There are millions of people on LinkedIn, who are all looking for a job. Same as you. So how do you make yourself stand out from the competition, and make those employers, hiring managers and recruiters come to you?
Three-quarters of hiring decision-makers feel that a candidate’s social media profile is an effective way to screen applicants. And what’s great about this, is you have complete control over what is on your social media profile. So having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile that shows the very best of your accomplishments, is less of a nice to have, and is more of a necessity.
We’ve put together a list of our top LinkedIn Profile Tips that will help you catch the eyes of every recruiter. We’re here to share with you exactly what we look for when we’re searching for candidates, so you know exactly what to include on your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn Profile Pictures
Your profile picture should be a clear headshot of you. Your face, front and centre. You want to look warm, friendly and trustworthy; but professional. Be dressed in your usual work attire, and have a plain background that isn’t too busy.
The LinkedIn banner is an often-underused resource. Your banner photo can also be an opportunity to sell yourself and visually set yourself apart from others on LinkedIn. For example, our recruiters at Dynamic use it as part of their branding, and to provide contact details to make themselves easier to get in touch with.
LinkedIn has a quick and simple guide on how to change your background photo here, as well as size limitations of the image you use. You can also easily create a custom banner using simple and free image design software like Canva, which have templates for the correct image sizes you will need.
Your About Section
Your About section should be written in the first person, and it should tell the story of you. Although maybe a simplified and professional version, not your whole life story.
But what it should include is your professional experience: How you’ve reached the position you are in now, and what you want from the future of your career. Things to include are:
- Certifications make you more employable. It’s a fact. 99% of organisations use certifications in their decision making for hiring IT Professionals.
- Your hard skills and the software you have worked on. These are some of the most important requirements for an employer. Can you use the software they use? Do you have the skills they need?
- You should talk about the positions that you are interested in hearing about. This will mean you receive more messages about positions that do interest you, and reduce the messages about positions that you don’t want.
- And finally, don’t make it all about work. Having a little about your passions and hobbies shows that you would be an interesting person to work with,.
When you write your about section, you should bear in mind who your target audience is. Ask yourself, who is the ideal person that you want to see looking at your LinkedIn profile? What would they be looking for?
Your Previous Work Experience
Your previous work experience should be more than just your job title. You should aim to show the range of responsibilities you had, the skills you learned, and the software you used. Aim to document how your previous role or roles developed over the years, showing how your role expanded as you became better at your job and more experienced in your career.
Job titles don’t tell someone looking at your profile much. Especially for jobs that encompass a wide range of responsibilities. If you’re a Network Engineer, what kinds of networks have you worked on? Fleshing our your experience gives employers a much more accurate depiction of your skills, and stops your time being wasted with job offers that aren’t applicable to you .
Let LinkedIn Recruiters Know You’re Open To Work
LinkedIn now allows you to notify employers that you’re actively looking for a new job with their new setting, “open to work”. This is a newer feature that helps you show up in search results for recruiters, as well as adding a visual banner to your profile picture that recruiters can see.
This even comes with filters to help avoid recruiters reaching out to you with jobs that aren’t appropriate and wasting your time. Such as:
- Some examples of the job titles you are looking for: Network Engineer, Senior Network Engineer etc.
- Whether you want your next role to be fully remote, hybrid, or on-site.
- The locations you are looking for jobs in. You can choose the specific cities, so you can include multiple locations including places you currently live, or would like to live.
- The start date you are open to: Whether that’s immediate, or if you’re more casually browsing for your newest job.
Importantly, LinkedIn also lets you decide who can see that you’re “open to work”. Whether this is everyone on LinkedIn, or you can opt for the more private option and only let people using LinkedIn Recruiter know you are searching for a new job.
LinkedIn also takes steps to protect anyone with LinkedIn Recruiter who works at the same company as you from seeing your “open to work” status. Of course, this is no guarantee. If you are looking for your next job but don’t want your current employer to know, you may want to be careful about using this feature.
5 LinkedIn Profile Tips To Stand Out To Recruiters
When a recruiter or a hiring manager searches for candidates on LinkedIn, they will run a search using certain criteria. The criteria they look for might be the years of experience someone has in a certain role. Certain skills that are needed to complete the job successfully. Or a level of education, or certifications they need someone to have.
Whatever it is, if you have the skills, experience or qualifications then great! But if you don’t have it on your profile, then how are they to know?
We spoke to our Recruitment Consultants, to find out what they look for, and for their top 5 LinkedIn profile tips for candidates.
1) Keywords On Your Profile
When a Recruiter or Hiring Manager searches on LinkedIn for candidates, they will use ‘keywords’ to help them narrow down the massive amounts of people on LinkedIn. These ‘keywords’ could be skills, experience, job titles… anything that helps the searcher find relevant people.
So when you’re thinking about what job you want, think what keywords you need to include to attract the attention of someone hiring for this position. If you’re not sure, you can look at the profiles of people who have the job you want, and see what skills, software experience and certifications they have listed on their previous experience and ‘About’ section.
Alternatively you can reach out to us here, for a confidential conversation with one of our Recruitment Consultants. Because we’re not just people who sell jobs. Here at Dynamic we’re experts in IT recruitment, and can give you honest advice about what you need to do to get the job you want.
2) Your Job Title
Not every company gives the same jobs the same title. Some companies give their employees different job titles compared to the rest of the industry, to make them more difficult to find. Other companies just give different job titles to make their job seem unique or quirky. For example, in the past few years there have been influxes of job titles like “Dev Guru”. But if someone is searching on LinkedIn, they’ll simply search for a ‘Developer’, and whatever it is you’re developing.
3) Be An Active Part of The LinkedIn Community
This one may not be so obvious, but it is one of the most important aspects in making your LinkedIn profile at the top of a recruiters search.
LinkedIn heavily favours showing the profiles of those who actively contribute to LinkedIn, via posting, sharing or commenting. After all, LinkedIn only wants to show the profiles of people who actually use LinkedIn, and are the most likely to reply to a recruiter who reaches out to them.
4) Education, Certifications, Skills
Here’s your chance to show off. The degree you spent years earning. The certifications you’ve earned in your spare time. The skills you’ve learned through your work, or that you’ve taught yourself.
And because of the unreliability of job titles like we discussed earlier, these are often a more reliable way for employers to find candidates who are right for their job. So make sure to include any relevant hard or soft-skills your future employers are looking for.
The same goes for those who are just starting out in your career. You should include soft skills you’ve gained from previous work experience or education, and technical skills you’ve learned from the certifications you’ve earned.
5) LinkedIn Recommendations and Endorsements
Attracting your future employer to your LinkedIn profile is only half the battle. Now is the time to wow them with what others think of you. Having other people provide recommendations and endorsements of your skills, gives hiring managers confidence in your ability to reach out to you, and recruiters the confidence to put you forward to their clients.
Making your LinkedIn Profile stand out is not only one of the best ways to passively search for your next role, it supports your active job search by putting your best foot forward. It’s your shop window, that you can practically guarantee your future employer will be looking at before they consider hiring you.
In our completely unbiased opinion, an even better way to search for your next job is to work with a recruiter. Here at Dynamic, not only will we actively go out and search for jobs that fit your skills and experience, we will work with you to find a job that aligns with your values and what you want moving forward in your career, and support you throughout the interview process.