There are more than 450 million profiles on LinkedIn. 106 million of those users are active on a monthly basis, and 40% log in daily. Those are pretty impressive statistics, and it would be difficult to deny the importance for professionals to have a stand out profile on LinkedIn – particularly if they are actively or seeking new opportunities. Furthermore, there are now more than 3 million active job listings. In summary, it is the virtual place to represent yourself from a career perspective. Yet so many people do themselves an injustice by producing a weak LinkedIn profile, which arguably does more harm than good.
This is why we have produced our top 5 tips that you can use almost like a checklist to do an audit of your current profile, and then implement positive change to stand out from your peers!
It should be representative of the industry you work in. If you are an accountant in a bank, it is not suitable to have a picture of you on the beach during your summer holiday. This might mean you need a photo taken specifically for LinkedIn. Many people do have a professional photographer take a couple of headshots for them and it is worth the small investment.
The headline is your mini elevator pitch. It is your opportunity to tell everyone who you are in one sentence. Take a moment to consider what you want to say and how you can stand out from the crowd. It should also include keywords that recruiters etc might use in a search for potential candidates.
Endorsements are great – they let other people know that there are individuals out there that rate you. However, be thoughtful about who you want to endorse you and how that reflects on your current situation. Also pick just 2-4 of the best endorsements, any more than that can seem like you have asked for them or traded recommendations.
The great thing about LinkedIn is that there are many groups where ‘likeminded’ individuals can ask each other for advice, and/or debate industry and role based issues. They can be very useful places to not only learn, but also to raise your profile my getting involved and making comments. However, remember that comments are public within that group, or open to all. Ensure comments are unlikely to be misconstrued or lead to a debate you wish you had rather not started.
CV’s are typically quite flat documents that do little to really convey who you are as a professional. However, LinkedIn allows you to share groups you are interested in, add blogs via Pulse, and present various case studies of your work. Utilise this opportunity to share more colour than you can ever possibly do on your CV.
In summary, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful social media platform and the stats shared in the introduction prove that point. However, all too often profiles are given little thought and in fact can be detrimental to a job search. The five top tips above will help you to look at your profile with a fresh perspective, and hopefully give you some ideas of how to change it for the better.
Peter Forshaw, Managing Director – Maxwell Stephens.
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