Improve your LinkedIn Profile

You don’t need us to tell you that when searching for a new role that updating your CV and polishing up your interview skills is vital. But an often overlooked, yet highly useful additional tool is LinkedIn. Whether you already have one or are new to the social media platform, it’s a pretty good idea to update it to help with your job search.

But just listing your current job title, current employer, and work history are not enough. Below are some of the best ways to optimise your LinkedIn profile to ensure that potential employers and recruiters find you in their search results.

Customise your URL

When you first create your profile, LinkedIn will automatically assign a unique line of numbers to your URL. This doesn’t look great when linking to your profile. However, LinkedIn allows you to replace these and set a custom URL.

This is a good first step in making sure you are found as it means your name and page are a lot more search friendly. Try to keep the URL as close to your name as possible. If you can’t, consider alternatives such as adding an initial, middle name or even a job title (such as john-smith-graphic-designer).

How to do it?

Go to your profile

Click ‘Edit public profile & URL’

Click ‘Edit’ under the ‘Edit URL’ section

Choose your desired URL

Save your changes.

Check your profile’s visibility settings

Make sure your privacy settings are configured so you can be easily discovered.

Change your privacy settings to allow everyone to be able to read and search your profile. As LinkedIn is about sharing professional information about yourself, and acts like an online CV, keeping things private won’t help your chances of being found for that next big break.

Upload a professional photo

Using the right profile picture on your LinkedIn is important. Make sure that you use a recent photo and that it reflects your professionalism. That may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people upload inappropriate profile images to LinkedIn.

A solo headshot works best where you can clearly see your face (and look happy!). Even though LinkedIn is a serious platform for professionals it’s good for potential employers to see you as friendly and approachable from the outset.

Add a header image

Also known as a background photo or cover image, a header image allows you to inject a bit of your (professional) personality or personal brand. If applicable, use it to showcase some of your work (such as design or photography), or perhaps the area where you live. Even a plain coloured image looks better than nothing at all.

Make your headline more than a job title

Optimise your profile headline by adding keywords for search engine optimisations. For example, instead of “job seeker” be more specific and write “Aspiring Marketing and Social Media Professional”.

For ideas of the sort of keywords you should use, look at some job descriptions for jobs you are interested in and use some of the same words or phrases.

Turn your summary into a story

A well-optimised profile will get more attention from employers, recruiters, and head-hunters.

Writing your about section or summary and including relevant keywords, such as those you found in job descriptions, can help you stand out from the crowd.

It’s important to add as much relevant information as possible. Include your current position, professional experience, relevant skills, and any volunteer experience.

Take a skills assessment

A skills assessment is an online test that allows you to demonstrate the level of a particular skill, such as Microsoft Excel, and display a Verified Skill badge on your profile.

Data shows that candidates with verified skills are around 30% more likely to be hired for the roles they apply for and displaying proof of your abilities strengthens your personal brand.

Manage your endorsements

Skill endorsements are one of the best ways to stand out on LinkedIn and give prospective employers an idea of your talents.

By giving your colleagues or employers a recommendation, they will be alerted to your endorsement and may consider providing one for you. You can always request recommendations from them too.

Once endorsements start to come in, you can be proactive in managing the list of your endorsements and choose the order in which they show to better reflect the jobs you are applying for and reflect your personal brand.

Publish posts regularly

Lastly, if you want to be easily found and keep your profile fresh, make sure you publish posts regularly. This is a great way to show potential employers that you know your stuff.

Posts are searchable by keyword in both Google and LinkedIn and the more your post is shared, commented on and viewed, the more it will be shown to your networks and create connections.

Anyone can publish posts on LinkedIn; so make sure you provide value and use the 80/20 rule – you provide 80% value and content and just 20% for your own promotion.

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