Having a LinkedIn account is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, but a necessity. There are over 10 million LinkedIn users in Australia alone, ranging from students to professionals and senior executives.
Whether you started studying recently or are close to graduation, LinkedIn can provide you with a range of opportunities. To boost your chances of employment success, we’ve put together a few LinkedIn profile tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
Why should you have a LinkedIn profile?
Consider the social media platforms you use. Whether it’s Facebook or Instagram, every bio, picture, post and comment you upload adds to your personal brand. Likewise, LinkedIn enables you to build your professional brand. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your virtual resume – with a personal touch.
It is well known that it takes a recruiter only 5-7 seconds to read through your resume, so it has to be outstanding. Similarly, your LinkedIn profile must clearly showcase your skills and experience within a few seconds. Keep on reading to learn about the LinkedIn personal brand tips you should use when setting up your profile.
Tip 1: Your work experience section
When adding your work experience, think about the job you want and its required skill set.
Start by reading job descriptions that you are interested in. Identify the common keywords used and make sure to add these when describing your previous positions. Keep each position short and concise. Rather than having a lengthy paragraph that’s intimidating to read, give a brief summary of your role and list some of your key responsibilities and achievements in 3-4 bullet points.
Another thing – while it can be annoying, you should always update your profile. Students may sometimes just add one or two positions and never bother updating their work experience section when they reach new milestones. A LinkedIn profile is viewed up to 29 times more if there are several positions listed in the experience section. Regularly updating your profile is a must!
Tip 2: Your profile picture
Sometimes students may feel shy and opt not to upload a profile picture. However, statistics show that by simply having a picture, a user’s LinkedIn profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. First impressions count!
Remember, though, that looking professional in your photo is key. Take a medium close-up photo (that is, from the shoulders up) with good lighting. Wear an outfit that you would wear for work or a job interview. Avoid distracting backgrounds and smile. LinkedIn also has a range of filters that you can choose from to enhance your picture quality and maintain a professional look.
Tip 3: LinkedIn headline tips
When it comes to their job title, students tend to put this generic headline: ‘Student at the University of X’. This will not help you stand out.
Instead, try to mention your past experience or career aspiration, field of study and any skills you’ve acquired. Also make sure you use some of the same keywords as mentioned in tip 1: Your work experience section. For example, ‘Bachelor of Marketing student skilled in SEO, digital marketing and target ads’. Here are some more tips for optimising your LinkedIn headline!
Think of your summary as the detailed version of your headline. Write a description that summarises your skills, past experience, achievements and future goals or aspirations. When writing this, remember to use keywords and think about how you can differentiate yourself from others.
Tip 4: Customise your LinkedIn profile URL
We suggest including both your first and last name in your profile URL. This will make it easier for recruiters to find you, and gives you more visibility. Having a URL with your name will also make you look professional and attentive to detail. Check out this article to learn how to customise your LinkedIn profile URL!
Tip 5: List your skills
LinkedIn allows you to add a list of skills, which are displayed on your profile. However, many users underestimate the value of this section and end up leaving it blank.
When filling out this part of your profile, choose your most relevant skills based on your educational background and past experience. You can then compare these with the most in-demand skills in your aspiring career.
To get an idea of what these skills are, have a look at relevant job descriptions and identify the most popular skills required. Once you have done your research, pick out the skills that you have, or will be attaining through your education, and simply add them to your profile. We recommend adding around 5-6 skills.
Tip 6: Open to work feature
If you’re looking for work, you can make use of LinkedIn’s #OpenToWork function. This feature lets you indicate either privately to recruiters or to the broader LinkedIn community that you are open to employment opportunities. If you decide to share your status with the public LinkedIn community, an #OpenToWork frame will be added to your profile picture.
However, if you are currently working or interning, you should think twice about using this feature. Complete privacy is not guaranteed, so there is still a possibility that recruiters at your company might notice you are looking for work elsewhere. This is even more likely if you use the #OpenToWork picture frame.
In addition, employers may perceive someone who is using this frame as desperate, which becomes a big disadvantage. Have a read through this article to gain some insights on the pros and cons of LinkedIn’s #OpenToWork feature.
Tip 7: Extra LinkedIn profile tips!
Looking for more LinkedIn tips? Here are some additional things you can upload to help optimise your LinkedIn profile: