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How to create the perfect LinkedIn profile
Upload a profile picture
According to LinkedIn, a profile with a picture gets 21 times more views than one without, as well as 9 times more connection requests. Ensure yours is professional – keep it recent, dress smartly, avoid busy backgrounds or cropped group photos, and make sure your face is the main attraction! Selfies are a definite no. Finally, smile. You want to look professional, but also approachable.
Fill out your profile
Fill out as many areas of your profile as you can. The more relevant info you include, the easier it will be for recruiters to find you. LinkedIn has very helpfully included a feature that measures the completeness of your profile, and suggests areas to expand and improve on.
Keep it updated
An inactive, outdated LinkedIn profile can actually be counterproductive. Keep yours up-to-date with relevant work experience, job roles and qualifications, as well as a recent picture of yourself and an indication of the kind of role you’re looking for. You’re selling yourself as a person, not just a skillset – imagine you’re having a conversation with someone, and write in the first person. This will help to communicate your soft skills.
Not only is LinkedIn useful for creating connections with individual people, it also allows you to search for and join groups. This can range from school and university alumni groups, to groups dedicated to a particular trade or profession. Making contacts in the field you’re interested in, particularly with people you know in person and who could potentially give you a reference, is very valuable when searching for employment. After all, an estimated 70% of jobs aren’t advertised! Word of mouth can prove crucial when it comes to hearing about and being put forward for roles.
Only include relevant work experience
If you have a long resume of work experience, only include things relevant to your desired role. If you have the opposite problem, and feel you’re lacking relevant experience, try and demonstrate how any experience you DO have could help you in a new role. What new skills did you gain? Were there any experiences in particular that provided you with a steep learning curve? Most importantly, how would you implement the experience and knowledge you gained in your desired role?
Put keywords and search terms in your ‘skills’ section
The words you include in your skills section act as keywords. When a recruiter searches for these words on LinkedIn, your profile will appear. You can include up to 50 skills on your profile, so this gives you a great opportunity to maximise the likelihood of your profile appearing in results. To make even greater use of this feature, ask connections to endorse your skills with a simple status update, perhaps offering to do the same for them. This will add credibility to your profile.
Pick and choose your connections
Having thousands of connections, despite what you may think, will not improve your profile. It will only lessen its credibility and make it harder for you to filter the relevant posts and opportunities from the irrelevant ones. Begin by connecting with those you have worked or are working with. Then, move on to friends and family who work in fields relevant to your chosen career path. Finally, find people who are in job roles that you may like to pursue in the future, and send them a personalised request, explaining why you have chosen them to connect with in particular.
We hope these tips will help you to build a LinkedIn profile worthy of landing your dream role!
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