely NOT Facebook!).
What I have found shocking is the amount of people who are not on board as yet (no profile at all), or who are only skimming the surface of this amazing networking tool. LinkedIn is like your public resume, it’s your Professional Brand – Don’t you want to put your best foot forward to ensure you land that dream job?
I thought I would put together a simple ‘how to’ guide to get your profile up and running, or revamp your current one to ensure you get noticed by future employers, recruiters and other like-minded professionals.
- Put the Time and Effort
You must complete your profile! The wonderfully helpful team at LinkedIn actually step you through the process to ensure that you complete every field. This is important for two reasons: 1) you will be found when we’re searching for your skills and experience; and 2) That when we find you, you give us enough information to tell us how amazing you are so that we can’t wait to contact you about your potential dream job! The good news? LinkedIn will actually measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer suggestions on how to make it stronger and become an “All Star” profile. Easy.
- Customise a few key areas
Just as your LinkedIn Profile doubles as an online interactive resume, you should be adding a link on your resume, email signature, and other areas you feel professionally suitable to be sure you GET NOTICED. Before you do this it is best to customise your LinkedIn URL, rather than using the automated number/letter combination LI provides, here’s how: On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.
Next your photo. Choose a clear, friendly, and professional image, and pop that up there. (Pro tip: “If you can show yourself in action, do it,” says a blogger who experimented with multiple LinkedIn photos to see which garnered the most attention. “A photo can go a long way to convey passion, energy, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that are hard to write about.”
- Write a catchy Headline
Your headline doesn’t have to be your job title and company—in fact, if you’re looking for a job, it definitely shouldn’t be. Use this space to showcase your skills and expertise, what sets you apart from the crowd!
Read More: Does Your LinkedIn Headline Suck?
Pro Tip! If you are currently not working; Between contracts, recently made redundant, returning to work etc. I highly suggest that you write something along the lines of “Seeking new opportunities in… (Insert types of roles/industries here)”. As a recruiter I often search this for those contract, temporary, ASAP start roles. Easiest way for me to know that you are available NOW
- Your Summary is Key
This is a brief bio explaining who you are and your intentions.
According to LinkedIn’s official career expert Nicole Williams, your summary should look similar to that of an objective statement on a résumé.
Are you looking for a new job? Do you want to meet investors? Maybe you’d like to find a mentor,” Williams says. “This is the place to express that.”
“The summary statement offers an opportunity to project some personality,” Williams explains. “This a great place to reflect your professional brand — explaining why you got into the industry, what you love about it, and what kind of professional you are.”
The level of formality you employ may depend on your industry or intent — “but either way, remember this is a place to infuse personality.” Williams also suggests writing the summary in the first person, regardless of how formal you want to be.
- Include a Current Job Entry, Even When Unemployed
“If you’ve only listed the past positions you’ve held in the experience section but show nothing current, you’ll probably get missed in most searches. Why? Because most recruiting professionals exclusively use the current title box to search for candidates; otherwise they’d have to sort through thousands of candidates who held a certain role (for example, graphic designer) as far back as 20 or more years ago. The simple workaround, if you’re unemployed, is to create a dummy job listing in the current section that includes the job title(s) you’re targeting—‘Full-Time Student/Financial Analyst in Training’—followed by a phrase like ‘In Transition’ or ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ in the Company Name box.” University of Washington
- Add Visual and Multimedia content
“A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words, especially when it comes to showcasing your work. LinkedIn lets you add photos, videos, and slideshow presentations to your profile summary. So instead of just talking about your work, you can show examples. Or show yourself in action. Or share a presentation. Click ‘Edit profile,’ scroll down to your summary, then click on the box symbol, then ‘add file.’” Business Insider
- Be mindful of your Job Search (Privacy Settings)
“Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn does have privacy settings—for a reason. ‘When you’re out looking for a new job, and are actively engaged in your current job, you want to be discreet,” Williams explains. ‘A telltale sign to an employer that you’re leaving is that you overhaul your profile, connect with recruiters, and have an influx of new people. You can tailor your settings so that your boss doesn’t see that you’re looking for opportunities.’ The privacy settings are easy to find: Just sign in, and then select ‘settings’ from the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner.” LearnVest
- Be Active!
Ask for Recommendations! From current or previous employers, team members, clients, suppliers, contacts that you have worked with. This adds credibility and is someone putting their reputation on the line to back you!
Update your status! Like other social media platforms you should be posting regularly to raise your profile and professional brand. Things like blogging about industry relevant information, market trends, tips & tricks etc. If you’re not a confident writer or have the time to blog as such, sharing other user content and adding your opinion works as well – it’s all activity!
Join Groups! By joining groups relevant to your profession or industry, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your field. But more importantly, you’ll instantly be connected to people and part of relevant discussions in your field—kind of like an ongoing, online networking event.
Connections – How many do you currently have? If it’s under 50 it’s not enough. Fewer than 50 connections tells recruiters one of three things: 1) You have started your profile and not finished it, 2) You’re paranoid about connecting with others, or 3) Technology and social media are scary to you. None of these are good. Get out there!
At the end of the day, the best people to hire are the people who are the most excited about what they do. So, make sure your LinkedIn profile is engaging, current, and authentically you.