More than ever, LinkedIn is an important tool in our job search and the ongoing development of our professional network. As the demand for skilled professionals increase, recruiters will spend more time on LinkedIn searching for qualified candidates.
Investing time in a strong profile can have longer term benefits and increase your changes of new opportunities for engagement and employment.
- Understand your industry and utilise key words in your profile. You can significantly increase your visibility by using the right terminology. Spend some time understanding the key words recruiters would use to find you. What words keep coming up in job adverts / company web pages? Identify about 5 -10 of the key words and use them appropriately in your LinkedIn profile (and your CV) For example, you might be a Project Engineer where your key words could be Civil / Construction / Earthworks / Stormwater Drainage and Roads. Use these words effectively both within your headline, summary and work experience to demonstrate your experience and skills in these areas.
- Use a keyword rich informative headline. Your LinkedIn headline or tagline is the line that appears immediately below your name at the top of your profile. It is the first thing anyone sees when looking at your profile. LinkedIn automatically populates this field with your current job, but you can change this. And you should. Use the 220 characters to emphasis what you offer or who you are professionally. Be as specific as possible. The LinkedIn algorithm means keywords here will help you appear higher in LinkedIn searches. For example, Civil Engineer with strong background in project management and civil design, including bulk and detail earthworks, stormwater drainage and roads
- Not having a picture – or having the wrong picture. LinkedIn is interactive and we like to see a face. Research suggests your profile is 21x more likely to be viewed if you have a photo attached. The photo does not need to be professionally taken but should show who you are at work, ideally a recent photo which reflects your positive work persona. It is not a time to promote the dog, family or your use your modelling shot. We want to meet the work you.
- Develop a strong easy to read summary. This is your career story, talk in first person, we want to know who you are professionally and it’s ok to show some personality – a fun fact maybe. Readers will skim through this to see what you are about. You want to feature important achievements and professional highlights relevant to where you want to be.
- Take the time to build your LinkedIn presence, create engagement, be useful, be helpful and develop your professional brand. Create a strong network by connecting with people working in your industry, like, comment, and share content, add value that is relevant, positive and aligns with your career direction.
Make time to regularly refresh and update your profile, it’s always a work in progress.