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LinkedIn is unique to any other social media channel and has around 562 million users who use the platform every day, including jobseekers, recruiters and businesses. Amongst this figure, LinkedIn have reported that 50 percent of users are educated to university level or equivalent, 60 million are influencers and 40 million are decision makers.
In contrast to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to develop your professional and personal branding, network with like-minded professionals, increase company exposure and assist you with your job search. Whether you are already working within a business, looking to increase brand awareness, or you are actively seeking a new job, the below top 10 LinkedIn profile tips will allow you to be a step ahead of your competition, without taking up too much of your time!
1. Make sure you can be found
You may already think you have a good LinkedIn profile, however you could be missing a trick if your profile cannot be found in search results by people when they are searching key terms. There are a couple of ways that you can make your profile friendly to search engines and be found by lots of relevant people. These include:
- Headline: this can be found directly under your name and profile picture and should be 120 characters maximum. You should try to use all of these characters to maximise the chances of being ranked higher in a search. The algorithm will pick up a number of key terms used in a profile and will consider the key terms used in your headline. Your headline should include your job title, sector, key skills and geographical area. You can separate the words with a vertical line to keep it formatted.
- Other areas: you can include keywords in your summary (directly below the headline) and in your experience. Some of your keywords may be mentioned organically whilst describing your company or job role, but you can include further keywords by including ‘specialities’ and a list of your key skills, separated by a comma. You can copy and paste this section into your job description under ‘Experience’. Another way to add keywords to your profile is to add your key skills to the ‘Skills & Endorsements’ section which is mentioned later in this piece.
2. Amend your privacy settings
You may have already amended your privacy settings on your other social media profiles as many of us like our private life to stay private. However, you may have not even considered the settings available on LinkedIn. You may want to consider the below LinkedIn privacy settings when you are looking for a new job opportunity:
- You can let recruiters know that you are open to opportunities. You can do this under the ‘Privacy & Settings’ tab under ‘Let recruiters know that you’re open to opportunities’.
- You may want to also hide your connections if you have been connecting with various recruiters which can also be amended in the ‘Privacy & Settings’ tab.
3. Include a photo of yourself
- According to LinkedIn, users with a profile photo are 21 times more likely to get profile views in comparison to no photo. Make sure your photo is professional with a simple background. Although your photo should be professional, do not be afraid to show a little bit of personality into your picture and smile!
4. Add skills to your LinkedIn profile and let the endorsements roll in
- Adding skills to your profile and getting endorsed by your LinkedIn connections can set you apart from your competition and increase your credibility. LinkedIn have found that if you have 5 endorsements or more, you are 17 times more likely to receive profile views. Make sure you think about the terms that people are likely to search for or key skills relevant to your role and the industry you work in.
5. Get some recommendations
- Vault, a company that carries out reviews on the best companies to work for, undertook research to investigate if recommendations on LinkedIn really matter. Some of the feedback included comments like “they’re a plus”, “they’re proof of the person’s skills and credentials” and “they can influence and reinforce”. These statements are very powerful as they show that hiring managers do consider this section of the profile, even if the recommendations are at the bottom of the page. Here are some tips on when to ask for recommendations and how you can do it:
- Ask for a recommendation straight away. People are most likely to give feedback straight away if they have had a positive experience.
- People may not know what to write or have limited time to compose a recommendation so you could draft a message for them and ask them to approve it. This can be done when selecting ‘Ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn’, or you can send them a list of questions to think about e.g. "what did I do for you?”, “why would you use me again?” and “what did you like about it?”.
- If you recommend someone, they are more likely to return the favour.
6. Make your URL friendly
- Your LinkedIn profile URL needs to be as clean and simple as possible. Remember, this may be included on other platforms or materials such as your company website or business card. You may want to create a custom URL instead of the URL that LinkedIn automatically assigns to your profile. You need to choose something that is easy to remember without any numbers or dashes. Try your first and last name and if this has already been taken, try including your middle name. If you have a friendly URL, you should also rank higher in Google searches meaning people will be able to find your profile more easily.
7. Make sure your profile is interesting
- LinkedIn has many features to make it more engaging and to add value or impress the individuals viewing your profile. You can include rich media including presentations, slide shares, blogs etc. As well as downloadable materials, you can link to websites and you can add media to your summary and in your experience.
8. Cover photo
- You are 11 times more likely to get viewed by uploading a cover photo. If you work for a company, they may have already provided you with one to use. If not choose a suitable image (dimensions, 1584 x 396 pixels). Keep your photo simple and make sure it has some relevance to what you do as a profession. You may want to include your contact details or company website on your photo. Finally, make sure your profile photo does not cut off important information on the design. Try it out a few times before you finalise your cover photo!
9. The power of achievements
- Compiling a of list of your duties in your current role is unlikely to make you stand out from the crowd, in comparison to someone that on ‘paper’ does the same job as you. Listing your achievements on the other hand can demonstrate your successes that have really made a difference to a business. You can highlight your achievements in your summary and in your experience.
10. Make sure people can contact you
- You can add up to three websites on your LinkedIn profile, so you may want to link your company page to drive traffic to the website. If you are currently in employment, use your work phone number, work email address and work address. In doing so you are increasing the opportunity of people being able to ‘connect’ with you, which is the objective of LinkedIn.
Now that you have read our top 10 tips, you should be able to easily make a few tweaks to enhance your profile! Download our 'LinkedIn Guide' below to guide you through the step-by-step process of updating your profile. View our Candidate Resources page to find further advice and tips to help you with your job search. In the meantime, If you are looking for a new role or require recruitment assistance, please get in touch with us.