Written by: Meg Tanner
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for job hunting, networking, and staying in the loop with your current employer and colleagues. When was the last time you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile?
A put-together profile can make all the difference when it comes to finding new career opportunities or building your network.
It is often times the first impression an employer will have of you, and we all know first impressions count.
Are you putting your best face forward?
Don’t underestimate the importance of having a strong LinkedIn profile, even if you’re not active in the job market.
At Majer, we decided to do a LinkedIn reboot. We critiqued each other’s LinkedIn profiles to find areas we can improve on. We swapped feedback and checked in with each other at the end of the month to hold ourselves accountable for our progress.
The biggest takeaway from our group exercise was to make our profiles more personal. It’s good to show a bit of your personality in your profile. LinkedIn is so much more than an electronic version of your CV.
Here are a few pointers on how you can create a winning LinkedIn profile.
1. Include a Professional Headshot
LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots have roughly 14 times more views and are 36 times more like to receive a message.
The keyword here is “professional” — don’t use the one you have on Facebook.
However, just because it’s professional, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Find an aesthetically appealing background, wear an outfit that makes you feel confident, and pop on your best natural smile that makes you look warm and approachable.
You don’t necessarily need to hire a photographer to get a beautiful photo. You can ask a friend to snap pictures of you on their smartphone in a well-lit space.
2. Write a Catchy Headline
Your headline appears beneath your name, so people can see at a glance who you are and what you do.
LinkedIn allows 120 characters for your headline — make every word count.
Instead of merely writing your title, use this space as an opportunity to describe yourself in your role. You want to feature your specialty and the company you work for.
3. Write a Captivating Summary
Your summary is where you’ll elaborate on your headline — the trick is to make it concise and memorable.
Here’s a simple and effective formula;
Write it in first-person
Express what you’re passionate about in your career
Highlight your strengths
Who do you currently work for
Finish with a fun-fact about yourself (i.e., what you enjoy doing in your spare time)
If it’s relevant, you can also add your contact details here like your phone number or email. For us recruiters, we may want to reach you right away, so we recommend you include your contact details here.
4. Highlight Your Experience
This is where your CV comes into play. Ensure you accurately detail each of your roles and dates to match your resume.
To make your whole LinkedIn profile look consistent, decide if you’re going to use bullet points or write paragraphs for each role you list. We find it helpful when users highlight their primary responsibilities and accomplishments in a role.
5. What Are Your Qualifications?
Don’t forget to include your education. List where you went to university along with any other certifications you’ve accomplished. Be sure to include the organisation’s logo to make this section look polished.
6. Ask Your Network to Endorse Your Skills
LinkedIn allows you to highlight three skills on your profile. Choose skills that are relevant to your current roles and ask past colleagues or clients to endorse these skills.
Simply reach out to them on LinkedIn with a message like:
“Hello [X], I was hoping you could help me buff up my LinkedIn page by endorsing me for some skills: writing, communications, and editing. I'll return the favour for any that you'd like highlighted.“
Be sure to return the favour — your colleagues will appreciate it.
7. Ask For Recommendations
Recommendations are KEY for a put-together LinkedIn profile — employers want to know that others have approved your work. It's like a reference check.
These testimonials from past bosses and clients can give your LinkedIn profile a big boost and improves your credibility!
Start by giving someone you have worked with a recommendation. When you’ve submitted, request one back! Our goal at Majer is to get one recommendation a month.
Who have you developed a good working relationship with in the past? Now is the time to reach out to them!
How do you go about doing this?
When you visit their profile, there will be a button to “Ask for Recommendations”. Click it, and it will give you an option as to what you’d like to be recommended for.
8. Customise Your Interests
Follow organisations that are relevant to your industry and leaders you look up to. These interests should enhance your professional experience and can help you stay on top of current industry news and insight.
I follow a lot of property developers from my past career experience. I also follow all our clients and exciting leaders. including Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington. In terms of publications, Ted Talks and The New Yorker are my go-to!
If you’re looking for more advice on how to create a winning LinkedIn profile, be sure to check out these helpful links:
Once you’re happy with how your LinkedIn profile looks, engage with your network, and build those connections. After all, LinkedIn is a social media platform, and the more you participate, the more you will benefit!