1. Name and contact
Make sure your LinkedIn information, including your name, matches your CV. Unlike other social media channels, you want to be found easily. Don’t hide by using your middle name or a nickname.
You’ll also want recruitment consultants to contact you easily. If you don’t want to be called, just use a personal email address. You can even set up a separate email for job enquiries.
2. Profile and picture
Check you’re using a good, professional picture of yourself and nobody else. Professional means no selfies or photos from a night out. If you don’t already have one, ask a friend to take a photo of you in business attire. It doesn’t need to be taken by a professional.
Changing your background photo can give your profile a little bit of personality. However, remember to also keep this professional.
LinkedIn is often a recruiter’s first impression of you. Your photo is a marker of who you are in their mind, so choose wisely.
Your location is also one of the first things an employer or recruiter will notice in your profile. While searching for candidates, the location of the role is likely a large factor for recruitment consultants. If you’re not living where you’d like to work, set it to your desired location.
Whether you’re temporarily living elsewhere or you plan to commute, you can explain this in your summary or to the recruiters.
When recruiters or employers search for potential candidates on LinkedIn, the top results will have the keyword within the headlines. Therefore, any common search terms or essential information should be included here.
For example, if your career has been in accounting but you desire a role in HR, briefly explain this in your headline. Your experience in accounting alone won’t flag you as a suitable candidate.
‘Immediate availability’ is a common search term for recruiters on LinkedIn. The headline is a good place to highlight this.
Most importantly, turn on your Job Seeking setting (under privacy settings). This ensures you appear in their searches, letting them know you’re open to new opportunities.
The summary section expands on any necessary information and explains your current situation. Essentially, it’s setting the scene for who you are and where you are in the job market.
If you’re not currently living in your desired location, explain why. If you’re only looking for contract roles, write that here. Remember to update this section if your job applications change – new locations, sectors, roles, etc.
Keep it brief and only add skills and experience that’s relevant and essential to your desired job.
6. Personal interests
One way to boost your profile is by adding a quick mention of your personal interests in your summary.
If you’re applying to global companies and you enjoy travelling, this can be a good way to tie your interests in with your applications.
Be careful not to mention anything potentially controversial such as being a fan of a specific football team. Stick to generalising your interest in football.
Make sure the experience section tells the recruiter your story. The dates, job title, and company for each position should be accurate and consistent with your CV.
However, you can build out your LinkedIn profile with more detail about your work and involvement with committees and other activities.
Your current job’s end date should be in the summary and job description. If you’ve already left your job, don’t be afraid to state your unemployment. Immediate availability is often desired.
You can also attach any projects from previous roles that you’re proud of. As long as you have permission from the employer, these will add value to your professional profile.
Educational details that recruiters and employers are looking for are mainly: university name, dates, course and classifications.
If you’ve had plenty of experience your high school isn’t necessary. However, if you have little experience your high school and any higher grades will add value.
Additionally, include any societies you were a member of and any awards achieved. Showing your involvement outside of coursework highlights your work ethic and motivation.
Professional qualifications gained through employment are also part of your education and not just part of your job description.
Recommendations are a way for recruiters to quickly see how colleagues view working with you.
They build out your profile by providing honest referrals, rather than simply boasting about yourself. They can also be used in measuring your cultural fit with the company.
Instead of simply asking a current or former colleague for a recommendation, write one for them first and ask if they would reciprocate.
Follow a good mix of companies and leaders relevant to your industry and profession. This will show a genuine interest in different sectors and topics.
Follow experts in your sector and individuals in positions you are aspiring to.
The same goes with companies you follow – don’t just stick to the obvious. Follow local and specialist companies. This shows you are a professional who’s knowledgeable in your sector.
Now that you’re following them you’ll also see updates from these companies and leaders, including positions they’re hiring for.
Giving your LinkedIn profile a makeover with these 10 steps will help you stand out as a strong candidate.
By enabling recruitment consultants and employers to easily find you, you’re taking some of the stress out of your job search. In fact, if your LinkedIn makeover is a good one, your next job might find you.