When you decide it is time to make a move from your current employment, one of the first steps you should take is updating your LinkedIn profile so that it accurately reflects your experience.
One of the most important things that you can do is to put the time into changing your LinkedIn profile. Do not expect that 5 minutes’ worth of work will make it the BEST profile on earth. This takes a bit of time, just like updating your CV.
There are some simple steps you can take to start this process which we have outlined below.
It is important to have a profile picture that accurately reflects your professional nature. While some people may get away with uploading a selfie from a night out, depending on their chosen field, it is more than likely that this will not reflect well in some professions. If you do not have a professional headshot lying around (we know most people don’t, don’t worry), there are steps you can take to create a headshot of similar quality that will do you justice during your search.
Enlist a family member, partner or friend to help you with this step. Find a blank wall in your house, ensure the lighting is ok and use a camera or a phone to take a picture. This should include from your shoulders upwards. Just because it’s professional, doesn’t mean you can’t smile, so make sure to say cheese!
2. Job Description
If you know what role you are looking for next, then take a look through various companies job descriptions and see what words are constantly being floated as necessary for the roles of your dreams. By identifying these, you can then make sure that you write about them in the description of your current role to show that you have had experience in these areas.
Having a fleshed out description of your role on your LinkedIn profile will also help you when you get to interview stage in the job seeking process. If you take the time once a month to update your description with the new things that you have done in that time, you won’t have a moment of stress before you go into your interview where your mind goes blank and you can’t remember what you have done for five days a week over the last year or more.
Your summary section of your LinkedIn profile is for you to use to highlight your achievements to the world in a clear and concise manner. Try not to make this longer than 5 paragraphs and make sure to include spacing so that it is easy to read for a recruiter or hiring manager viewing your profile.
The use of bullet points to highlight your key areas of expertise is something that we definitely recommend as it means they can be pulled out quickly and easily.
Don’t be afraid to talk about what you are passionate about in this section either. While you must keep a certain amount of professionalism while writing this, there is no harm in letting the person know that you are a real person (we know, it sounds silly, but sometimes profiles can read like a robot wrote them). If there is something that you are passionate about, be it sports, a certain genre of film/book or a flare for baking, then make the person viewing your profile aware of this. It will make you stand out as someone who has a bit of personality.
4. Projects & Volunteering
Something many people don’t take the time to do is to fill in the additional profile features on their profiles. Again, this is what separates you from others during the hiring process and allows the person viewing the profile to get a sense of you as a person. If you speak a second language or volunteer with a charity at the weekends, make sure to add this here! Make them realise that you are not a one-dimensional person and that you have interests outside of the workplace.
5. Use it
One of the things that an astonishingly low amount of LinkedIn members do, is actually using their profile to interact with their colleagues and connections. Having a profile is only going to get you so far. Having an active profile that is sharing updates and interesting information with your connections is going to raise awareness of your profile and should someone in your network have an opening in your speciality, they may reach out to you having seen an article you wrote on the subject recently.
Note however, that while this is a social network, it is one to foster professional development. Please don’t post pictures of your lunch or a selfie from a night out with friends, just because you want John/Jane Doe in XYZ Department to see how good you looked last weekend… save it for Facebook.
While these tips will help you do an overhaul of your LinkedIn profile, remember that opportunity will not always come knocking at your door (or through a LinkedIn request in this case). If you are seeking new employment, make sure to turn on your open to opportunities on your LinkedIn and actively engage with any recruiters who reach out to you. If you find that you are not getting much traction, make sure to take the first step and send a connection request with a note stating that you are seeking a new job and the field that you are looking in to a recruiter.
If you are looking for a role in Financial Services or Accountancy, our consultants here in Quest Recruitment will be able to help you in your search by talking you through the current market and opportunities that we have open with our clients at this moment in time. Upload your CV today and one of our consultants will be in touch shortly.