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What makes a winning LinkedIn profile?

Your LinkedIn profile is the foundation of your personal branding.

➡With 756 million users worldwide and 57 million registered companies, LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional social network, seeing over 1 billion interactions every month. It acts as a great way for you to let people know who you are, your past work experience, and what you’re interested in.

➡With around 15 million open jobs, it’s no surprise to find out that 87% of recruiters/employers regularly use the platform for finding their next placement. According to statistics, 3 people are hired every minute from LinkedIn and that success all begins with a professional and marketable LinkedIn profile.

If you want to secure a job on LinkedIn and impress potential employers, then you should consider the following:

1) Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn

A good profile photo increases the credibility of your profile and governs the viewer's impressions from the start. Members with a profile photo on LinkedIn can get up to 21 times more profile views than members without a photo. Make sure your image looks professional and friendly with a clear background, and one where you don’t have to crop other people out. Anyone running a LinkedIn search is going to see 10 people per page in the search results and it's human nature to be drawn to people who have a profile picture over those who don’t.

2) Activate “Open to Work” on your profile

By activating it, you let recruiters know you're open to opportunities. You also appear in recruiter searches matching your career interests.

3) Personalise your location

If you’re planning to relocate or want to work somewhere different from where you’re currently situated, then use your LinkedIn location to your advantage. More than 30% of recruiters search for candidates by location, so as long as you’ve done all the research in relocating and are aware of what it would involve, changing your location to where you want to work is a great idea in getting more interest for suitable jobs.

4) Make your headline stand out

Your headline is automatically created when you add your job positions to your profile. However, you can edit it to either promote an area of expertise, make it more relevant to the position you’re seeking, or emphasise your personality. The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better. If your headline is not optimized, it's possible that you're missing out on job opportunities.

Example: Software Engineer · Frontend Development · Building quality websites and applications with React, JavaScript, and Typescript

This tells the reader your job, your interests and what you bring to the table.

5) Write an interesting summary

Your summary is your chance to tell your own story and give people an insight into what you’re actually interested in with up to 2000 characters. If you’re looking for a new role you should remember that your profile shouldn’t just highlight what you’re best at, but also what you want to do. Your mission statement should be at the heart of your summary. Use it to link together your previous experience with your future career goals. Keep your summary in the 1,000 – 1,250 characters range and use plenty of keywords that are strongly connected to your industry.

6) Add all your relevant work and education experiences (including certifications)

You should keep your profile updated with all your past qualifications and professional experiences that align with your current career goals. Your descriptions should be brief but emphasize the elements of your past experiences that are most relevant to the types of jobs you want. Long paragraphs or endless lists of absolutely everything you’ve ever done won’t be attractive to the reader. Ensure you are linking the official company pages to make it easier for recruiters to see where you’ve worked. You can also add links, images, videos, and files to this section as well. So, use this to your advantage and link any relevant websites, projects you’ve worked on, articles you’ve published, or anything else that can let recruiters/employers see your work.

7) Show off your best work in the “Features” section

Just below the “About” section is the “Featured” sections, which allows you to showcase media, links, and LinkedIn articles and posts at the top of your profile. Sharing the work or mentions that are most relevant to your personal brand and LinkedIn goals is a great opportunity to show your skills in action. If you have an online portfolio, the “Featured” section is a great, highly visible spot to link to it.

8) List relevant and concise skills

The skills section enables you to share a list of skills, which can then be “endorsed” by your other LinkedIn connections. It’s more effective to keep your skills relevant and concise. A long list of skills that aren’t really core to who you are and what you do, can start to feel unwieldy. Take time for a spring clean of your skills list every now and then. You can also take assessments for the skills you’ve listed on your profile to showcase your proficiency.

9) Grow your network

The more connections you have increases the likelihood of being found when hiring managers and recruiters, looking for potential candidates with your background, search on LinkedIn. Connect with individuals you know personally, have worked with, met in a professional environment or those in your industry/profession. It’s also good to connect with people in companies you want to work for since you could increase your chances of seeing job posts on the homepage and being the first to apply.

10) Post and share content

Once you’ve increased your connections it’s time to actually play an active role in that network to add some value for them. Sharing relevant content with your network is one of the easiest ways to start doing this. You can start by keeping a close eye on your LinkedIn homepage feed and sharing content that you find genuinely interesting – and that aligns with your point of view.

Jordan Hallow, a career consultant who advises college students on LinkedIn and other career topics says that the year after he started actively commenting on posts, engaging with other users, and writing content on LinkedIn, he saw a 600% increase in his followers and connections and a 1000% increase in profile views. Actively using LinkedIn will help you grow your network and make your profile more visible within your industry and to potential opportunities.

Getting your LinkedIn profile up to scratch doesn’t have to take up hours of your time. Try working through these ideas one at a time, even if you’re dedicating a small amount of time some evenings or in lunch breaks, and you’ll find that you can make progress quickly. Once you’re embracing the full advantages of LinkedIn you’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make to both you and your business.



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