With an increasingly dominant position in the recruitment market, there are huge numbers of hiring managers and recruiters using LinkedIn to hunt for candidates. These days, employers pretty much always have a look at your LinkedIn profile before they decide to hire people, so it’s essential to make sure your profile sells you in the right light. Here are five strategies you can adopt to make your LinkedIn profile more effective.
Customize your URL.
This is the address of your LinkedIn page on the Web. Adapting it will mean a Google search on your name will be more likely to show your LinkedIn profile. Go to your profile page and look for your current URL, then click on the settings button. Then click on the phrase “Customize your public profile URL”. If you have an unusual name, you can almost certainly just put that it in. If that’s already taken, try reversing the order of your name, or using initials, or perhaps adding an abbreviated location.
Write a punchy, succinct career summary.
Aim for 100 – 300 words, and try to tell a persuasive story about yourself that is based on measurable achievements that illustrate a relevant skillset. Use keywords and phrases from target job descriptions. Use ‘I’ if you’re younger and consider using the third person in the style of an executive bio if you’re more experienced and want to avoid sounding like you’re boasting.
Keep the experience section relevant and concise.
Often people only include their current job, which is a mistake. Include a list of relevant employers, with primary achievements included in brief bullet form. You don’t need to have a comprehensive list, but give an idea of consistent progression with solid achievements.
Clarify your skillset.
This section offers a quick way to show potential employers what you can do and it allows your connections to endorse those skills. They are a great way of making sure you’re properly addressing searches by recruiters in your field, so make sure they’re relevant and in the right order on your profile. Put the most important skills in the top 10 (you can have up to 50), and encourage people to endorse your skills by endorsing theirs.
Connections are the foundation of your LinkedIn presence; they enable you to network more effectively. For example, say you want to work for Company Z, and you notice that one of your connections has a contact working there, you can ask for a referral. Opinions vary on how forward to be about increasing your list of connections; a good standard is whether you know the person, or if there is a good professional reason why you would like to get to know them better. If not, it’s probably not worth connecting with them.
That said, there are people who think you should make as many connections as possible because of the exponential growth effect of multiple layers of connections. There is certainly a good argument for working hard to get over 500 connections, which is the maximum LinkedIn will display on personal profiles; many people believe that you appear more influential and more powerful to others if you have more than 500 connections. When you send a request for a new connection, always rewrite the basic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” and add something personal. The drabness of this approach has become a punchline to many jokes.
Knowing what to include and what to leave out of your LinkedIn profile can be hard to fathom. Ask the writing experts at City CV to write your LinkedIn profile for you and know yours will attract the attention you need. City CV’s professional CV writers have the knowledge and experience to help at every career stage, with a particular expertise at executive level, across all industries. For more information on our LinkedIn and CV writing services, call us on +44 20 7100 6656 or email [email protected].