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Whatever stage of your job search you’re in, you need a LinkedIn profile that sets you apart from the competition. With over 600 million users, LinkedIn is the place to be seen if you’re serious about your career. Here’s how to make that happen.
1. Add your headshot
Profiles without a photo are easily passed over on LinkedIn. If you can, it’s well worth investing in a professional headshot to create a good first impression.
2. Create an eye-catching headline
The next thing people will see after your name is your headline. Use these 120 characters to write a mini-ad for yourself. As well as your job title, include your speciality and how you add value for your target audience.
3. Craft an interesting summary
Your summary can be up to 2,000 characters, but try to keep it under 1,000. Use it to tell your story, not only describing your past experience but also what you do well and what you can bring to your next employer. Use keywords you want to be connected to in your field.
4. Highlight your experience
Don’t just cut and paste your CV into your LinkedIn profile. Focus on jobs that are relevant to your career direction and give two to four impressive and interesting bullet points for each. Use action words to highlight what you did and the results you achieved.
5. Use visual media
You can add a background or cover photo to make your profile stand out. Choose a theme that reflects your personality or your profession. You can also connect videos, infographics and other relevant media to your profile.
6. Customise your URL
Change your forgettable default URL to something relevant and memorable using the option you’ll find on the right side of your profile.
7. Start making connections
LinkedIn is for networking, and having more connections makes you more visible. Prioritise connecting with people you know personally or have met professionally.
8. Ask for recommendations
When you edit your profile, you’ll see a link that says Ask for Recommendations. Click on it, choose what you’d like to be recommended for, and send requests to your connections. This is key to standing out on LinkedIn.
9. Keep your page active
Again, LinkedIn is for networking, so comment on, like, and share other people’s posts. Look for groups to join that are relevant to your professional interests too.
10. Check your LinkedIn profile strength
Your profile comes with a “Profile Strength” gauge on the right-hand side. Keep adding to it and following the site's tips until your strength is rated as “All-Star.”