According to the most recent study results, 94% of recruiters already use social media in their hiring processes. And it holds true for everyone, from financial analysts to short-order chefs. And yet, many are baffled as to why platforms like LinkedIn is such major changes, or at the very least, they are dubious.
The hiring process has undergone a significant change as a result of LinkedIn. The solutions are being used by more and more businesses and recruiters to find and hire talent. You may develop connections as a LinkedIn member that can advance both your professional and business goals.
We all understand that having a solid LinkedIn profile is a crucial rung on the ladder to professional success, yet many of us never seem to have the time. You can drastically increase the visibility of your LinkedIn profile in less than an hour by making a few straightforward adjustments to it. Follow these 8 steps to a powerful LinkedIn profile.
Step 1: Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile & Pictures
Unlike your resume, your profile picture is very important on your LinkedIn profile. It needs to be professional. LinkedIn research showed that having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed. It is your first chance to get noticed.
It should go without saying, yet shockingly many people still have images that are useless for their job hunts. The image should show you from the chest up and be very clear and vibrant. If you’re seeking for work, you should dress properly and for the position you desire, not the one you already have. You can claim that you lack the tools or the time necessary to capture a quality picture. I can assure you that this is untrue. There is no requirement for a professional photo shoot, and the majority of smartphone cameras can capture images of absolutely acceptable quality. Ask a friend or a coworker to take your picture, but make sure you appear approachable and nice.
How To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Picture
- Pick a photo that looks like you now: If the recruiter is to invite you for an interview tomorrow, they should be able to recognize you from your LinkedIn picture. A picture taken a while ago might make the recruiter question your credibility.
- Use a high-resolution image: LinkedIn’s ideal picture size is 400×400 pixels. Avoid low-resolution photos.
- Your face needs to occupy more than 60% of the frame: Crop the image at the top of your shoulders.
- Don’t use group pictures: You need to be the only one in the frame. Cropping team pictures is not a good idea. Relevant group pictures could be included in your banner.
- Don’t use a selfie: It would be optimal to get a professional picture. If that is not an option, get someone to take a picture of you. Make sure you have a natural and comfortable pose.
- Choose a natural facial expression: you should look happy and confident.
- Avoid distracting backgrounds: Remember! You should always be the focal focus of the picture. You don’t have to stand against a plain or white background. If you want to show your office and cool details about your space, you would better do that in your banner.
- Wear what you usually wear at work: You don’t have to be wearing a suit or very formal clothes for your LinkedIn picture as every workplace has a different vibe. You don’t want to be over or underdressed.
- Take your photo in soft, natural light.
- Use filters wisely: LinkedIn offers 6 filters that you can apply to your profile picture. You can still adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, and vignette of the photo directly on LinkedIn
You can get more details about LinkedIn profile pictures here.
Step 2: Target Your LinkedIn Headline
Your headline on LinkedIn will automatically alter to reflect your most recent or current work title. Simply because you are doing that function now does not mean that it defines you or your set of talents. As a result, your headline must reflect who you are and what your strengths are. The keywords in your title should be pertinent to your expertise in your sector, and they should also be specific and intriguing. A marketing professional with expertise in content creation, social media strategy, and community engagement may serve as an example. Don’t you think that sounds a little better than “Marketing Coordinator”?
The aim of a headline is to give an overview of you and briefly outline what makes you unique. Your headline should encourage LinkedIn users to check your profile. LinkedIn headline has a character limit of 120 characters including spaces. That would roughly be 18 words.
The question now is: How can you summarize your character, experience, and skills in just 18 words? Follow this guide to write a headline that does you justice.
- Start your headline with your job title and company name: e.g., Creative Director at Philm Republic, Product Manager at Poemify Publishers. If you are a student or recent grad, provide your major and university. e.g., English and Literary Studies student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
- Add your unique selling point: Describe what makes you unique. This is the part where you can make yourself stand out. e.g Women Techmakers Scholar, Rwanda’s 30 under 30, and National Chess Champion. You could choose to add your interests. e.g., Machine Learning Enthusiast, Blockchain, Marketing.
- Ensure that your headline has the keywords relevant to the most desired positions that you are applying for. This will help recruiters find you and make your fit for those roles clear.
Step 3: Focus on Your LinkedIn Summary
The fact that this is usually the first section of your LinkedIn profile means that it is probably the one that people will read first, if not the only section. It’s crucial to make it memorable and difficult to forget, just like with any first impression. You should provide information in your summary part in a manner that is simple for your readers to understand.
You should not leave this section blank! Studies show that job applicants with complete LinkedIn profiles are more likely to receive a call back for a job interview than those with no LinkedIn profiles. Recruiters use your LinkedIn to know more about you and verify your credibility. Think of your LinkedIn summary as your elevator pitch.
There is no standard formula for writing your LinkedIn summary. Remember, it needs to reflect your personality. Use the following 4-step formula:
- Introduction: Before jumping into the numbers and achievements, tell us more about who you are. LinkedIn is a social network, remember.
- Authenticity & Unique value proposition: Don’t use generic templates. Be Authentic. Recruiters look for what makes you unique, and what makes you stand out from all the other LinkedIn users with similar profiles.
- Quantified achievements: Use bullet points to highlight your achievements and be succinct. Only highlight your most important achievements.
