Top 10 tips to get a LinkedIn profile
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When should I set up a LinkedIn Profile?
The answer is now if you haven’t already. Why? If you can start building up a profile and connecting with potential employers, the opportunities and choices you give yourself will be so much greater as you go through your career.
Where do I start?
Go onto LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com and sign up. It’s free and all you need is a headshot of yourself.
Here are 10 top tips to creating a stand out profile that will help get you noticed
1. Your profile picture
Get someone to take it for you and make sure that only you appear in the picture. Remember this is a professional platform with the mindset on business; it’s not Facebook or Instagram.
Don’t stand too far away, you need to be recognisable and no sunglasses!
2. Background image
You may not realise it, but behind your profile photo is a large area for a background image.
If you are not sure what to add, go onto a site like Shutterstock, Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash and choose one of the free images. Perhaps city skylines or nature. Select something bright and eye catching that will make you stand out.
3. Your headline
Don’t be afraid to be bold and direct, recruiters will only look at a profile on average for 3-8 seconds. For example:- Seeking new opportunities within Sales and Marketing. Currently studying for a BA in Business Studies at Birmingham University.
Make it clear what you are looking for and you will be more likely to get an interview.
4. Your summary
This is your chance to shine and tell recruiters and potential employers more about yourself and why they should choose you for an interview. Think of it as a shortened version of a covering letter. Include what you are doing currently, your experience, your goals, what motivates you and the skills you have acquired along the way. If you can think about it as a short story and make it flow, you’re more likely to get noticed.
Don’t forget to add keywords that will make you appear higher in searches. e.g. the jobs you are aiming for:- Graphic Design, Business Development, Product Management.
Add a couple of fun facts about what you do in your spare time; don’t make them too off the wall; add personality but don’t set off alarm bells. Employees are looking for the right team fit and will be looking at this section to give them an idea of cultural fit.
Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience. Start by adding in your school and higher education if you have it. Add 3 – 5 key points about what you have accomplished in school or university so far. Are you in any team sports and have you been recognised for any achievements? If you are doing part time work, add this in as well as your key responsibilities. Think about how you interact with people and teams. Are you managing people? Or are you responsible for taking money, front of house or customer service?
If you have any voluntary experience, add this in. It’s a sure way to impress a future employer or recruiter and show maturity and professionalism.
The layout is important so make sure all experience is laid out consistently.
This is really key. Start building up your connections now and this will put you in a much stronger position for potential roles. Start with your parents, they will know many more people than you do! Classmates, friends, professors, mentors, part time work employers and family friends. If you are talking to recruiters, remember to connect after speaking with them. Every time you meet someone in a professional capacity, send them a connection request. Don’t be afraid to add a note if they might not remember you.
You can add your top 3 skills on your profile. Search from the drop down menu. You can add to these as and when they change. Remember to have the top 3 pinned. These will help you get noticed in search.
These are a great way of having your references available online for recruiters and employers. Ask managers or people who you have worked with. If you haven’t had a job, ask your tutors. Invite them to highlight your key skills and why someone should employ you.
9. Personalised URL
You might not know it, but if you go into your contact details you can personalise your LinkedIn URL. Replace the series of numbers in its original format to your full name. You may need to tweak it slightly if your name is already taken. Having a personalised URL to send to recruiters shows you understand LinkedIn.
10. Start following great content
Search for people, top global companies, or just companies you may want to work for and follow. In the same way as Facebook, LinkedIn needs to be interesting and compelling for you to keep returning. Creating that news feed is your responsibility. Choose the right content, comment if you have something to add and even share content to your network if you think it’s useful.
LinkedIn is designed to help individuals become more productive and successful. Take advantage of this amazing platform, create a profile and start finding that dream career!
Thanks to our guest blogger Luisa Reynolds
LinkedIn Consultant – Digital Parakeet
Still struggling to write a profile, which describes you at your very best? Let CareerBite do it for you, all by answering a few questions about yourself. The CV Profile can be used as your LinkedIn profile too.
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