I’m hoping the headline caught your attention because I’m keen to help you understand the fundamental differences between how to write a LinkedIn profile that helps you get discovered by recruiters and hiring managers, versus a LinkedIn Profile carefully crafted for thought leaders and industry experts wishing to attract more clients or guest speaking opportunities.
With LinkedIn fast becoming most Australian professional’s platform of choice, Marina (Think Bespoke’s Job Search & Career Coach) has noticed that a lot of career commentators are starting to talk more about LinkedIn and offer advice on how to write a LinkedIn Profile. While the attention LinkedIn is receiving as a powerful tool in your job search strategy is welcome, it’s essential that before updating your LinkedIn Profile, you consider your goals and understand there’s lots of ways to use this professional networking, job search and content marketing platform to serve your needs! But you need to get your LinkedIn Profile right first.
In today’s article I’ll show you what the secret ingredient is that will get you headhunted on LinkedIn and show you how to write your profile for job search. There are a number of key difference between writing your LinkedIn Profile for those looking for their next recruit, and writing a LinkedIn Profile for a service provider, and the comprehensive checklist will help you put your best forward if you are in active job search or thinking about your next career move.
The Secret Ingredient on LinkedIn that Will Get You Headhunted
LinkedIn has introduced a featured that allows you to privately let recruiters know you are open to being contacted about potential job opportunities. This is not a new feature, but Marina and I are consistently surprised by how many people who are in active job search do not know about or have this feature activated. In this October 2016 LinkedIn article, Now you Can Privately Signal to Recruiters You’re Open to New Job Opportunities, LinkedIn explains how to activate this feature. They call it ‘Open Candidates’ and it’s available in Australia now.
But here’s the thing, once you’ve privately signalled to recruiters you’re open to being contacted for job opportunities, the first thing they will do is look at your LinkedIn Profile to assess your suitability for the roles they’re currently placing. And THIS is where the magic can really start to happen, especially if you have taken the time to review my LinkedIn Profile Checklist below and update your LinkedIn Profile based on these recommendations.
1. Images on Your LinkedIn Profile
The key elements to consider with this professional profile feature are the professional headshot photo and the background image. Make sure your professional photo is consistent with the roles you are looking for.
2. LinkedIn Privacy Settings
Be sure to review your LinkedIn privacy settings so that you are aware of what other people see when they’ve viewed your profile, and who can see your connections and email. Use your privacy settings strategically and make sure they are consistent with your goals. My personal favourite is being able to see who’s viewed my profile! This has some restrictions with a free LinkedIn membership.
3. Contact Details on your LinkedIn Profile
The key elements to consider with this professional profile feature are the email and phone number. You can also add websites and your Twitter handle. As a minimum, email and phone are a must.
4. LinkedIn Profile Career Interests
The key elements to consider in this section of your profile are that your location is listed, role titles and industries are listed, and recruiters have been notified. As mentioned above, make sure you set this section up so you’re open to being contacted by a recruiter and have specified your career interests.
5. LinkedIn Profile Summary
Consider the maximum character limit of 2,000 and keep in mind that this area includes the option to share URL links and documents. Make sure you write your summary in the first person and use our summary structure, available in many of our online and face to face workshops.
6. LinkedIn Profile Experience
The key elements to consider in this section of your profile are role, company, timing and description. Make sure you briefly explain the organisation, explain what you do/did and list 1-3 key and relevant achievements, in the context of roles you are currently applying for or wishing to be considered for. I have used an example from one of my previous roles.
7. LinkedIn Profile Education
The key elements to consider in this section of your profile are the qualification, educational institution and timing. Make sure you include only basic information and order the most important one first so it appears at the top of your profile. I tend to house all certificates here too, rather than put them in the certification section. You can re-order your education, so be sure to list the most relevant qualification, as it will also appear in the top part of your LinkedIn Profile to the right of your LinkedIn Profile photo.
8. LinkedIn Profile Voluntary Experience
The key thing to remember in this area of your LinkedIn profile is to only include recent and/or relevant information as it relates to the industry and experience. Make sure the organisation is listed correctly and that you have indicated the timing. In my case, below, LinC does not have a company page on LinkedIn and so there is no logo listed.
9. Skills listed on your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn allows the inclusion of up to 50 skills on your profile. Make sure you list your top 3 skills and include at least 10 skills. When completing this section of your profile, think ‘keyword search’ and list the skills as recruiters and hiring managers would type them in to find you.
10. Recommendations on your LinkedIn Profile
Recommendations provide evidence that others value your skills and contribution. Include at least two per recent role and request recommendations from people as senior as possible. Older recommendations from previous roles are fine to show on your profile, especially if provided by someone influential in your industry.
I hope you’ve found this checklist useful, remember to update your career interests and make sure your profile is presenting the best version of you to put yourself in a very strong position to be found by more recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn.
I provide my unique perspective in fortnightly updates and run a Lunch & Learn each month from February to November. Sign up to my newsletter to help you learn LinkedIn – the right way!