- Call to action: Tell your readers explicitly what you want from them – what you want them to do. (e.g., check your website, get in touch if they have questions, reach out to if they have open data analyst positions, etc.)
Check the examples. in this article to craft your LinkedIn summary.
Step 4: Detail Your LinkedIn Work Experience
Your CV should not be entirely copied and pasted into your LinkedIn profile. Only highlight the most salient aspects of your job experiences on your LinkedIn profile because people won’t take the time to read about them in detail. What am I referring to? I’m referring to your successes in each of your roles. Your LinkedIn profile’s viewers won’t be interested in learning about the daily responsibilities of the positions you held. They’ll be curious as to why you were effective in each of your responsibilities.
Your LinkedIn profile can be more comprehensive than your resume. You don’t have a limit of 1 or 2 pages. So, you can add all the work experiences you had. If you have had more than one role in the same organization, it is worth it to include all of them drawing attention to the major achievements.
It is still important to be clear and succinct. Use the bullet points format in the description to list your achievements. You can copy-paste what you have on your resume.
You can also add photos, documents, and media links.
Step 5: Update Your LinkedIn Education & Skills
Avoid adding too many abilities to your profile. It doesn’t follow that you should make 50 connections just because LinkedIn permits you to. Instead of merely adding abilities to the section for the purpose of filling it up, it is preferable to concentrate on at least eight essential skills that are genuinely important to your sector. Go back into your profile and change your talents part if you have previously put a lot of skills into it. This will make it easier to manage. By doing this, you are also reducing the range of positions for which your contacts can recommend you, resulting in more clicks for the promotion of the talents that are most important to you in your line of work.
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Add your education the way you added it in your resume:
- School Name
- Field of Study
- Start & End Date
- Activities & societies (share your extra-curricular activities during your school time)
- Description: You can add a short description of your school or any additional information you would want to share. You can also share more details about a scholarship you got in this space.
Step 6: Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations are a valuable tool for building your credibility in the job market.
You have to proactively ask for recommendations, follow up, and thank your recommenders.
Recommendations could be from:
- Happy Clients
- Anyone that collaborated with you before.
You don’t want to have copy-pasted template recommendations. This is why you have to put in the effort and guide your recommenders. Ask your recommender to highlight particular skills and highlight certain experiences. Provide details about your engagement that your recommender can use. For example, if you want them to highlight your project management skills, remind them of a project you led excellently.
You want your recommendations to highlight different skills. It does not help to have 2 – 3 recommendations only focusing on your project management skills. You also want to make sure that the recommendations don’t contradict one another.
Once you get your recommendations, thank your recommenders. You can offer to recommend them or even go one step further and send them a draft of a potential recommendation.
Below is an example of a template you can use:
Hi [Name], I hope you’re doing well! I’m currently updating my LinkedIn and I really valued the time that I spent working with you at [company], and I wanted to reach out to see if you’d be willing to write me a short LinkedIn recommendation. I especially want to highlight my project management skills. Feel free to use this as a starting place:
[Name] is [why they’re special]. [Describe your professional relationship in 10-15 words], and in that time [explain what they’ve been successful at doing]. [List 1-2 things that the [Name] excels at]. [List a positive personality trait and why that positive personality trait positively impacted you or the work environment]. [State that you highly recommend them].
Step 7: Connect With Professionals
Make sure you are following significant people and thought leaders in your field, if you aren’t already. This is a guaranteed approach to guarantee that your newsfeed is filled with articles that will motivate and guide you in the proper professional path. As a result, be sure to sign up for 1 to 3 groups in which you’ll want to engage or at the very least read. This is a fantastic approach to stand out and develop connections with people in your business. You might want to take the industry, region, and the sorts of individuals you want to get to know into account when choosing organisations to join.
You need to grow your LinkedIn network. You can start by adding people that you know: professors, classmates, and colleagues. If you click on “Connect,” LinkedIn will send them the following message:
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
This message could work with people that already know you but is unlikely to work with strangers unless they have a reason to connect with you. So we recommend that you use the 300 characters that LinkedIn offers you to customize your invitations.
- If you are connecting with someone you know personally, use this space as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship.
- If you are connecting with someone you recently met or connected with in a conference/meeting, use this space to remind them of how/where you met.
- If you are connecting with someone you don’t know at all, you need to give them a reason to accept your request. You have to do your homework. Go to their profiles and read thoroughly then pick something you can connect with and highlight it in your personalized message.
Remember the following when connecting with people on LinkedIn:
- Not everyone is interested in networking: You should not just send random connection requests with no customized messages and expect people to connect with you.
- Your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand: You have to make sure that your profile is complete and that the information on it is accurate.
- People dislike anything that looks like spam & advertising: People will immediately disregard your message if they don’t know you and think that your connection request is solely for advertising purposes.
Step 8: Join Relevant Groups & Pages
Groups give you a space to connect with people with similar interests as you. LinkedIn has more than 1M groups. You will definitely find groups about your fields of interest.
- Join 3 different groups
- Engage in conversations & get to know different people.
- Add people you met in group conversations to your network. These people are no longer complete strangers. They know you now.
Groups are mainly for networking and communicating with other professionals and business people, while pages are mainly for marketing purposes. Follow the pages of 10 companies you would want to work for. This would keep you updated on their news and what they are looking for. This could come in handy in job interviews.