LinkedIn is an essential tool for building your presence in the job market; in fact, 87% of recruiters use the platform to find their next candidate.
Building on our Changing Careers guide, an up-to-date LinkedIn profile should be a priority – whether you are actively looking for a new role, waiting for the right opportunity to come along, or looking to enhance your individual brand.
They are critical: your headline is about you and what will attract someone to click on your profile and/or connect with you.
Your job title is the default starting point – but go beyond this. Think about your desired job role, your target market, or the key skills and values that you can bring to the table.
Consider including key qualifications in your industry and/or highlighting the significance of what you do and how it can help people.
Not only will this push your profile higher in searches; it will attract hiring managers and recruiters to your profile.
Use this as an opportunity to tell your story. Let people know a bit more about your career, your key achievements, the experience you offer, and your aspirations.
Make it personal and genuine. Avoid clichés. Try to include material that will help someone learn information about you that they couldn’t just lift off your CV. Answer the question: why do you do what you do?
If a hiring manager gets a vibe for your personality and drive, this could sway them in terms of offering you an interview.
- Updating Your Job History
Nine times out of 10 when recruiters look at your profile, they will look scan your career history and what your current role involves.
A common “faux pas” is not updating employment dates, job titles and company names. When this information is inconsistent with your CV, this can be problematic when you apply for a position: it’s confusing and, worse, it could be interpreted that you’re being dishonest.
- Profile Picture
If you are looking to grow your network or attract recruiters to click on your profile, a profile picture helps massively. Human beings are visual creatures, and it creates a first impression.
Make sure that your picture is professional and recent – please, no Snapchat filters!
- Career Goals
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for building your own personal brand. If you are looking to engage with your network to venture into a new industry, approach it as a branding exercise.
For example, if you have always worked in the food manufacturing industry, you may have the word in every aspect of your profile.
Don’t remove all trace of your history, but focus more on your transferable experience and skills – backed up by specific achievement examples.
This will reduce the chances of a recruiter ruling you out from just a quick glance at your headline.