Careers advice: How to write the perfect LinkedIn profile

27 October 2021

While the pandemic has impacted the potential for face-to-face meetings, LinkedIn has bridged the gap by being the place where you can connect with others and build relationships. With over 770 million members worldwide and 29 million members in the UK, LinkedIn can help you connect with and find the people who make and influence hiring decisions.

In the battle to land your dream job, LinkedIn is the most important weapon in your arsenal.  Spend time crafting your profile and you’ll vastly increase your chances of being seen by recruiters from the very best international companies.

However, whatever you do, don’t just copy and paste your CV - LinkedIn demands much more than that.  You need to be impressive and your LinkedIn profile should complement your CV.

Here are 10 tips for creating the perfect LinkedIn profile:

Photo

It’s crucial to have one. Choose a headshot against a neutral background that is as professional looking as possible – it’s worth investing in a professional photographer if you can.

Headline

It’s perhaps the most significant two to three paragraphs you will ever write. It should include the kind of position you’re after, and why you’re going to be an asset to any business.

Think: How do people see you? Fellow students, lecturers, previous or current employers? Are you analytical? Numbers-oriented? Creative? Well-organised? It’s a good idea to brainstorm with people who really know you and come up with a few words that define you. Ask yourself what your greatest talent is and ensure you include it.

Include keyword-rich skills. Have a look at the keywords used by people in the kind of position you’re after to see which to use. Also include the job titles you are seeking i.e. ‘analytical marketing graduate seeking senior marketing role’.

Summary

This is an opportunity to discuss who you are, what you do, why your work matters, your contribution or impact and your areas of focus.  If you are a recent graduate, you can speak about areas of interest uncovered from your university experience.

Multimedia

Using multimedia brings your profile to life.  Videos, blogs and websites that promote your personality, interests, values, skills and ambitions can be shared through LinkedIn. Content must be owned by you or available for sharing publicly. 

Experience

The best option for graduates is a conversational but professional first-person style bio.

According to LinkedIn, including your two most recent positions makes your profile 36 times more likely to be found by recruiters. Don’t just list what your duties were though – list how you made a tangible impact to the bottom line. Include facts and figures where you can.  Remember the CAR structure; Context, Action, Results. 

If one of your two most recent positions was in Higher Education, that’s great. You can speak to driving impact through an internship, a society role, a volunteer role, or a challenging group project. 

Think about selling yourself - LinkedIn is essentially an advert for ‘Brand You’. What differentiates you from others? What do you do better than most? Talk about values, passions, motivations, talents, accolades, awards, and stories that define who you are and what you can do in an approachable way.  41% of hiring managers consider volunteer experience equally as valuable as paid work experience.  Volunteer experience may also demonstrate your interests, passions and values.

Education

Include all formal and informal education, additional licences, and certificates and work that you did while studying.

Skills and endorsements

Add top skills that you have learned in or outside of your studies or work.  Ask for endorsements from others, and if you are just graduating, how about endorsing your cohort members for skills that they have demonstrated?  LinkedIn is a platform to support others, as well as to be supported by others.

Recommendations

The more the better. Good recommendations rank you higher in LinkedIn’s search engine and will encourage recruiters to contact you. It’s a great idea to make recommendations for colleagues, ex-colleagues, and maybe fellow students you’ve worked on a project with. Ask for recommendations and endorsements in return.

Accomplishments

There is an accomplishment section on LinkedIn that allows you to note honours, awards, languages and project work.  You may have mentioned some of these achievements in your experience section but include them in the Accomplishment sections too. 

Interests

What are you interested in?  Which groups and companies are you following on LinkedIn?  Did you know that recruiters that use LinkedIn will be looking to see who you follow, how you have interacted with their organisation and who is in your network from their organisation?   Be active in your areas of interest through LinkedIn. 

Bonus tip

If you have recently graduated, reach out to your existing network via LinkedIn and share your successes.  Share news of your learnings from your CV and where you intend to work in the future.   It is as important to keep your current relationships alive, while using LinkedIn to drive new relationships.  

Make LinkedIn a regular habit. Every time you meet someone appropriate, add them as a connection, and try to schedule regular ‘LinkedIn time’ to keep your network constantly expanding.

If you are a member of the WBS alumni community and you need support with your career or professional development, please contact alumnicareers@wbs.ac.uk.

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