Does your Linked In profile need a health check?
- BY AMANDA GAN
- MONDAY, MAY 4, 2020
Linked In has become a mainstream tool for recruiters and job seekers alike, so as a prospective candidate it is important that you project the right impression through your profile.
In order to uncover top talent recruiters are turning to rich sources of information such as Linked In and not just relying on incoming job applications from active job seekers. In addition, recruiters and hiring managers often use Linked In as an additional resource to check out a candidate’s profile before shortlisting them.
So what’s important when developing your Linked In profile and how can you stand out from the crowd?
- A picture is worth a thousand words so include a professional profile photo. Choose a recent, clear, head and shoulders photo of yourself, preferably in business attire. It should be different from your Facebook profile and definitely should not be a photo of your dog. Make sure you smile and appear natural as well as look into the camera. Profiles with photos are more likely to get contacted than those without. You may also like to consider adding a personalised background banner, which will make your profile more visually appealing. Be sure to choose an appropriate image that reflects your personal brand. You can even customise your own using a free tool like canva.com
- Make sure you can be found by using the "Headline" section to your full advantage. The headline is important real estate as it is one of the first things people will see when they view your profile. You want to grab people's attention, so be creative. Instead of accepting the default option, which is your job title and company, why not include the phrase "Multiple award winning Medical Device Representative. Product Specialist - Orthopaedics and Cardiac devices". You have 120 characters to play with here, make the most of it. LinkedIn has a complex search algorithm that allows recruiters and hiring managers to find you. The headline carries the most weight in that algorithm, therefore it's vital you use this space for the best keywords that describe your experience. We recommend you do not write "Actively seeking opportunities".
- Build your personal brand - The "About" summary is a good opportunity to increase your visibility in recruiter searches by writing a few concise paragraphs that are keyword rich. Use it to showcase who you are and what makes you tick, your career overview and your top achievements. Give the reader a sense of who you are by being genuine and down to earth, and try to avoid generic phrases and grandiose statements. Write it in the first person, for example "I am an accomplished medical devices sales manager".
- Include your career detail but don’t copy and paste your entire CV. Include relevant information such as qualifications, employment history with a concise 3-5 bullet point summary of your responsibilities and key achievements for your most recent jobs. Cross check your dates, companies and jobs with your CV and make sure they match up!
- Add Skills – According to LinkedIn, people who list at least five skills receive up to seventeen times more profile views. To appear in more recruiter and employer searches for the job you want, choose skills that you think they will be searching on e.g. pharmaceutical sales, medical devices, orthopaedics, cardiology, hospitals, sales management, contract negotiation. You can reorder the skills and also select the three you want to feature in the top three.
- Keywords – The search function that recruiters use looks for location, job titles, skills and keywords in your profile. To ensure you are not overlooked, include relevant keywords throughout your profile. For example if you have sales experience in cardiac surgery, make sure you include this in your profile.
- Customise your profile URL and then use it on your CV. To the right of your background banner you are able to edit the default Linked In profile URL to something more personal e.g. www.linkedin.com/in/johnsmith
- Double check your profile for typos and grammatical errors.
- Use your profile to privately signal to recruiters you are open to job opportunities. There is a tab you can click on to do this within your edit profile page. This is a hidden field in your profile so regular browsers, your contacts or your employer won’t be able to see it, unless you make it public. When you consider a typical search on Linked In might bring up thousands of names, recruiters are more likely to prioritise their time reviewing those profiles that are flagged as open to opportunities.
- Keep it up to date.