How to make your LinkedIn POP
At Hunt & Co., we’re choosing to see social distancing and increased time at home as the perfect opportunity to work on those things that we never quite get around to. For us, that means optimising our content calendar, and refining our work processes. For our candidates, we’re encouraging them to see this as the perfect time to update their resume, portfolio and all-important LinkedIn profile.
As a team of human hunters, we are constantly reviewing LinkedIn profiles and have become self-appointed gurus of making your profile stand out. So we thought we’d share some tips, from top to bottom of your LinkedIn profile, on how you can make yours POP.
Firstly, let’s start with your profile picture
Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional image. If you’re unsure what that means – then take a look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Match that. A photo can go a long way to convey passion, energy, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that are hard to write about.
Customise your LinkedIn URL
It’s much easier to publicise your profile with a customised URL (ideally linkedin.com/yourname), rather than the clunky combination of numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns when you sign up.
How to get one?
On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the grey window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.
Step one: Stop looking at LinkedIn as a social network and more of a giant human search tool.
Step two: Take a look at the job descriptions of the positions you’re after, and look at keywords that consistently appear across roles. These words are likely what us recruiters are searching for when they’re looking for people like you. Without keyword stuffing or adding buzzwords for the sake of it, ensure that your profile includes the skills and keywords that your target employers and recruiters are going to be seeking.
We encourage our candidates to be a little creative with their headlines! Here’s your chance to show off your interests, passion and grab some attention. For me personally, I use it as an opportunity to highlight my skills as a digital recruiter who is passionate about diversity. For you it could be the perfect opportunity to show off your crafty copywriting or job seeking goals if you are openly on the market.
Make sure your location is updated to where you are – this will ensure you appear in the right searches. It will also ensure you are being shown local and relevant content, jobs and people. As recruiters we are updated when people within our network change their location, putting them on or off our radar – so don’t underestimate the importance of this.
The age old question – to write in third person, or to not write in third person? There is no right or wrong answer here, but knowing that 99% of people are writing their own profile, we prefer the first person option – it feels like a more authentic narrative to follow. If you choose to go with the third person option, then simply make sure you write consistently across your profile.
Your ‘about me’ section should speak to who you are, what you’ve done and what you stand for. A rough split would be 80% professional and 20% personal content. Carly Shearman’s About section is my personal favourite:
If you have published blogs, videos, articles or have been featured in the news make sure you list these content pieces. Words can only say so much – featured content will add context, personality and authority to your profile.
Make sure these are kept up to date. You’d be surprised by the number of candidates we connect with that have old employer email addresses or phone numbers listed. That way, any prospective connections can reach you.
As a rule of thumb, include the last 10 – 15 years of jobs and ensure you include summary content about the job (ie. what you did), 3-5 key achievements and featured content. We see far too many candidates underselling themselves as their listed role title doesn’t reflect their actual role and role activities, or they leave out important results and accomplishments that demonstrate why a profile reader should be interested in you!
We recommend using numbers to convey your results – whether that is financial or not, most employers appreciate someone who is data-driven and that measures their success on easily translatable measures.
If you are currently unemployed, include more information about that; LinkedIn is a place to tell your story and share the narrative of your life (professionally). My favourite entry of maternity leave was written by Cara Walsh:
And finally, don’t forget to include any volunteering, and where appropriate, side hustles to show the world who you are and what you love.
This doesn’t only include full University degrees. Most employers LOVE seeing candidates that are interested in continuous education and professional development. Whilst we wouldn’t encourage you to share too much about your weekend cooking class, if you’ve done a Facebook Blueprint certification, a weekend course on Python or any LinkedIn Learning courses, it’s worth including.
Don’t be shy when it comes to recommendations! Give praise where it is due, and don’t be shy in asking for a genuine recommendation of your work / professional abilities. This is your professional profile where you are looking to make an impact – allow others to sing your praises!
Professional accomplishments can easily be forgotten, so make sure you document them on your profile to demonstrate your commitment to excellence, go-getter attitude and community spirit, all traits that prospective employers value. This also provides a great conversation starter for others when reaching out to you – if it was a high profile project, they will also quickly rate you as someone worth knowing.
LinkedIn has privacy settings for a reason. When you’re out looking for a new job, and are actively engaged in your current job, you want to be discreet – you can do this by tailoring your privacy settings. To find them just sign in, and then select ‘Settings’ from the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner.
Interests and groups
Make sure your interests and the groups you belong to align with the type of professional profile you would like to convey. If you are passionate about software development, then make sure your professional interest groups include this.
Growing your network
And lastly, get your LinkedIn profile working for you! If you’re on there to grow your network, creating a shiny and professional new profile is a great place to start. Next set yourself some easy goals to begin with:
- Connect with 5 new people per week (yes, that includes people you don’t know in real life but would like to).
- Engage with 2-3 peoples’ content online daily – that may include a like, post comment or share.
- Share 1 -2 articles, events and insights that can add value to your network per week.
- Invite said contacts to a Zoom meeting or out for coffee, to bring that digital connection into the real world 2 times per month (or more if you’re feeling extra social).
Keeping it professional
- Don’t treat LinkedIn like Facebook, remember that this is a professional network where you share more of who you are (but not all of who you are) online.
- Remember that what you say, and what you do online is a permanent record so think and act with tolerance, compassion and professionalism.
And there you have it – our guide to creating a LinkedIn profile that POPS! If you have any questions about your profile and how it can help take your career to the next level then get in touch with the Hunt & Co team. or send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org!