Creating the perfect LinkedIn profile – with CMD Recruitment
With close to 800 million members and a growth rate of approximately two new users every second, LinkedIn statistics say the most about the value of being a member, says Dan Barfoot, operations manager at CMD Recruitment.
With so much attention and opportunity on LinkedIn it is imperative that you have an excellent profile, especially if you want to make a good impression on a prospective new employer.
To help you achieve the ‘perfect profile’ I’ve put together a checklist to make sure you have got everything in your LinkedIn toolkit.
Add a current profile picture
If there is blank space where your photo should be on your profile this is an immediate turn off for companies who may be checking you out on LinkedIn.
Research has also shown that members with a photo achieve around seven times more engagement than those that don’t. Not only this, but having an idea of what someone looks like is a good way of building an initial connection virtually.
So, make sure you have a professional photo of yourself that is up-to-date. Choose one with a neutral background that doesn’t detract from you and make sure your face is in the centre with no blurriness.
Also, utilise your cover photo space to reflect you further. For instance, a picture of your company logo, your team, your products or service – a strong visual that adds another dimension to what you’re all about.
Include a strong profile headline
The headline on your LinkedIn profile sits just under your photo and full name, so it’s very conspicuous, it’s also one of the first things companies will look at.
This part of your profile will be noticed on job applications and is visible in the ‘people you may know’ section too.
LinkedIn populates this with your name and job title by default but you can edit it. In this space, you have 220 characters to make an impact so include more on what you do. For example, if you work in marketing, you can say, ‘I help put companies in the spotlight’. If you work in training and development, highlight that you help industry professionals achieve their career ambitions.
Using keywords in your description also helps as LinkedIn uses its own algorithms to help people find each other easily.
Customise your profile URL
Customising your URL on LinkedIn is simple but effective. It provides you with a meaningful link to share, rather than a series of forgettable numbers that the platform automatically assigns to it when you first set up a profile.
To edit your URL, head to your profile, and on the top right-hand corner, click ‘Edit public profile and URL’. Choose the pencil icon to edit the existing URL which is again in the top right corner. Type in your preferred words for your URL and save your changes.
This now means that you can share a link that more accurately reflects your profile, ideal for making a good first impression with an employer.
Show your best bits in the best ways
To portray the best version of yourself on LinkedIn, share information about the activities you have taken part in, the courses you’ve been on and the qualifications you have achieved.
Although this may feel boastful, it’s important to show what you can do, and there is a right way to do it.
For the best effect, build a story behind what it is you have done, how you felt about it and what the end result was, rather than simply stating how pleased you are with yourself.
An authentic narrative can really help an audience resonate with you and will show employers your genuine but positive side.
Think about your posts in the context of giving value and support to your network, and consider how your activities on LinkedIn will align with the roles you would like in the future.
Creating the perfect profile on LinkedIn also means being active. An extensive and quality list of activities on your profile will look impressive to hiring managers.
Liking is good, but sharing and commenting on relevant posts shows greater depth to your knowledge and interest in your industry.
Try to add something of value in the comments you make, or when you share something, put your own take on the subject to demonstrate your know-how. Producing your own posts will convey your individuality and you should always include images to further support engagement.
Content that works well on LinkedIn are short videos. Clips of around 15 – 20 seconds are effective – they are not too long to turn audiences off and the length gives you enough time to get a message across and attract viewers.
Being active on LinkedIn also equates to joining relevant groups, helping you form new connections with whom you can share your expertise and insight.
You may not be engaging directly with prospective employers, but they will be able to see the groups you belong to on your profile and understand more about who you are and what you are interested in.
Write your own articles
Writing and sharing articles on LinkedIn takes your profile to another level. It shows that you really care about the issues linked to your sector or profession and if it’s shareable content, there is no end to the people who can engage with it, further boosting your professional reputation.
Those who view your profile will be able to see the articles and appreciate your level of interaction and genuine interest in certain fields.
Your own written content can also prompt interesting discussions with colleagues or people in your industry, and it is a valuable means of being indirectly endorsed.
Each connection on LinkedIn has the potential to link you with another 400 people, so the importance of getting your profile as perfect as it can be is crucial.
It’s often the first port of call for potential employers looking for specific skills and attributes, or wanting further insight on you, therefore taking your time to perfect it can pay dividends for your career.
Dan Barfoot is operations manager at CMD Recruitment, which has offices in Devizes, Melksham, Calne, and Bath https://cmdrecruitment.com