1. Use a professional profile picture
Statistics show that LinkedIn members with a photo receive far more engagement. Having an impactful profile photo gives you 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests.
Not only this but many recruiters use recruiting software such as Workable, Greenhouse and Lever. Software like this searches for social media accounts and adds them to your candidate profile, so having a great professional photo means that your Snapchat filtered profile photo isn’t added.
Our guidelines on selecting a great profile picture:
- Choose the right expression. You want to appear approachable yet professional
- Wear what you’d wear to work
- Choose a background that isn’t too distracting so that the reader focuses on you
- LinkedIn suggests using a headshot with your face taking up 60% of the frame
- The standard profile photo size is 400 (w) x 400 (h) pixels. You can upload a larger photo and LinkedIn will resize it, but it can’t be bigger than 8MB
Arrival Network Tip: Use this photo across all of your professional networks to build your personal brand and make you instantly recognisable.
2. Create your personalised URL
LinkedIn allows you to customise your profile URL so that you can more easily share your LinkedIn profile in your CV, e-mail signature and especially offline such as a business card. When you create your profile you have a generic link such as LinkedIn.com/in/great-talent-77703b139 – this is not very appealing, or something you’d want to share!
However, it takes just 30 seconds to change your URL. Click here to see how to do it.
Using a personalised URL is all about boosting your personal brand, a topic which is covered in more depth in the Career Accelerator programme. It also shows that you have great attention and are engaged with LinkedIn and your career.
Arrival Network Tip: Make sure you hyperlink your LinkedIn profile on your CV and covering letters – you want to make it easy for recruiters to find out more about you!
3. Make use of your profile summary
Your profile shouldn’t just be a laundry list of your courses and experience. It’s your opportunity to show your personality and share what you’re passionate about. The summary section is the perfect place to do this.
Think of this as your elevator pitch and concisely share your qualifications, skills, goals and what makes you unique. Don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic and bold.
A good format to follow when writing your summary is:
- 1st paragraph – describe what you already do. This would be your current role, skills and years of experience.
- 2nd paragraph – showcase your accomplishments. Try and use stats and figures to make it easy to grasp and give it impact.
- 3rd paragraph – describe your personal work style, character traits and the role or company you’re looking for (if you’re looking for work).
You have 2,000 characters, but this doesn’t mean you need to use them all – recruiters don’t have a lot of time so you need to be punchy. As a basic rule of thumb, your summary should be between 450 and 650 characters. Any shorter, and you’re not communicating all the vital info; any longer, and you’re rambling or including irrelevant details.
Arrival Network Tip: When you add achievements, try using the PAR (Problem Action Result) approach (similar to the STAR interview method).
In situation P (Problem), I did A (Action), which led to R (Result).
For example: To increase customer satisfaction data (P), I redesigned the feedback form (A) that led to a 15% increase in responses and a 10% increase in positive results (R).
4. Update your skills
Whether you’re already in work or have just left study, you will have gain workplace skills through courses or through work experience. Don’t fret if you’re not an expert coder or marketing pro; soft skills like communication, critical thinking and teamwork are just as important as hard skills (if not more).
Be sure to add the top skills you want to be recognised for to your profile and, more importantly, the ones that recruiters will be searching for. Your skills act as keywords so when a recruiter is searching for a candidate, if you don’t have that keyword in your profile you won’t show up in the search results.
Arrival Network tip: If you have a role or career in mind, take a look at their job description or LinkedIn profile to pull out the keywords that they use. Make sure you have this in your profile and CV (but only if they’re relevant to you!).
5. Be more visual and add media to your profile
Along with a professional headshot and cover image, there are lots of other ways to make your LinkedIn more visually engaging and enjoyable to read! Did you know that we all process visuals 90,000 times faster than text? If you have some great visuals on your profile, you’ll be able to deliver impact faster.
Adding media to your summary and work experience is a great way of setting you apart from anyone who has similar skills. You don’t need to be a designer or website developer to add media as you can attach anything from articles to presentations, certificates or photos. Be creative and it will help you stand out and build a connection with your reader.
Key reasons that you should add media to your LinkedIn profile include:
- It helps differentiate your profile and makes it stand out from the crowd.
- It increases engagement as readers stay longer on your profile and in the process get to know you better and imagine how you could fit into a role they are seeking to fill.
- It lets you showcase your achievements rather than just writing about them, backing up what you say you can do.
- It allows you to present your personal brand, experience and skills in different formats. Readers like to consume content in different ways, so different types of media helps you engage with a larger audience.
Arrival Network Tip: You can add your certificate of achievement to your LinkedIn profile for any of our programmes. This is a great way of showing your dedication to learning and development.
Want more guidance about how you can get in to the best jobs?
If you would like more information about how you can get the job your talent deserves, please read more about the 8-week Career Accelerator Programme.