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LinkedIn is, without a doubt, the most effective platform for professional branding. For recruiters, the platform enables head-hunting the very best talent. For candidates, it allows you to market your skills and interests to a professional network, all while giving you access to a range of opportunities and exposure.
Here we share some pro and insider tips when building your LinkedIn profile.
How important is LinkedIn to the job search?
Love it or hate it, LinkedIn is the best tool out there to help you find a new job. Yes, job boards are still heavily used by recruiters and companies alike, but LinkedIn enables you to advertise yourself far better than by merely submitting a CV.
Here are some of the most significant advantages of a good LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn allows you to express yourself professionally and uniquely, enabling you to stand out from the crowd of similarly skilled job hunting rivals. You can demonstrate your personality, your enthusiasm, your pragmatism, and even your sense of humour with LinkedIn. Trying this approach in a CV may not be beneficial depending on the industry you’re in!
We’ve come across a multitude of quotes in job title sections of Linkedin profiles. While these showcase personality and aspirations – be aware of the industry you’re in and what level of professionalism you’d need to display.
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” – Albert Einstein – 1320 profiles.
“Do or do not. There is no try” – Yoda – 1368 profiles
This one is a nailbiter.
Yoda’s passionate speech, addressing a doubtful Luke Skywalker, inspired a mere 48 people more than Albert Einstein’s wisdom.
You might think that Star Wars quotes are particularly popular among the IT crowd, many of whom were around in 1980 to witness this moment live, in the movies – and you’d be right!
Here’s what recruiters are paying attention to:
Your attention to detail when describing yourself is what is paid attention to most on your profile. Spelling mstakes on a profile/CV stand out like a broken pixel on a TV and don’t give assurances you’re not going to make these mistakes in your work. Ensuring you’re accurate with your spelling and grammar is fundamental when putting yourself out there on the job market.
It’s also important to nail that summary section. Believe it or not, bullet points are beneficial. Some of the most useful summaries are those which include a short introduction in the first person. Around five lines are enough, which notes your primary experience, what you’re most skilled at and enjoy most, and what your current role entails. Don’t be afraid to mention tech here too.
Below the summary, you should bullet point list your primary skills in descending order. Recruiters head-hunt talent using keywords, so make sure to highlight keywords that accurately demonstrate your core values and skill-set.
Presenting your job history concisely & effectively.
The most effective way of doing this is to chronologically list your job history and your current/most recent role at the top. Most companies don’t care what you were doing 20 years ago, especially if it was an unrelated role to what you would be doing for them. Within this list, the most effective way of demonstrating that you could be a potential candidate is to give an overview of what you’re doing within that role. A short bullet point list of the tech/duties involved, then finish it off with a couple of lines about your achievements – the best way of piquing interest.
Be sure to have consistency between your LI profile and your CV.
The best way to make that headline stand out?
Emojis! No, obviously joking. Whilst putting emojis in a headline is different from what most people do, it makes one stand out for the wrong reasons.
Your headline should be short, accurate and truthful. You’ll see many people on LinkedIn proclaiming that they’re Entrepreneurs or Gurus or the Mandalorians of their industry. Only those people believe that, so if you want to be taken seriously, be honest. You’re not going to get hired because you’ve invented a snazzy title for yourself.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs – 4.909 profiles.
We agree with Steve. You need to love what you do to do great work. You need to work for it – and likely a lot.
But as Marc Anthony and many others already knew: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” (83 profiles).
A quick reminder that Marc was married with J.Lo for ten years.
Posting content & what not to do
Candidates don’t need to worry about doing lots of posting on LinkedIn. If it’s a requirement of your day to day job, i.e. you’re a marketer or spokesperson for your company you should be mindful of that. If so, post relevant content, not quizzes about what type of bread you are, your personality, or your daily routine. No one goes on LinkedIn to find out what time you usually wake up.
“Work hard, play hard” – Unknown – 12.909 profiles.
Did you expect this one?
This phrase indeed leaves room for interpretation. Does it mean that after working hard, you enjoy a lavish lifestyle?
Does it mean that you also tend to be especially attracted to leisure when you believe in hard work as a recent study suggests?
Or are some people who use this phrase inspired by Wiz Khalifa’s and Dj Tiesto’s lyrics?
In absolute numbers, Amazon employs the most people with this quote.
But while Amazon is simply a gigantic company, another company called “Rock Central” employs a whopping 22 people with this quote on their profile.
That is nearly 7% of their staff!
Can you imagine that work environment?
Neither can we.
If you’re a .NET Developer, for example, it would be welcome to post material that your community would find useful, articles discussing best practice or upcoming version releases and so on. A content strategy makes you stand out, shows real enthusiasm when interviewing for your next position, and shows conceptual aptitude for your new job.
Updating your LinkedIn profile for 2021: 3 key takeaways
- Don’t make your LI profile a carbon copy of your CV. LinkedIn is an online platform for professionals to share their experiences and get noticed for their work. If it’s a copy of your CV, you’re missing the point of LinkedIn. If a CV is a picture, think of LinkedIn as a video.
- Be honest about who you are and what you do. Don’t create job titles or positions which you think are niche or cool. LinkedIn is far more transparent and is not social media. If someone reads your fictional job title and still wonders what you do, you’re missing the point of LinkedIn.
- Try not to overdo the emojis; you’re an adult. No one likes to see a profile full of the eggplant emoji unless you sell eggplants for a living. And even then, what are you doing on LinkedIn? Also, a good and sensible recent photo helps. Remember why Kennedy beat Nixon; that reason is still a subliminally present factor.
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