10 Tips to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile
Recently, I’ve been helping a handful of friends optimise their LinkedIn Profiles, as a few of them are looking to land new roles, while the others are keen to build their profile or cultivate a professional network. As I had already begun jotting down a few bullet points, I thought it would be a good idea to develop some of them further into a fully fledged post. So that’s the genesis of this post.
Back to being found quickly and easily. I know from personal experience just how valuable a fully optimised LinkedIn Profile can be, as I’ve managed to network with industry colleagues, seek out opportunities for my employer and land a couple of jobs (my last two, no less). In short, LinkedIn has been a tremendous tool to improve my work and further my career. That’s why I’m keen to share these tips.
Before we start, it’s important to point out that these tips are based on the assumption that you’ve fully completed your profile. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to catch the eye of a recruiter or potential supplier, if you don’t have a profile that’s 100% finished and effectively optimised with keywords, you’ll reduce the chances of being found and standing out. Setting-up will take time, but if you spend a couple of hours over a weekend and then begin to login each morning, you’ll be up and running in next to no time.
1. Develop your network
To me, the real value of LinkedIn is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. My network is made up of 1,700 Connections, consisting of people I went to university with, colleagues, clients, suppliers, industry peers and friends. As a result I have 700,000 2nd Connections and by leveraging this network I’ve managed to find jobs, help other people land roles, get in touch with suppliers, answer questions and expand my professional network. It’s been extremely valuable to me.
To develop your network quickly I’d advise you to synchronise your work and personal email contacts with LinkedIn. You can do this by hitting ‘Add Connections’ in the top right-hand corner of the site. This will give you a good platform to build on and the sooner you cultivate a professional network, the quicker you can begin to reap the rewards.
2. Use keywords
To be found you need to be using the right keywords. This will be different for each person and dependent on the industry you work in, so you’ll need to do some research. If you’re looking for a particular role, I’d suggest looking at current vacancies to understand the keywords associated with that position and then add some of them to your Summary, Skills & Expertise and Experience. For instance, digital marketing, social media and blogging all feature throughout my profile as these are keywords that many recruiters use in job specs. When optimising your Profile remember to add keywords for the job you want, not the one you have.
3. Include bullet points of key achievements
Once you’ve been found, it’s important to make your Profile stand out. And while you’re constrained about how you can present your LinkedIn Profile, I’ve found that bullet points of key achievements are very effective. There’s two reasons to include bullet points of key achievements in your Profile. Firstly, the more keywords you include the greater chance you have of being discovered by a recruiter. Secondly, having bullet points of specific achievements will make it easier for the recruiter to scan your profile, rather than having to read continuous passages of text.
4. Don’t forget to include some specialisms
Similarly, I would include bullet points of particular specialisms that you have developed within each role. While key achievements should focus on measurable outcomes, specialisms should cover the skills you mastered. They should be considered another opportunity to insert those all important keywords that will make your Profile that little bit easier to find.
5. Get some Recommendations
There’s something hugely powerful about someone taking time out of their day to publicly recommend you. It’s a huge endorsement of your character and adds credibility to your Profile. I would advise you to get in touch with a few people and ask them for a Recommendation. You should also look to get the ball rolling by Recommending a few people too.
6. Link to your other profiles
LinkedIn has a whole host of applications which can link to your other online activities, such as WordPress, Behance and SlideShare. This is a great way to show prospective employers what else you get up to and help standout from the crowd.
7. Understand how recruiters search
Over the last couple of months I’ve received several emails from LinkedIn offering me a free trial of its Recruiter tool. I’d advise you to take them up on this generous offer so you can see how your Profile will appear during search. This is really valuable and will enable you to more easily optimise your Profile and once you’re happy with it, make those all important small tweaks.
8. Detail your Skills & Expertise
Again this comes back to keywords. Understand the keywords associated with the job you want and then add them to your profile. It’s pretty straightforward. LinkedIn have focussed a lot on Skills & Experience lately and made it easy to endorse several people in one go. I would suggest that you make a start and begin endorsing people today.
9. Be an active participant
To utilise LinkedIn successfully you really need to adopt the mindset that you get out what you put in. Join Groups that interest you, ask questions, help people and do what you can to be a good member of the community. I would recommend putting some time aside each day, or several times a week to login and participate. Participation is crucial and a worthwhile investment of your time.
10. Add your Projects and Additional Honors & Awards
Last, but by no means least, if you’ve been working on a fantastic project or won lots of awards and industry honours, then don’t be afraid to shout about and link to them. Projects and Additional Honors & Awards are underutilised, but they really are a great way to highlight your experience and achievements.
I’ve found these steps to be particularly successful, but I’d love to hear in the comments section below what advice you’d share to effectively optimise your LinkedIn Profile.