More and more professionals are creating an internet presence on social networking and job seeking site LinkedIn – but how many are scrutinising their profiles and asking whether they’re truly selling themselves in the best possible way?
Your LinkedIn social media profile is, increasingly, the first exposure a potential employer will have to your abilities and experiences. As such, it’s at least as important as your CV. So it’s worth spending a bit of time getting right.
Having spoken to some of our clients about the sorts of LinkedIn profiles that turn them on and off. We’ve compiled our Top Ten Tips for helping you sculpt the ultimate career-orientated page.
Don’t be shy – do have a profile
Now LinkedIn exists and has officially ‘taken off’, it’s probably prudent to give yourself a presence . Otherwise a suspicious employer might wonder what you have to hide.
First impressions count
Make the most of your opening description. You only have a few words to play with. Make them attention-grabbing (without going overboard). Think of it like an elevator pitch. Sum up yourself and your unique qualities in a nutshell.
Keep your information up to date
If your future boss checks you out on LinkedIn and finds your last job was apparently managing a doughnut stall five-and-a-half years ago, he might question your suitability as his new head of IT…
Include a photo – but no ‘cheese’
The way you look shouldn’t influence whether or not you land a job but it’s another avenue by which you can establish a ‘professional’ image. Opt for a conventional corporate mugshot, not a gurning photo of you on holiday in Marbella last year….
Keep it professional
Keep your text straight down the line and professional. Don’t talk about favourite bands, books and Big Brother contestants. There’s a place for that kinda chatter, and it’s called Facebook…
It’s NOT a numbers game
There might be some status points to be gleaned on Facebook and Twitter by having a large number of ‘Friends’ and ‘Followers’ – but not so on LinkedIn. Make sure all your connections count. You can always ‘archive’ rather than ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ invitations. Think quality rather than quantity…
Spend time on your profile
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and likewise the perfect LinkedIn profile can’t be dashed off in five minutes. Ask yourself what kind of information your ideal employer would want to read, then tailor your text around that.
We’re not at home to Mr Cock-Up
Do have a friend or trusted colleague proof read your profile and offer feedback. Typos, grammatical bloopers and other unintentional howlers will make you seem more suited to the classroom than the boardroom…
Vet your recommenders
Just as your own profile should be literate and professional, so should your testimonials. People sometimes judge you by the company you keep…
…and about those recommendations…
If your current employer monitors your LinkedIn page and you suddenly upload a raft of new testimonials, he or she will know something fishy is going on – i.e. you’re looking to move on. Make acquiring recommendations a continual process so when your perfect job comes along, you’re all ready to go for it.