When potential employers scroll through your Linkedin profile, what do you want to jump out at them first? Where should you focus your efforts so that your profile is the one that sticks? Ideally, within the first 30 seconds of skimming your profile, readers should be able to grasp your personality, skills, and biggest achievements. Here are the five areas you should pay extra attention to in order to build a strong Linkedin profile.
1. Your Introduction
This is your chance to inject some personality in your professional profile. Your headline and About section should be able to tell readers who you are in a few well-written lines. Spend time to craft a succinct and eye-catching headline as it is the first thing that appears (alongside your name) in profile searches. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your summary as it allows potential employers to get a glimpse of who you are beyond your resume. Ensure that it is at least 40 words and weave in keywords, if possible, for a higher likelihood of your profile appearing in searches. An authentic voice will help you create a personal brand with your profile, and showcasing your personality also helps future employers decide if you are a good fit for their company.
Always start with your most recent employment. For job seekers, this is where the meat of your profile lies, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to copy-and-paste your resume to your LinkedIn profile without making any changes! Be sure to tweak your content to include more detail and break the text into clean, simple paragraphs to make it easily readable. Describe briefly what the company does, your role when you were/are working with them, and any measurable results you achieved while under their employment. Optimise your content by including relevant keywords, and you have a considerably beefed-up Linkedin profile!
3. Skills and Endorsements
Linkedin currently allows you to list up to 50 skills – as a general guide, profiles with 5 or more skills listed get more visits than those with less. Be sure to list your skills in order of expertise, as you will want to display your most well-honed skills at the top, where potential employers are mostly likely to look first. Endorsements on your skills will also boost your credibility and help others understand your strengths. The skills page is not only a good summary of your strengths, but also the place where the most searchable keywords related to your industry are found. Think of it as your personal search engine optimiser, streamlining the ways in which the right people can find you.
Adding more of the schools you attended will allow you to connect with old classmates and other alumni. You should also include any education not directly associated with a university or college, such as a course you attended or a certificate awarded by an organisation related to your field.
5. Additional Information
Some may think that this field can be left empty, but this is in fact an opportunity for you to showcase something unique about yourself that may not be directly related to your professional experience. Add a few websites and key interests that can highlight your passions and abilities. Some hobbies can translate into marketable skills for yourself as well; a love for crafting, for example, may speak of your attention to detail and creative mind. Naming some organisations or groups that you belong to can also help build your connections with others in the same groups.
As your connections grow and your network expands, remember that your Linkedin profile reflects your personal brand; constantly streamline the information on your page so that any information about you stays easily accessible, readable and relevant. Then see that job you’ve been eyeing? Go for it. Let your profile speak for you.
Text by Tammy Lee