How to Optimise Your LinkedIn for Job Hunting
These days it seems we use LinkedIn for so much more than just a platform to showcase our digital CV and look for new job opportunities.
Instead, executives across virtually every industry utilise LinkedIn to share updates - both personal and professional - and interact with one another in ways very similar to Facebook and other websites.
Individuals and businesses alike can now comment, share, like posts and even upload video stories to LinkedIn, massively expanding their reach to potential employees, clients, and recruiters compared to when it launched - all by way of these additional ways to engage.
So, in a world where social media is advancing and even blending with other platforms, how do you enhance your personal profile for potential employers and headhunters?
To give you more insight, below we go into detail about how to optimise your LinkedIn for job hunting, helping you stay at the top of your career game.
6 Ways to Optimise Your LinkedIn for Job Hunting
While there are plenty of ways to optimise your LinkedIn for career opportunities, we’re covering the key points that we feel are essential to making your profile stand out.
1. Choosing a professional photo
You’ve probably heard this one before, but we’ll say it again: choose a professional LinkedIn profile photo!
Since your profile picture is typically what potential employers see first, it’s important to make a good first impression - and you don’t need a professional photographer to get the job done.
Choose a simple, high-resolution photo, and consider the following:
- Choosing a backdrop that isn’t busy
- Wearing solid colours over prints (and avoid colours that will blend in with your backdrop)
- Avoiding selfies, as LinkedIn is seen as a more professional platform, and
- Avoiding group photos (as recruiters won’t necessarily know which person you are)
2. Taking advantage of a custom URL
While this is by no means a necessary step in optimising your LinkedIn profile, it’s definitely one we’d recommend.
When you initially set up your profile, you’re automatically assigned a string of numbers as your URL. However, it’s in your benefit to set up a custom URL instead, ideally one that’s easy for you to remember and share.
Most people, for instance, will use some variation of their name and initials, or even add key certifications like CIPD.
If you’re not sure how to set up a custom URL, LinkedIn has some easy to follow instructions to help you out.
3. Tailoring your ‘Experience’ section
It’s super important not to neglect the ‘Experience’ section on your profile, and as such, you should tailor it to showcase your work history in a way that speaks to the potential employer you’re looking to work for.
If you’re looking for a marketing focused role, for example, you’ll want to tailor your skills and experience with keywords, as recruiters tend to seach for candidates based on job titles and headlines that bring up results based on LinkedIn’s algorithm. We would, however, recommend that you avoid simply using buzzwords, as terms such as ‘innovative’, ‘driven’, and ‘successful’ don’t necessarily say much about you as an individual.
Instead, give these words more context and use them in conjunction with more specific phrases, such as ‘hardworking HR manager who has helped guide and implement post-pandemic successful working models for the organisation’.
With this in mind, make sure you add key responsibilities required of you in each role you’ve listed, giving employers and recruiters a better understanding of what you can bring to the table, and adding links and media where applicable.
Also, make sure that your CV and LinkedIn profile match so that there’s no confusion moving forward.
4. Highlighting the ‘About Me’ section
Highlighting who you are and what you’re looking for in your professional life is another great way to optimise your LinkedIn whilst simultaneously telling your story and building a personal brand.
In other words, think about this section as a kind of elevator pitch to your future employer. Think about what you want to highlight about yourself, including:
- The kind of roles you’re looking for and how and why you’d be successful
- Both personal and professional accomplishments that are related to your career (i.e. awards or certifications), and
- Skills and hobbies that help you to stand out or even tie into the role you’d like to land.
Remember, this section doesn’t have to read as long as an autobiography - just keep it simple with a few sentences!
5. Utilising the ‘Open To’ section
If you’re not familiar with this section on LinkedIn, it’s set up right beneath your profile picture, giving you the option to being ‘Open To’:
- Finding a new job
- Providing services, or
In this case, you’re likely to choose the first option, where you’ll then be led to a page that will allow you to choose what type of roles you’re open to and where.
This section is incredibly useful if you’re looking for a specific position as well (perhaps even an elevated role), and it offers recruiters and employers more insight into what type of work you’re most excited about.
6. Seeking out recommendations
If you want to optimise your profile while also enhancing your professional credibility, seeking out strong, relevant (and ideally, recent) recommendations is the perfect way to do that.
You can seek out recommendations from colleagues, clients, and employers - both past and present - offering them talking points that will help shape the story you want your profile to advertise.
The person who is taking the time to recommend you should know what your career goals are as well as what skills and experiences you’d like them to highlight in their contribution. Think of this section as the ‘review’ section.
You might think asking for recommendations is a lot of work, but consider when you buy something online or seek out a new restaurant, what do you do first? You check out the reviews to see what other people are saying, often taking them into consideration when you make your final decision to purchase or attend. This works the just the same!
We hope that these points have helped you understand what to emphasise on your profile and where, ultimately optimising your LinkedIn for job hunting - the right way.
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