Build a LinkedIn Profile

Builld a LinkedIn Profile with Peter Forshaw and Maxwell Stephens Help

Do you want to build a LinkedIn Profile? If so, you have come to the right place. If you’re looking for a new role you can’t ignore the power of LinkedIn! With over 15 million users in the UK, it’s now often the first place recruiters such as Maxwell Stephens will turn to when they’re looking for suitable candidates.

Here are our 8 top tips for building the perfect LinkedIn profile:

1) Pick a Professional Picture

It’s essential to have a great profile picture on LinkedIn as just like an interview, it’s your first chance to make a great impression, plus it gets you more views on the site. You should dress like you would for work, whatever industry you work in, ensure you’re alone in the photograph and have a clean and simple backdrop. You might have a fantastic Facebook profile picture with a beautiful holiday backdrop, but recruiters don’t want to picture you on holiday, they want to picture you in a work setting, working hard!

2) Create a Snappy Headline

When recruiters search for candidates on LinkedIn they’re often presented with a list of suitable options. Here you’re being judged on your profile picture and your headline. You have 120 characters so make it count. Don’t just simply put your job title, elaborate on it a little, “Facilities Manager at ACo – 20 years of FMCG Experience”. Avoid clichéd phrases such as “hard-working”, “dynamic” and “driven”, recruiters will expect all candidates to be these things. Mirror this when you customise your URL, to ensure the link to your profile contains your name as well as something that relates to your industry – it makes you easier to find!

3) Write a Compelling Summary

A well written summary is crucial to ensure you can be found by recruiters on LinkedIn, as the words you use are picked up by LinkedIn when a recruiter is looking for candidates with certain skills and experience. Here you have 2000 characters to really sell yourself, so make good use of them, don’t simply start listing your experience. Instead the summary should be all the great things about you with tangible information to back them up, including awards and industry-specific achievements, for example “Whilst working for ACo I reduced waste across the business by 35%”. If appropriate to your industry, you can add links to PDF documents, video footage or relevant websites.

4) Show Your Experience

Try to avoid simply duplicating your CV in the experience section, often the style of writing can be quite uninspiring or formal on a CV, much different to the style we’re used to reading online. Make the tone conversational, however don’t be afraid of being too detailed. Here you want to cover the many different aspects of each role you’ve done, and show progression or development from one role to the next. Volunteer work is also fantastic experience, so be sure to include that too, especially if it demonstrates skills that your other roles don’t. Add media to make the section look a little more exciting – a web link to the company or a testimonial from a former employer can look great and ensure that recruiters stay on your profile for longer.

5) Get Recommendations and Testimonials

Recommendations and testimonials are great as they show an employer that it’s not only you that thinks you’re great! Invite colleagues to write recommendations for you, perhaps giving them direction “it would be great if you could focus on my team management skills”, to ensure that your recommendations give a rounded view of you as a candidate. Endorsements are more of a numbers game, which means you may find you get endorsements from people you don’t know, for skills you’re not known for, who are looking to get endorsed back. Don’t worry, you can reorder your skills so the ones most relevant to you are at the top, maybe even ask colleagues or friends to endorse you for skills you most want to be known for. However with both recommendations and endorsements be careful not to overdo it, the positive messages will get lost and it’ll make your profile seem inauthentic.

7) Build Your Network

Connecting with other LinkedIn members can be really powerful when it comes to looking for a new role, keep your network wide and its amazing who you can end up in contact with. To build your network you should begin by importing your email contacts and linking with those you know. Colleagues, alumni, family and friends should all become part of your network. Industry people you may have met at a conference or event are also great to have as part of your network as they’ll be sharing things that are relevant to you and bringing you closer to potential new roles. Make sure you personalise your connection message, or people may click “I do not know the person” – if this happens to you too many times your account will be deleted.

8) Keep it Updated

Once you have a fabulous 100% complete profile listing all your skills and experience, you need to keep it up to date! Sharing industry news updates will be relevant to those in your network and encourage them to visit your profile and interact with you. It shows you’re up to date with what is going on and that you understand and care about the industry you work in. Joining relevant groups is great too as they appear on your profile and can be a great source of information. Your LinkedIn profile should demonstrate what a great candidate you are! It has been designed to be interactive so ensure you use all the different functions it offers to make best use of the site. Oh and don’t forget to keep your contact details up to date, so all those amazing offers can find their way to you!

Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens