One of the main platforms we use as recruiters to find candidates in a specialist industry is LinkedIn. I am going to discuss some of the fundamentals that should be on a LinkedIn profile in order to give a good, first impression.
It has become apparent to me more recently that candidates do not have a LinkedIn profile that reflects their experience, and/or the wrong information which has not been updated in a significant amount of time.
Although your resume will include a detailed version of your work experience, you shouldn’t avoid taking time to ensure your LinkedIn profile has the relevant key words for you to be found.
This is usually the first thing that we, or a client, will see of a potential candidate, and something that is not used correctly on many profiles. First of all, you actually need a photograph! It’s quite surprising how many candidates don’t have one and overall, it doesn’t look as professional.
Making sure that you are able to see your face clearly, and that you wear professional clothing is definitely a must (no pictures from a night out or posing is needed, it’s not Instagram). I would also avoid wearing sunglasses or hats on your profile picture - this is another thing I have stumbled across. This doesn’t mean you can’t show personality, of course.
This is extremely important for all profiles and needs to be up to date, with your current role at the top. Make sure that your job title is included and the dates you have worked in the company for.
Although you don’t need paragraphs of information, a few detailed bullet points under each role is highly recommended. This enables us to find you when carrying out searches that are specific to a job we are recruiting. It depends on what industry you work for as to what goes in this information but as I recruit into the architecture industry, an example would be:
If you have any testimonials, LinkedIn is a great place to share them. Be proud of the positive comments that are given and just like references, they give us as recruiters and potential employers a favourable impression, even before any contact is made.
Education is also key to include on you profile so make sure this is visible, along with any other key achievements or accomplishments that are relevant to your career.
Completing all of the above will give you the greatest opportunity of representing yourself in the best way possible. Most of us will not see a resume until afterwards and it will save your time, and our time by including sufficient information so that simple questions are avoided.