LinkedIn and other social medias are an important part of any job search in 2020. Having a strong online presence allows you to be seen by more potential employers or connections. Among social medias, LinkedIn is most known for professional networking. In fact, LinkedIn has more than 660 million members in 200 countries. In other words, not having a LinkedIn profile will put any job seeker at a disadvantage. On the other hand, with so many users of LinkedIn, you may be wondering how your profile can stand out from the rest. Let’s look at five tips you can use to strengthen your profile today!
1) Visuals First
Just like in real life, the first impression your LinkedIn profile gives off can determine whether an employer will consider your job application. Your profile picture will be the first thing anyone will notice when reading your profile page. It is strongly recommended that you use a professional looking headshot on LinkedIn; your face should take up the majority of the frame. Your profile picture is a representation of yourself; dress professionally and avoid distracting and flashy clothing and backgrounds. In addition, avoid using selfies. Ask someone else to take your picture. The key is to look professional.
A cover photo will also help your profile stand out more. The photo represents your personal brand, so keep it aligned with your professional identity. The recommended size of your cover photo is 1584 x 396 pixels. If used properly the visuals on your profile will give off the perfect first impression.
2) Impactful First Words
Your LinkedIn headline allows you to including a short-and-sweet description about yourself. By default, LinkedIn puts your job title as the headline – something you will want to change. You have 120 characters here, so use the space to explain your key skills. Keep an organized headline by using vertical lines. For example, “Digital Manager | SEO Marketing.” If you are currently looking for work, list hard skills and job titles which represent the job you are targeting. Appear in more LinkedIn searches by carefully selecting keywords to place in your headline. Use your headline to create opportunities by including what you can do.
The summary is a section for you to expand on your headline. Think of the summary as an elevator pitch – 2,000 characters to tell someone about yourself. Furthermore, LinkedIn only shows the first three lines of your summary before readers need to click “see more” to continue. Start strong so readers will want to keep reading. Turn the summary into your personal story, and not just a list of your previous job titles.
3) Show, Don’t Tell
Much like writing a resume, the experience section of your profile is used to highlight your past working experience. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should include everything. Mention relevant experience catered to the job you are seeking. For example, someone trying to be a dentist doesn’t need to include their working experience from a fast food restaurant five years ago. However, fast food experience could be worth mentioning if you are looking for another job which requires customer service.
When describing your experience, it is more effective to provide examples of your accomplishments rather than simply writing your job description. Many LinkedIn experts recommend you include numbers to demonstrate specific accomplishments. For example, a Digital Marketer could mention how they “increased social media engagement by 15%” instead of simply saying they “managed the company’s LinkedIn profile.” At the end of the day, showing is more effective than telling.
Lastly, do your best to avoid buzzwords. These are adjectives used to make someone sound better. In reality, these words have been used so often that they have become meaningless. Think about words like: experienced, passionate, leadership, creative. While buzzwords may be tempting to use, it is better to show your experience rather than using flashy words.
4) Engage and Grow
Maximize your time on LinkedIn by following industry leaders and influencers. You will be able to follow the newest trends and stay up to date about any industry-related news. Comment or share trending posts to help spread your name and brand as someone in your desired career field. You can also engage your own network by sharing original content and posts.
Grow your network; don’t be shy about adding friends, family members, or even colleagues as a large network are beneficial – especially for job seekers. You never know where, or from who, your next job offer will come from. Your LinkedIn profile can publicly display how many connections you have. After 500 connections, LinkedIn will simply indicate 500+.
5) Keep updated and current
Even if you are not job searching, it is good practice to update your profile. You never know when opportunities can find their way to you, so having an up-to-date profile will only serve you well.
On the other hand, if you are job seeking, it is even more important to have an updated profile so that your skills and experiences are properly reflected. Consider creating a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile so that it can be easily shared or listed on print material like a resume or business card.
If you found this helpful, you should follow Career Loans on LinkedIn to get notified about our latest blogs and social posts. Career Loans is a government-funded program aimed at internationally trained newcomers living in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The program helps newcomers return to their desired career by providing free one-on-one support sessions and assistance with a microloan application for up to $15,000. Return to your career today, visit our website and sign up for free!