LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. Not only will LinkedIn help you find and connect with colleagues and customers but also bring out your competences and discover job opportunities. Most recruiters use LinkedIn as a tool to find the best candidates, although the work is still largely manual. Tech will improve, so keep up with the development of LinkedIn recruitment tools, and make sure recruiters will find you when automated searches will become more common.
Picture and headline
Your name, picture and headline are what other people most often see when using LinkedIn. Use a professional photo that allows people to recognise you. Remember to smile, and leave pics with your family and friends for other social media channels. A picture helps build trust and engagement. Do not just put your job title in the headline, but also describe what you are good at and what you are actually doing. This is the place you can use your creativity.
The LinkedIn summary is where LinkedIn’s algorithm searches for key words, so be sure you use this 2000-character space wisely. What is your target audience and what are they looking for? What is your goal in creating and keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date? Job seekers will want to put in keywords that match those of the jobs they are looking for, and professionals looking for new business and customers will want to use terms that their clients most probably are searching for. You can summarise your core competence and experience, but also tell what you would like to do in the future. You also might want to add your contact information in the summary to help recruiters reach you.
What comes to the experience section, remember to keep it updated and interesting. Stick to the truth, but sometimes simplifying is advisable. It might be a good idea to describe your previous positions and write down the basic information about your employers, such as industry, core services, number of employees and location.This will especially help recruiters abroad to form a clear picture of your competence. Top three achievements might be a good way to concretise your job description - and if you have numerical data, even better! Nowadays LinkedIn also allows the sharing of media, such as pictures, videos, and links, which might make your profile more attractive and people stay longer to read about you. Recommendations are nice, endorsements less important, from recruiters’ point of view.
Make at least 500 connections in order to be convincing, but remember that the quality of your network is more important the number of people in your network. Send invitations right after meeting the person. You can also connect with people you have not met, but then be sure to send a message and tell them why you want to connect. Especially more experienced profiles (e.g. sales) are evaluated on the quality of their network. Do you know the top 100 decision-makers in your industry?
Your activity on LinkedIn is as important as a comprehensive and well thought out profile. Be active in conversations when you have substance to contribute. However, always remember to be polite and professional. Besides yourself, you represent your employer and your profession. Non-professional content is spam! Absolute no-no’s are cute animal videos and the sharing of "how much of a mathematician are you" tests.
Armed with this advice, let’s all spend a little time and effort on improving our LinkedIn profiles!
Thank you once again Mercuri Urval Helsinki office, especially consultants Anni and Eve, for hosting a nice workshop and expanding our knowledge about LinkedIn!