Paul Lewis, Managing Director of Pitman Training, is an expert in helping people improve their career prospects. Here ares his top tips for creating the ultimate LinkedIn profile.
There’s no better place to connect with business professionals or to find jobs to apply to than on LinkedIn. With three people being hired through LinkedIn every minute, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you are ready to apply to jobs with a profile that stands out. So how do you do it?
On social media, first impressions matter, so choosing the right picture for your LinkedIn profile goes a long way. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, that your face is clearly displayed and you smile to appear approachable and confident.
Your headline doesn’t have to just be your job title. Use it to say a bit more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick. A good headline not only provides an overview of what you do, but it will also encourage other LinkedIn users to click on your profile.
Buzzwords on LinkedIn mean nothing unless you back them up. Just because you use terms like ‘specialised’, ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’ or ‘experienced’ to describe yourself doesn’t prove you have those qualities. Try and demonstrate your abilities throughout your profile and in your posts as well as just listing them.
Many people overlook the summary when creating their LinkedIn profile. Don’t make this mistake. Your summary is the perfect opportunity for you to bring your page to life, so don’t just talk about your skills, explain why they matter and the difference you can make to people’s lives.
Having 500 connections establishes you as a networker and influencer on LinkedIn, and the more connections you have, the more likely you are to be seen by businesses. However, it’s no good connecting with just anybody. It’s best only to make quality connections that are relevant to you. Connect with present and past colleagues, influencers in your field and prospective employers for the best results.
Adding your skills should be the easiest thing to do on LinkedIn – simply scroll through the list of skills and identify those relevant to you. Although, the keyword here is ‘relevant’. While a long list of skills may look great, if you can’t do something to a high standard, it’s best to remove it from your list as you could be tripped up if an employer asks about it.
A skills assessment is a voluntary online test that demonstrates your skills and displays a Verified Skills Badge on your profile. These badges can increase your employability factor when recruiters review your profile. The best thing about the skills assessments? You can retake the tests as often as you like before adding them to your profile, so they’re worth the effort.
In the same way that testimonials benefit a business, recommendations can benefit you. Ask your past employers, teachers, or colleagues for recommendations to illustrate their experience of working with you.
The people you follow on LinkedIn will dictate what you see on your feed. So, follow industry experts to see a range of interesting and relevant content. You can then share this content to your page and add your opinion to demonstrate your expertise in this field.
Positioning yourself as an expert is probably the single most valuable thing you can do when looking for employment on LinkedIn. You can establish your expertise by commenting on posts, sharing content, and creating your own original content. These simple steps can transform your profile.
Paul Smith is managing director of Pitman Training.