LinkedIn has become one of the must-have online platforms for job searches for employees and business owners alike. With more than 722 million members in over 200 countries and territories globally, this is where you need to be, regardless of your professional experience or if you’re not actively looking to get hired. For business owners, LinkedIn is their tool to keep an eye out for trends relevant to their industry and keep a tab on competitions and prospective employees.
For recent graduates or job seekers with limited work experience, there’s this preconceived notion that as long as they have an active LinkedIn account, that’s all there is to do right? Wrong. Having just an active LinkedIn account – a headshot and auto-filled basic details – is similar to having a CV with a 2×2 photo ID and school details. It’s irrelevant and will probably get tossed in the bin. Here are a few ways for you to optimise your Linkedin profile and stay on top of your game.
This is one of your LinkedIn profile’s most visible portions, located right below your professional headshot. This section gives your audience a straightforward and clear impression of what you do and where you do it at. With only 120 characters to work with, you might think you have little to work with. Wrong again. This is more than enough as your headline needs to be succinct. The secret to optimising your headline is ensuring that you have the right keywords in it.
“Fresh graduate with a marketing internship with Google, seeking an entry-level position in digital marketing.”
“Undergraduate psychology major with a focus on child development & counselling.”
Keywords are words or phrases people type in when they’re searching for something. For example, if you were to look for a great Thai takeaway in your area, you type in “best Thai takeaway in Denver.” And voila! The most searched Thai takeaway will be at the top of the results.
Therefore, the point of your headline is to ensure you put the best type of keywords in your headline. So when someone is searching for someone in your industry, you, like the best Thai takeaway in Denver, will the first to pop up the LinkedIn results.
How to find the right keywords
Now that you have a better understanding of how and why keywords are useful. Let’s discuss the best ways for you to locate the right ones for you. After doing
Step one: Go to the LinkedIn job board and run a standard job search as if you are looking for a role. Be sure to filter by location, entry-level and any other factors that you would like considered. Note down all the titles of job roles that you are interested in, in a separate word document. Ideally, you want around at least 20 different positions.
Step two: Google a word cloud site. Here’s the one we use! A word cloud is a way to visual text data by displaying the most frequently used title bigger in size than the rest of the other words.
Step three: Go to the “Type/Paste” section of the word cloud and upload the 20 or so job titles that you noted down in your Linkedin search in step one. Hit enter and get your results.
Step Four: Based on your results, you want to take the top 3 keywords from your cloud and put them in your headline. You’ll also want to use the top 5 and sprinkle them throughout your about section. Doing this will
This section’s obvious goal is to inform and describe to potential employees who you are, what you do, and what makes you remarkable apart from the millions of other job seekers. This is also the only area within your LinkedIn profile where your personality can shine. You have 2,000 characters, so don’t be afraid to expand upon yourself and your experiences.
You also want to ensure that your opening line in your ‘About’ section captures your reader to keep on scrolling through your page. This is the equivalent of a CV’s cover letter or CV highlight, so make sure the first sentence is compelling.
“Curating content that will catapult your SEO & tug at the audience’s heartstrings.
I believe that effective marketing is not just about pretty visuals and paid ads, but connecting with the audience’s emotions is what makes a brand and business thrive. Of course, a pretty hefty budget and strategic marketing strategy play a big part, too.”
The above sample gives you an idea on how to hook in your reader and invite them to read more about yourself and experience in a casual tone. It gives the readers an idea of what you do and your passion without it sounding too monotonous or scripted. The rest of the content should include other relevant details that will help reinforce your qualifications and skills with the career path that you have chosen.
This section is very straightforward. It chronologically lists your previous work experiences, including the position held, name of the company, duration of employment, and the corresponding description of your roles and responsibilities. It serves the same purpose as the “Work History” or “Job Experience” section in a CV or resumé. However, you can opt to make it more detailed or shorter. The important part is ensuring that you do not omit any vital details about your previous professional or work experience.
Suppose you’re wondering where to place your internship program or any volunteer work that you have done. In that case, this is the section to put it, as internship counts as a professional experience, and volunteering is an experience in itself. Let’s face it; fresh graduates may face challenges in listing work experiences. Don’t worry; it doesn’t need to be lengthy, as long as you include relevant experiences related to your career path.
According to The Screening Source, nine out of ten employees emphasise real-life work experience over an educational background. However, this should not discourage you from listing it in your LinkedIn profile. Listing your educational background enables a connection between people from the same niche or network.
Skills & Certifications
LinkedIn has a pre-made list of skills that you can add to this section. While you may be tempted to add as many “skills” as possible, this is not always the wisest choice.
When adding skills to this section, make sure that these skills are relevant to the industry you are seeking a job opportunity with and possess these skills. The beauty of this section is that your network or connections of people can endorse your listed skills, attesting to your competency.
Certifications, on the other hand, are different from skills. While skills can be pre-generated and you can choose from a list, certifications are testaments of completing a training, workshop, or professional achievements. These can range from certificates in completing an industry-related online course or workshop and even as varied as licensure in SCUBA diving! Listing certifications can increase your marketability to recruiters and reinforces your drive to develop professionally continuously.
- Make your profile public. This enables non-LinkedIn members to be still able to view your profile and increases your visibility to non-members.
- Activate the #OpenToWork feature. This signals recruiters or employers that you are actively seeking a job opportunity without sending your CV to every job vacancy. It’s an efficient way to apply passively; just make sure you are not currently employed when you turn this on.
- Always stay active on LinkedIn just like you would on Facebook by sharing relevant posts, commenting graciously on others’ posts, and joining a professional group.
- If you want a higher character increase on your headliner, if you get the Linkedin App – you will have an additional 80 characters to use!
LinkedIn has set a standard for reliability for job seekers and employers alike. One of the most significant advantages LinkedIn offers is serving as a platform where job seekers can research their target industry and companies that they aim to belong to.
LinkedIn is more than just a professional networking platform; it gives members opportunities to learn from professionals, connect with like-minded members, and seek out vacancies – whether actively or passively.
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