10 Simple Steps to Create an Outstanding LinkedIn Profile

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

LinkedIn is the world’s leading professional online network, with millions of registered users around the world. To make the most of the opportunities that LinkedIn can offer, it’s vital that you have a profile that stands out. It’s not enough to just sign up and wait for people to come and find you. Learn more about how to enhance your LinkedIn profile with the following tips.

Choose a good profile picture

Faceless LinkedIn pages are not attractive to recruiters and potential employers, so it’s vital that you have a good quality picture on your profile page. Make sure that you choose a recent image, and select a photo that clearly shows your face (and preferably a smile). It’s important to make sure that you look as professional as possible, so there’s nothing wrong with wearing a smart suit and getting your hair cut first. This is the first impression that somebody will have of you, so make it count.

Write a powerful headline

Your LinkedIn headline appears immediately beneath your name. This is the first opportunity that you have to reach out to people, so choose a clear, concise and powerful description.  Don’t just fill in your current job title. Explain to people what you can do, and describe your strongest skills. Remember that this headline follows you around, and appears wherever your image appears. It’s vital that you make it memorable, but avoid clever wordplay or jargon that just makes you look self-important. The headline is also highly searchable.

Provide a detailed summary

The detailed summary on your profile is your chance to market your talents and experience. Describe your key skills, and give details of the markets and sectors that you have worked in. This section should contain all the keywords that you think a recruiter would look for, so make sure you include them all in the text. Bullet points work well here, as paragraphs of text can take too long to read. Don’t confuse this section with your career experience. This should not read like your CV. Try to keep the information generic by writing a broad overview of what you can do, and not a summary of what you have done.

Focus on your achievements

It’s vital that you describe to a recruiter what you achieved in each of your roles. In the “Experience” section, don’t just describe what you did. Tell a potential employer about the value you added. Always quantify how much money you saved, or how much income you generated for the organisation. Provide examples of the changes you implemented, or the size of the teams you led. Always try to add numbers to your achievements, so people can see the scale of your career success.

Display recommendations

A personal recommendation is a powerful addition to your profile because it shows another person’s opinion. An employer is more likely to take more notice of you if he or she can see that other people rate your achievements. Choose the right recommendations. Ask people in senior roles, with plenty of connections, rather than peers or co-workers in relatively junior roles.

List your skills and endorsements

Recruiters often look for keywords on LinkedIn to find candidates who match their needs. Make sure that you display all your skills on your profile, and ask your network to endorse you. Endorsements appear alongside your skills, and add value to the page by showing that your colleagues and clients rate your abilities in these areas. Don’t make the mistake of listing every skill you can think of. Focus on the skills that are relevant to your role.

Join groups and follow relevant companies

It’s important to show that you are keen to network with other people, and that you want to develop your career. There are thousands of different LinkedIn Groups, which can help you connect with other like-minded professionals. Join relevant groups, and display the details on your profile, so other people can see who you are talking to. It’s also a great idea to follow companies that interest you, as this helps recruiters see where you would like your career to progress.

Make your profile as complete as possible

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to list a lot of more information. You can show your education details, certificates and qualifications, and details of any community or voluntary work that you do. Make your profile as complete as possible, and use every relevant field. This will broaden the picture that a recruiter has of you, and shows that your career is more than just a nine-to-five job.

Make sure all information is current

Potential employers will lose interest in a profile that you haven’t updated for months. They expect you to keep your details current, so make sure you regularly visit and update your details. Change your picture from time to time, and add new skills as you gain them. Update your current role to show any new responsibilities, and look for new recommendations. Recruiters want to see your commitment to your career, so keep your profile fresh and interesting.

Stick to the facts

Never publish incorrect or fictitious information on your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters always find out the truth in the end, and a potential employer will not look favourably on a dishonest candidate. You can use powerful language and descriptions to bring your career achievements to life, but it’s extremely important that you always stick to the facts.

Your LinkedIn profile page is so much more than a résumé or CV. This is your opportunity to market your skills and experience to a potential employer, so it’s vital that you make sure that your profile page is as engaging as possible.

Struggling to put together a professional LinkedIn profile? Contact the Career Consultants at Résumés for Results to find out about our professional LinkedIn profile writing services.

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