In terms of professional networking – especially in the digital space – nothing compares to Linkedin. As of 2021, the professional networking platform has more than 740 million members in more than 200 countries, including executives from all of the Fortune 500 companies (Linkedin, 2021). According to Hootsuite 3 people are hired through Linkedin every minute and 40 million people on average use Linkedin to search for jobs each week (Newberry, 2021). Consequently, for those actively looking for new jobs or even those simply open to new opportunities, having an up-to-date and engaging Linkedin profile is a key ingredient in finding relevant opportunities and gaining the attention of desired employers. Especially when so many of us are working remotely and hiring managers can't screen potential candidates in person, looking at a candidate’s Linkedin page has become even more important. Both recruiters and HR teams are using advanced data analytics to both find and engage with suitable passive and active jobseekers on Linkedin, while a candidate’s Linkedin profile is quickly becoming the first thing recruiters and hiring managers look at when they receive a candidate’s job application.
To help active job seekers, or even those just interested in learning about other job possibilities, our Design & Build consultants have collated our top tips and tricks to help ensure you’re making the best use of the platform:
1. Choose A Professional Profile Picture
We all know first impressions count and your profile photo is one of the first things recruiters and hiring managers will see when they click on your Linkedin profile, so it plays a significant role in setting the right tone of your profile. Furthermore, according to Linkedin, data has shown that having a profile picture makes you seven times more likely to have your profile viewed by recruiters and hiring managers.
You want to come across as professional and capable, so it’s important that your photo reflects this. If you don’t have a professional photo on hand to use, you can take your own. A headshot (photo from your shoulders up) against a plain background usually works best. Make sure you’re wearing professional attire ( a business shirt or blouse for example) and don’t forget to smile to help create the impression that while you’re professional – you’re also friendly and approachable!
2. Include a Relevant and Compelling Summary
Your profile summary is your chance to put your best foot forward and grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Many people skip the summary section, which is a missed opportunity as it can provide people with a great overview of who you are as a professional and demonstrate the value you offer to potential employers through your relevant experience, skills and interests. For those that don’t have a lot of time to spend looking at profiles, they’ll often look at your summary to get all the relevant information. To help when writing your summary and ensuring it’s relevant to your target audience, you should think carefully about the type of roles you want to work in (for example if you’re an engineer wanting to work on infrastructure and geotechnical projects) and consequently what those hiring for those roles will be looking for. That way, when hiring managers or recruiters are scanning your profile, they can easily determine whether your capabilities and knowledge are relevant to what they are looking for. To help demonstrate this, your summary should include the following:
Your key areas of expertise (for example railway geotechnics or pavement engineering)
What you can bring to an organisation
What motivates you/what makes you passionate within your industry and current role
Your most recent achievements in your work history
Any recent upskilling
Try and keep your summary to two to three paragraphs at most, to ensure readers don’t glaze over when they look at your profile. It’s also important that you try and quantify your recent achievements by including recent figures or results (for example, completing a project before deadline or under a particular budget) in order to further enhance your capabilities and successes within your role.
3. List Your Previous Experience
Make sure the experience section of your Linkedin profile is up-to-date. Include the number of relevant jobs you have held, starting with your most recent and include the key accomplishments and responsibilities you had with each role. A checklist to help you determine what relevant information to include with each role is below:
How long you were employed in the role
A brief company description
The key duties you performed within the role
The key outcomes resulting from your duties. When listing these, again try and quantify your results through facts and figures to help highlight their significance and further demonstrate your capabilities.
Use bullet points so it’s easy for readers to scan
4. List Your Relevant Education & Training
Start with your highest or most relevant qualification and work down. The longer you’ve been in the workforce, the less attention you need to pay to the education section – your university degree or your relevant certification/training will suffice. However, if you’ve recently graduated and haven’t as much work experience you can put more detail into your education section; feel free to list any relevant work experience, internships or associations you were involved in that you feel showcase your skills and capabilities.
Certain industries or roles might also require candidates to have completed particular courses or training – for example, an engineer might be required to complete AutoCAD training for a role, while a strata manager might require to complete a property certificate of registration. If you think any additional licenses, certification or training will help you stand out from competitors and is relevant, feel free to add to this section.
5. Utilise the Skills Endorsement & Recommendation Section
LinkedIn recommendations and skill endorsements are a strong way to show employers that your professional background is relevant and that you’ve performed at a high level in past jobs. Asking other professionals for an endorsement or recommendation on Linkedin can seem awkward, but it’s not that different to asking them if they can be a reference on a resume. Furthermore, skill endorsement and recommendations can really help candidates to stand out from the competition, as your expertise has been certified by other respected professionals within your chosen field.
Linkedin endorsements occur when a 1st-degree connection endorses one or more of your skills. People can independently decide to endorse you, however, most endorsements occur after being requested. For endorsements to carry the most weight, ask relevant people to endorse you; colleagues you’ve worked with that can talk to your experience and promote the skills they’ve seen you use. In return, you can offer to endorse them.
6. Final Steps
To finalise your profile make-over and ensure you’ll attract the job opportunities you want, you should look over your profile and consider what keywords recruiters will search for when looking for candidates. For example, those looking for project engineers might search for terms like ‘Earthworks’ or ‘Road Upgrades’. Consequently, trying to include these keywords in your profile, will help you attract relevant job opportunities.
Furthermore, for active job seekers, you should double-check you have opted in to Linkedin notifications on your settings. Within your settings function, you can set up specific terms like project manager, full time etc', so that only the most relevant notifications are sent to you via email or SMS. These notifications allow you to be ahead of the game when applying for roles but also ensure you don’t miss out on any opportunity – which you might if you were manually scrolling through Linkedin each or every few days.
For further advice on your LinkedIn profile or at any other stage of the job-seeking process, feel free to reach out to our Design & Build consultants. Our team specialise in attracting, recruiting, and transitioning the right candidates to the right roles. Reach out to our team of consultants today to help you find and secure the role that’s the right fit for your needs.