Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Many clients contact me and are hesitant about investing in a fix of their LinkedIn profile. They say things like "I hate social media. Do I really need it?".
The answer is YES!
Whether you love or hate social media, LinkedIn is a necessary part of modern job-hunting. This is why I include it as part of ALL my resume packages.
A prospective employer or recruiter will Google you and find your LinkedIn profile (have you Googled yourself lately?), so it’s important to have a complete and professional profile.
This means you need to update your half finished, out-of-date profile - and remove that photo of you at the races!
So, how does LinkedIn work?
LinkedIn is a social networking platform for professionals. It’s for people who want to grow their careers and to connect with other professionals – a bit like networking in person at a business event.
It's a platform for sharing and discussing career-related content.
Your profile is like a brief online resume. The level of detail in your profile is up to you, but having a more detailed and complete profile will help you get picked up in searches.
The ‘skills and endorsements’ and 'recommendations' sections allow for interaction from your connections - they can endorse you for your skills and experience and write recommendations that are visible online.
Who should you connect with?
I suggest initially connecting with everyone you know: friends, current colleagues, previous colleagues, and anyone you've ever been in contact with through your work (contractors, clients, suppliers).
Then it's time to start connecting with people strategically. These might be people that you don't know personally but that you know of through the workplace, or people you follow and admire. It's a good idea to add a note to your connection request, stating who you are and why you want to connect.
Do you have to post?
Just like on Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn has a news feed. You can follow people, organisations and interest groups to see their posts in your news feed. The more groups and people of interest that you follow, the more relevant and interesting your feed will become.
You don't have to write posts if you don't want to, however the more active you are on LinkedIn, the more likely you will be found in searches. Regularly checking in and commenting and sharing on other people's stories will help.
If you do want to post, you could share career-related articles and blog posts, provide updates from your workplace (the options are endless), or even share a job that your network might be interested in.
What's the benefit of having a quality profile?
LinkedIn is growing and is now a leading recruitment tool. Organisations use it to advertise roles and also to recruit staff directly.
Recruiters often approach prospective applicants via LinkedIn – so it's important to look professional and have all the right key words in your profile.
You can also use LinkedIn to seek new opportunities by networking with potential employers. For example, you might find that one of your connections can introduce you to someone they are connected with at your dream company.
LinkedIn also sends you job suggestions based on your profile. So the more detailed your profile, the better chance LinkedIn will email you jobs that really appeal.
Switch on recruiter function
The absolute best benefit of LinkedIn - which is crucial at this point in time if you have been made redundant - is the Show recruiters you're open to job opportunities section.
This function is free to switch it on and can be set to private (only shown to recruiters) or visible (everyone can see it on your profile).
You can switch this on via the box just below your headline.
Simply click 'Get started', add 5 suitable job titles, your location preferences, the job type/s you are interested in (full-time, casual etc) and then decide if you want this to be visible to recruiters only or to everyone.
So how do you fix your profile?
The simplest way to update your profile is to fix your profile photo and add a background image.
While you don’t need to get a professional photo taken, make sure that it looks professional and projects the image that you want in the workplace. (Maybe have a photo shoot with a friend!)
It’s also a good idea to add a background image that matches your profile photo. Check out unsplash.com for lots of free images that you can use.
Your headline is also really important. It defaults to your current /most recent job title, but it's better if you over-write this and include key words that describe who you are professionally.
You can add multiple terms. For example: Project Officer | Administrator| Policy Advisor. You have 120 characters, so put in as many key words as you can.
LinkedIn will allocate you an ugly URL ending in lots of numbers. You can change this by clicking ‘Edit Public Profile and URL’ in the light grey box on the right of your View Profile screen, then choosing a unique URL. This will look much more professional.
4. Align with your resume
Make sure you align your job titles and dates with your resume, and complete all the sections so that you become a LinkedIn All Star! Cheesy, but it will help you to be picked up in searches.
Once you've updated your profile, pop over to LinkedIn and connect with me!