OH Linkedin. How we laughed at you… And now you’re a big deal.
Seriously. You need to have a LinkedIn profile at the moment. LET’S RUN THE NUMBERS!
Over 433 Million members in over 200 countries
That’s a lot of people and a lot of countries.
Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates and verify candidates’ ability and suitability for a role.
Employers increasingly use LinkedIn as evidence of having a suitable professional network.
Also its dead handy; I’ve got over 6000 connections and I know I can say “HEY I NEED SOMEONE WHO KNOWS ABOUT X” and someone will know someone.
(Top tip, podcasters who want guests, get the heck on LinkedIn).
WHAT IS LINKEDIN?
Essentially it’s a professional profile site which enables you to create an online CV/resume, build a network of linked professionals, ask for recommendations, and post content relevant to your network.
It’s a jobsy Facebook. And if you’ve been shying away it’s time to get involved, especially if you need a decent personal brand – it’s one of the big 4 that consistently rank on Google (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and surprisingly… Google Plus – we’ll deal with all those another time) and is arguably one of the better sites to build a profile on to help you with your professional presence and personal brand.
And with so many people using it, it’s a no brainer to get a great profile up – also it’s pretty easy and gamified so LET’S GET LINKEDINING!
We’re assuming you already have a profile and will take you through the steps to get it ship shape and ranking on Google.
Don’t worry! If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile is super-easy to set up and juts follow these steps through.
1. Your Public Name
Your public name is the primary name you’ll be using on LinkedIn. It’s how people will find you, how you’ll appear on search engines, and should be consistent across all your social media, business, CVs, business cards, websites…
This all feeds into your personal brand – the way you appear to the outside world, and is a vital part of your jobhunt/brand growth.
To set your Pubic Name on LinkedIn, go to your profile and click the pencil icon. Here you can change your name, banner image, details of your employment and location, website, and more.
2. Your Profile Picture
First impressions count! Choose a professional headshot and make sure it’s not too dark or oversaturated.
If in a creative field you can be more creative and use the banner and profile picture in combination, but most people, sorry, you want a professional looking photo to represent you.
To set your profile pic simply go to your profile, click the photo (or empty photo holder), click ‘change photo’ and upload your pic.
You can zoom and add filters until you’re happy, then click ‘Apply’, then ‘Save’.
3. Set Your Own LinkedIn URL
LinkedIn lets you choose the URL where your profile sits. It starts off as a string of letters and numbers and doesn’t help with your search engine optimisation or discoverability, so get it changed to your name.
Once done, click it and make sure it worked.
4. Your Headline
Make in impact. Use your name – this helps with, and I will say this a lot, your search engine discoverability. You want employers to type your name into google and have your LinkedIn profile appear on the first page.
Mine says “Robin Bates turns geeks into superheroes”. It’s short, intriguing, and uses my name (and the company’s tagline).
“X is a talented motion graphic designer”
Once again, click the pencil icon on your profile page to edit the Headline >>>
5. Your LinkedIn Profile Summary
Now we’re getting into the meat of your profile. and you need to start sharing your most relevant info in an interesting and engaging way.
Don’t get overwhelmed here – you don’t need to write an essay, just a few sentences to highlight your achievements, who you are, and what you’re interested in doing next.
Write it in the third person – this means you talk about yourself as an external person and will use your own name. This helps search engines to find you and will also build into the overarching personal brand and discoverability.
Once again, click the pencil icon to edit your Profile Summary.
Let your voice shine through.
Now we’re onto the CV/résumé section of your profile so scroll down to that section. You know what to do to edit this – click that pencil!
Include your current and relevant previous positions – you don’t need to include that week you spent dressed as a banana to promote your friend’s band, unless it’s relevant to where you want your career to go.
Fill this out fully – include a summary of the role and bullet points showing off your achievements and big wins.
You can include any relevant media, so if you have appeared in any videos for example, you can include links to them.
Fill in as much as you can, and remember to save.
7. Educational Information
Here’s where you want all your academic information to be listed. Recruiters may scan for certain qualifications, and it can also help you make connections with people who studied at the same college or university.
8. Your Skills
This area used to hold more weight on a LinkedIn profile, but has been moved back in recent updates. So what? List them! List them all!
There is more of an emphasis when you’re applying for jobs, though. When you view a job vacancy on LinkedIn, it matches the skills list they ask for against the skills you state in your profile. If you’re currently job hunting on LinkedIn, make a note of skills your ideal jobs ask for and add them onto your own profile as you go!
Recruiters still love this section as a snapshot of what you’re really great at – so ask your contacts to endorse you in as many as they can.
There is a limit of 50 skills so pick the most relevant to where you are and where you want to be.
As always, click that pencil icon to make changes.
9. Your Accomplishments
AKA ‘miscellaneous’. This is where everything else that doesn’t really fit sits.
You can add: *deep breath* certifications, publications, patents, courses, projects, honors & awards, test scores, languages and organisations.
Have you written a book? An eBook? Been published in a journal, blog, website? Had something written about you? List it all here and include links back.
Here we’re talking courses, training, online, offline which led to a certification. Add a link to the course and/or include a picture of your certificate.
If you are a patent holder you can add them here.
Any courses which didn’t lead to a certificate, list them here.
You can also add details of any projects you’ve worked on. Include any links or details to show your ability to work as part of a project team, lead on any sections, or even project manage.
HONORS & AWARDS
These can be linked to any of your job roles or educational establishments. Did you get recognition for doing really well on a test, project, or piece of work? List it here.
Honestly I feel like it’s getting a little silly now but of there are any test scores you want to show off, list them here.
If you have multiple languages you can list them, and your competency level in it, here. And make sure you do! Some recruiters REALLY want people with other languages.
You can add a whole additional profile in another language if you are fluent and really want to make an impact overseas. You can find a button at the top right of your profile page, which says ‘Add profile in another language’.
This is actually talking about professional memberships of any organisations. If you have any of those you know what I’m talking abut and can add them here.
This one is hidden away, click ‘add profile section’ to add any volunteer experience into your profile.
And there you have it – the basics of a LinkedIn profile
We haven’t covered asking for recommendations, messaging, or even building your network (the right way).
We’ll cover all of that PLUS positioning, updating your profile to keep it ranking, and how to apply for jobs in a future post. We’ll level up that profile soon!
Robin Bates – turning geeks into LinkedIn superheroes. Connect with me on LinkedIn – Robin Bates.