LinkedIn is a professional representation of yourself online. Many of LinkedIn’s 90 million senior-level market influencers use the platform to find new talent. Use the following best practices to improve your chances of showing up in their searches:
1) Use a professional photo - You don’t need to be a professional photographer, but make sure that it isn’t pixelated. Also, remember that you’re projecting your best professional self.
2) Connect with the right people – Despite the huge number of users, it can be hard to make connections with people you don’t know (just like Facebook). We recommend sharing useful professional content and or commenting on other posts to start conversations.
Plus, always include a short message explaining why you’d like to connect with someone when you send a request. Maybe you liked an article they shared, or you have an industry-related question? This will help to provide context.
3) Use keywords in your headline – If you only follow one of these best practices, follow this one! Your headline plays a key role in how recruitment consultants search for applicants— these are the actual keywords they use. For example, a default headline might read: Marketing Manager, Workplace.com
This should be expanded to the full 120-character limit, so it looks more like:
Marketing Manager | Brand Management | Social Media | Client Engagement | B2B & B2C | 2015 Graduate | Workplace.com
Notice how skills and responsibilities are mentioned? These are the types of terms that consultants use in their searches.
4) Be mobile-friendly – Even though this best practice is a quick fix, it’s often overlooked. 87% of consultants view LinkedIn on their phones, so it’s important for your profile to be optimised regarding the content they’ll see.
Only the first 73 characters of your headline will appear on a phone, plus only the first 42 characters from your profile summary. So, make sure that the most important information is within these parameters. You can then check it on your phone to see how it looks.
5) Publish – Unlike other platforms, long-form posts are the most popular on LinkedIn. This is because many professionals enjoy sharing industry insights. Again, you don’t have to be a professional writer to start creating articles.
We recommend sharing insights from your own working life that may benefit others in your network. Don’t be afraid to speak about serious industry topics, but be certain to always use a professional tone, exactly like the one you’d use in an interview— after all, that’s what you’re aiming for.
6) Use a vanity URL – Your default LinkedIn URL will consist of a jumbled range of numbers and letters. You should change this to something that looks more professional, like: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/frankcarver. To change your URL, go to ‘manage public profile’ in settings, and click ‘customise your public profile URL’. This makes your page more SEO friendly and will also help it to rank higher on Google.
7) Skills, work history, achievements, and endorsements – Make sure that you include skills in your profile that link to the types of job that you’re interested in. Endorsements are also a great way to improve your profile’s attractiveness. In the upper-left search bar, enter the name of the person that you’d like to endorse you. Next, click the three dots near the top of that person’s profile and select ‘Request a Recommendation’ from the menu.
In your work history, you should frontload your achievements. This means mentioning the most important information at the beginning. For example, instead of ‘After five months at I was promoted because my sales were 16% higher than the departmental average’ you should try: ‘Increased sales by over 16% in the first five months.’ The second version is snappier and begins with a powerful verb.
Another common mistake is overdoing descriptions in your work history. Remember that recruiters can look at hundreds of profiles per day, so being direct and concise is essential. Instead of long paragraphs and large chunks of text, use the following format:
Your LinkedIn profile is like a living, breathing, dynamic CV. We recommend using it as much as you do other social media platforms. Get into the habit of checking it every day, even if it’s just to read articles. Start conversations. Comment on posts. Bring value to your network and keep your profile up to date.