With the current challenges in the job market, it is becoming even more important to stand out from the crowd and create as many opportunities as you can to get in front of potential employers.
One easy and fast way to do this is to create a personal LinkedIn profile that showcases your personality, interests and skills.
Before starting or updating your profile ask yourself how you would like people to see you. Who is your target audience that you are trying to reach and influence?
Start with adding a photo. Ideally this should be a high resolution recent image that looks like you and has your entire face visible. You should look professional but relaxed and smiling to welcome your audience.
Add an attention grabbing Headline. This is the best way to get your profile noticed and hopefully help you to get interviews. Remember that a lot of potential hiring managers will view your profile so you need to show your skills and expertise and communicate the value you will bring to them. Try to include one keyword or phrase for the type of job you want. Don’t waste your headline by just putting your job title – always personalise and develop to include relevant keywords that will help people find you. You only have 120 characters, so make sure you use them effectively.
Next you can expand on your headline, in your summary. This space gives you a maximum of 2000 characters to define yourself and your experiences in your own words. It is your chance to sell yourself by highlighting your achievements and show your enthusiasm for the sectors that you are trying to influence. If you need inspiration, there are countless examples that you can view online but try to make yours unique and personal to yourself. Keep to short paragraphs to make it easy to read.
Next add your experience. Start with your current or last position and expand as much as possible on any accomplishments or examples of where you have added value to team projects or team initiatives. Keep it clear and concise with bullet points where appropriate to break up the text. If you are looking for your first role you can still add any part-time work experience you have had or relevant experience through your education.
Add your education, including where and what you studied. Research from LinkedIn suggests that people who list these details get up to 11x more profile views.
Keep your profile up to date and relevant by posting and sharing content that you are interested in and that shows your passion for your career aspirations. Posting videos and photos will make your page more engaging and eye-catching.
Add skills you want to be known for under ‘endorsements’, to enable connections to endorse you. This will add credibility to your profile.
In summary, your LinkedIn profile is a great way to show people who you are and what you stand for. People can find you and see what you are interested in through your content and posts. It needs to be kept up-to-date and relevant and should be written with keywords in mind for discoverability.
Once you are happy with your profile, it is time to start connecting and building relationships. You can let recruiters know that you’re open to new opportunities which will encourage them to contact you. By adding titles and locations you’re interested in, you’ll help them understand what you’re looking for.
It is important to understand your privacy settings to have control over your profile and its visibility so you can customise it to fit your needs. Within these settings you can also choose to keep your job search private and visible only to recruiters if you wish.
Remember – Your personal brand is you, your reputation, your personality and energy. It is therefore important to optimise it.