2015 interview for an article in True Wealth Magazine
Among all the social media sites on the Internet, LinkedIn has the capacity to really open doors for your career. These LinkedIn tips will help you stand out among the seven million Australians using the social network.
As Jane Jackson, career management coach and author of Navigating Career Crossroads explains, LinkedIn is more than just your online CV.
“Not only is it an excellent professional and personal branding platform, LinkedIn enables professionals to search for jobs through the job board, research companies, and follow and be inspired by articles posted by popular influencers.”
How do you get your LinkedIn profile looking its best? Here are some tips from the experts.
1. Choose your headline wisely
When choosing the headline that appears directly below your name, in most cases this should not simply be your job role. Instead,
check out what others in your industry are using and consider the keywords a recruiter would use to search for someone in your role. Your headline should be clear and descriptive.
2. Smarten up your photo
Upload a clear, recent headshot. You should be dressed as if for a job interview and looking pleasantly at the camera or slightly in the direction of your left shoulder so you will be facing towards your profile.
3. Keep it secret
You probably don’t want your boss to know you’re making new connections and updating your profile when you’re sneakily searching for a new job. Even if you aren’t job hunting, Jane recommends switching off the alerts automatically sent to your contacts when you update your profile.
“Go to the Privacy & Settings section up at the top right-hand corner of your profile and choose Turn on/off your activity broadcasts,” she advises.
4. Sum yourself up
The summary section of LinkedIn profiles is an area is often neglected, but important for conveying an overall impression of your career and capabilities. Write in the first person and use clear, lively sentences and bullet points to convey your personality, achievements and enthusiasm for your industry. If you’re a recent graduate or have been absent from the workforce for some time, Jane recommends emphasising your studies and other experience. “Highlight your qualifications, training or certifications and include the subjects you have studied. Also include any volunteer or community work.”
5. Connect with people
Once your profile is complete, start connecting with people. Ignore LinkedIn’s recommendation to only connect with people you know and start adding people in your industry, particularly friends of friends. Aim for at least 50 connections to avoid looking like a technophobe or a hermit who knows very few people.
6. Explore the site’s features
LinkedIn now lets you upload slideshows, videos, photos and documents to your profile. Add these eye-catching extras to show off your outstanding projects, presentations and articles, but don’t go overboard. The goal is to pique interest without being overwhelming.
Join and participate in LinkedIn groups related to your career. You’ll hopefully find an interesting community of people to inspire you. Type in keywords in the LinkedIn search bar at the top of the site’s page once logged in to find relevant groups.
You may also want to ask people you’ve worked with to post recommendations – like a public reference.
Jane recommends putting the effort in to get to know the site to reap the rewards. “The key is to spend time on LinkedIn, looking at other people’s profiles as research. Conduct a few searches using key words so that you are familiar with the search engine and how it works and then make some changes to strengthen your profile.“