In today’s job market, it’s imperative that you not only have a LinkedIn profile, but you are active on the platform, ensuring your content is optimised, relevant and up-to-date. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to optimise your profile, get into the mindset of a hiring manager and grow your personal brand,  helping you become more visible in your job search.

Optimising your LinkedIn Profile

The first point of call for any hiring manager is to check-out your LinkedIn profile. It provides an overview of who you are and what you really do in your current and previous roles. So the easiest way to put it, is treat your LinkedIn profile as you would your CV. Whether you are actively looking for a new opportunity or just want to grow your presence, your profile can be the difference between being noticed and being missed.

Your Headline

The first thing you’ll see on your LinkedIn profile is your headline. You’d think to put your job title in there right? How hard can that be? All you do is put what’s said on your contract and move on… Not always. Your job title may not be a true reflection of your job role and could leave you open to receiving irrelevant messages or even being missed entirely. For example; a Social Creative can mean five different things at five different agencies. Are you a Copywriter? An Art Director? Social Media Manager? A Videographer? A Photographer? Make sure it’s clear what you do, adding in keywords that express the skills you possess. EG, Creative Copywriter | Art Director | Social Media Marketer. It all helps with SEO and will make you more visible in searches.

About You

One of the most underused sections on most profiles is the ‘About’ section. This is your chance to stand out from the thousands of others who do the same job as you. Give potential employers an insight into who you are and what you do and show your personality. Many people just throw in company information, pretty much the ‘about us’ section from their companies website. Unless you are a business, this section on LinkedIn is about you as a person and not what the company you work for does.

When a recruiter is searching, they use a combination of job titles and skills. LinkedIn pulls information from the ‘About’ section within these searches. Therefore, you need to add relevant keywords (EG, Job Titles and Skills) that will bring you up in searches, keeping you at the forefront of the prospective recruiter.

Your Experience

A common misconception is that the ‘Experience’ section is just a copy and paste job from your CV. This section should compliment your CV, however you should provide a more expansive look at your experiences, key duties and achievements in your role. Use generic keywords and ones that are more niche to help you stand out. This is where you need to make it clear, showing where you currently work and have done so previously with the duration of time you spent there. But remember, keep it relevant. You may have a vast array of experience spanning decades, but your skills have changed and areas of speciality are different to what they once were.

Recruiters tend to look at the last 10 years of experience, looking at what skills would be relevant to potential opportunities. You may want to add your first job working at Sainsbury’s when you were 18, but is that relevant? Most likely not, and adding jobs like this will dilute your profile. The key to having a standout LinkedIn profile, is to keep it concise yet detailed and relevant.

Your Skills

There are thousands of skills to choose from, and you can have up to 50 in your profile. Try and hit 50 skills in your profile – it may seem like a lot, but with the continuing theme of SEO, skills play a key part. A great tip to utilising all of your available ‘skills’, have a look on LinkedIn Jobs, paying attention to the key skills that employers are looking for in roles similar to what you currently do or are looking to do.

Make Connections

Make connections and engage with them and their content. If you see something they’ve posted – then like it, share it or comment. The little things may just land you a profile visit and potentially a message later down the line with opportunities. Remember, networking is a numbers game. But it just takes one person to remember that quick glimpse of your profile, and now you’re having a conversation with someone you only dreamt of having the opportunity to do so with and it’s come from being active on LinkedIn.

Create & Curate

Furthermore, you should write articles or blogs about events or changes in your industry to show you keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry. If you don’t have time to write your own stuff, or just don’t enjoy it, curate content instead. Set up a Google Alert once a day so you get a list of the top articles around the keywords you save, then share the most relevant one.

It’s important to show in your post that you’ve read it and aren’t just spamming content out. A great way of doing this is by engaging with your network. Ask questions about it, or highlight what you found most interesting. You’ll also want to make sure your positing at visible times so you can catch people scrolling. Be sure to mention anyone who is in the article to give them credit – you never know, it could lead to a chat, coffee or more with someone who you never thought you’d get a chance to chat to.

Keep the momentum

Changing your LinkedIn profile won’t have hiring managers offering you your dream job overnight. But, it will help you to grow your network and show that you’re a forward thinker. That’s important in today’s job market: being more than just a 9-5 worker, but someone who actually cares about the world they work in.

Akhil Shah, Social Media Consultant

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