Careers advice: What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?
02 February 2018
In our latest careers blog, WBS Alumni Careers Manager Sonja Stockton examines how an effective LinkedIn profile can help attract the best opportunities for your next career move.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 500 million users, over 80% of the world’s jobs are now posted on LinkedIn and the main channel used by recruiters and head-hunters to find the best talent. So, what does your profile say about you? Does it convey who you are, your core skills, experiences and your aspirations? It's important for your summary to be authentic; it must also be aspirational - positioning you for your next role.
Craft your profile
Just like the first ‘face-to-face’ meeting you have with someone new, your LinkedIn profile provides an instant platform for you to be assessed by others, and ultimately judged. Your photograph should be professional. What your profile looks like, what you choose to say, how you choose to say it will all be under scrutiny. Spend time crafting your LinkedIn profile and you will vastly increase your chances of being seen by recruiters.
Your headline should include the kind of position you’re after, and why you will be an asset to any business. Include the job titles you are seeking, i.e. ‘analytical MBA graduate seeking senior finance role in global organisation’. Include keyword-rich skills; have a look at the keywords used by the people in the professions you seek; but remember this is your profile so don’t cut and paste. The best style is a professional first person style, after all you are describing yourself so avoid using the third person at all costs.
According to LinkedIn, including your two most recent positions makes your profile 12 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.
For inspiration, check out how the LinkedIn Influencers do it in the sectors that you’re aspiring to impress, as well as senior employee profiles in the companies you’d like to target.
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.
Finally, end with a call to action – why and how would you like to be contacted? An email address will increase the numbers of recruiters approaching you.
Determine your target audience
Who do you want to attract on LinkedIn? How might they interpret your profile? This is particularly poignant if you’re hoping to change role or sector as you will need to make sure the transferability of your skills and experience translate.
Ask yourself the following:
Is it relevant, addressing the needs of the people I’m trying to attract (decision-makers and influencers)?
Is it compelling? Does it provide interesting facts and statements that make the reader want to get to know me?
Does the writing style and content I’ve included convey my personality?
Is it grammatically correct and perfectly proofed? Will the reader want to learn more or take action?
Then ask someone you respect professionally to read your profile and provide feedback.
Bring ‘brand you’ to life
Now that you have the perfect text, it’s time to augment your prose with pictures or create a banner that really stands out rather than using the standard LinkedIn banner. Think about what images reflect you and your business and create a banner with impact. After you upload your summary to LinkedIn, you can also supplement it with a variety of multimedia. LinkedIn allows you to integrate videos, pictures and documents into your summary, making it a rich, vibrant way of telling your story while providing evidence to bolster your claims. This will change how your profile looks and provide readers with opportunities to get to know you better.
When you’re finished, your LinkedIn summary will be a powerful representation of your personal brand.
And finally, participate
There are many ways to gain traction to your profile and being active through joining groups that interest you, and likewise that you’d also like to influence, is a good way to start.
This is also a key way to grow and maintain commercial awareness and find out about the trends that people in your networks are talking about.
Start by participating in a group you feel comfortable sharing your views in, and as your confidence grows consider extending your voice by publishing posts on the things that that you’re passionate about and you think will interest your network – this is a fantastic way to showcase yourself on the platform.
WBS has a significant LinkedIn group for you to join with over 24,000 members, as well as several networks on LinkedIn, both geographical and professional, ranging from the Warwick Finance network to the Warwick Entrepreneurs network, making it easy for you get started.
Make LinkedIn a regular habit. Every time you meet someone appropriate add them as a connection, and try to regularly schedule ‘LinkedIn time’ to keep your network constantly expanding.
WBS Alumni can find out more on our alumni website here, or why not contact us for an informational chat or informational interview. Our CareersPlus also offer career consultations for alumni to help you craft the very best profile. To book a consultation email firstname.lastname@example.org.