What is LinkedIn and do you need it?

How to create a profile with some *bang* about it.

There comes a time when you transition from looking for casual or part time work, to work that contributes to your ‘career’.  Once you make this move, LinkedIn is a tool that professionals use to:

  • Share their skills, experience and achievements with confidence to self promote, network, and job search.
  • Get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.
  • Self promote and leverage their network.

It’s kind of like Facebook but for your work-persona.

Here are some top tips to help your LinkedIn profile stand out:

  1. Use a photo that tells a story about you

Ensure the photo tells the story you want it to tell. Profiles are 11 times more likely to be viewed if they have a photo. Use a head shot image that is clear and will be appealing to the hiring manager or recruiter. The ideal size is 400×400 pixels and max size of 10MB. No party shots, cartoon avatars or puppy pics!

  1. Write an informative profile headline

This should reflect what’s unique about you, so include relevant keywords. The headline is the first thing people see, use it to highlight your skills, experience and credibility

  1. Include a summary that’s succinct and clear

This is like your best written cover letter. Be concise and confident. Share your qualifications and goals. Use this space to let people know your expertise, what you can do for them and why they would want to engage with you. This is one of the first things people read in your profile, so it should reflect your personal brand and key achievements. Grab their attention, so they scroll down and read more. Be succinct by keeping to about 200 – 300 words long and include key words that hiring managers and recruiters are looking for. You can also add your contact details here to make it easy for people to get in touch.

  1. Showcase your achievements and their benefits

List your top achievements to date. Include key words and phrases that recruiters search for. Find these in job listings that appeal to you or look at profiles for people in roles you aspire to. Be sure to list the benefits of our achievements, meaning the value that you add as a result of your achievements

  1. Include your skills and expertise

You can add and customise this section with specific skills and expertise, with suggestions from the LinkedIn® library. These are included in the key words that are searchable on your profile. Your connections can endorse you for these and you can return the favour by endorsing theirs.

  1. Show off your education and projects

Use this area to profile your education. There are additional sub headings that can be found in the side bar and added including certifications, courses and projects. It’s appropriate to share your GPA, test scores, honors, or awards.

  1. Collect recommendations from your network

The best profiles have at least one recommendation for each position held. Recruiters seem to be more impressed by recommendations from people who have directly managed you. Recommendations demonstrate how your work has been valued. A recruiter or hiring manager will be more confident to back you if others do too. Seek variety and diversity of recommendations versus quantity. It’s ok to guide your connection to what you would like them to focus on. You’ll be able to edit and approve before uploading to your profile.

  1. Build your network

Making at least 50 trusted connections on LinkedIn® will maximise your networking opportunities. Spend 10 minutes a day reviewing the recommended connections. Personalise your message when connecting and inject some of your personality and brand into it, take a professional but approachable tone. Connect with others based on mutual connections and talk to how you’re connected.

  1. Engage, share & update your status

Update your status and share relevant information that promotes your brand. Posting updates helps you to stay on your networks radar and helps to build your profile. Share your projects, articles and insights from events you’ve attended. Be proactive by following organisations that inspire you, and share their updates. Join and engage with relevant groups to make new connections and participate in discussions.

  1. Complete and keep your profile fresh

Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn®. Profile completeness also considers profile freshness, so frequent updates help you stand out. You can see your completeness score on the right side of your profile page.


What is LinkedIn and do you need it?
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