LinkedIn profile checklist for job seekers | Main Region

LinkedIn profile checklist for job seekers

Man working on laptop to update Linkedin Profile

It’s no secret that an up-to-date and engaging LinkedIn profile can help you get noticed by recruiters – whether you are actively or passively looking for a new role.

When you submit a job application, the recruiter or hiring manager will review your CV and application and then, if they want to find out more, will search for you on LinkedIn. Or, if the recruiter or hiring manager finds you on LinkedIn, they’ll review your profile first and then reach out. If you are interested in their job, they’ll ask for your CV. 

That’s why, as we have previously explained, it’s essential that you align your CV and online profile, as any discrepancies are a red flag to a recruiter or hiring manager. 
It’s also essential that you use your LinkedIn profile to bring your CV to life. Thanks to the visual, flexible and interactive nature of LinkedIn, your profile can tell the recruiter or hiring manager more details about your skills and experience, who you are and what you are looking for. After all, your CV and LinkedIn profile are two separate, but complementary entities and both will be carefully reviewed during your job search. 

The benefits of LinkedIn for job seekers

Building a professional and appealing LinkedIn profile allows you to connect with other professionals, build your personal brand and complement and expand upon your CV. In addition, a strong LinkedIn profile can increase your chances of being approached by a recruiter or hiring managers first. Recruiters are using advanced data analytics tools to both find and engage with suitable passive and active jobseekers – so an up-to-date profile and frequent online activity can certainly get you noticed by the right people. That is, if you make the best use of this platform during your job search.
Clearly then, your LinkedIn profile is a powerful tool in your job search and one that you can’t afford to get wrong. 

7-step LinkedIn profile checklist 

Here are our tips for creating a strong and engaging LinkedIn profile:

1. Use a professional profile picture 

We all know first impressions count, so an up-to-date and professional profile picture is vital. If you don’t have a professional picture, take a head and shoulders profile photo against a plain background while you’re wearing business attire. Look straight ahead at the camera and don’t forget to smile. 
LinkedIn data shows that having a profile picture makes you seven times more likely to have your profile viewed by recruiters and hiring managers.

2. Customise your LinkedIn profile URL 

Customising your profile URL to boost your LinkedIn profile is a small action that really does help recruiters or hiring managers remember you. Since a lot of candidates don’t take the time to condense their profile URL, doing so helps you stand out.

3. Create a compelling headline 

Add a compelling headline that accurately reflects your specialism, expertise and interests. A lot of people use their current job title, so using this space to summarise your professional know-how is another way to stand out. For instance:
“Ambitious IT sales professional with a passion for cloud computing and three years’ industry experience.”

4. Write a summary 

Many people skip the summary section, which is a huge missed opportunity to show who you are as a professional and what you can offer hiring managers.
A good summary consists of a few paragraphs summarising your professional background, key areas of expertise and what you can bring to an organisation. Mention what motivates you, what you are most passionate about, what your main skills are, what you’ve achieved in your most recent role and any recent upskilling.
Most importantly, make sure you quantify your accomplishments by adding noteworthy facts and figures to support your results. For example, here’s a LinkedIn summary example for job seekers: 
“I help companies grow by forging lasting relationships and engaging all relevant stakeholders to define and deliver strategic outcomes. I’m passionate about delivering a positive result for both my customers and colleagues.    
“I have a successful history managing key accounts in many verticals, including channel sales and direct. I’ve exceeded my sales targets every year, including a two million dollar target last financial year. 
“I’ve built a strong professional network based on open and honest communication, personal integrity and an outcomes focus. I pride myself on my ability to maintain relationships with stakeholders at all levels. 
“My appetite to succeed has ensured I’ve been the highest revenue generator in my current organisation for the past three years.” 

5. Detail your experience 

Make sure the experience section of your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. Include the list of jobs you have held along with key accomplishments in each role. Support these with examples, such as links, PDFs, videos or pictures.  
When writing this section, for each role remember to: 
  • Give a short description of the company
  • List your tasks and responsibilities
  • Add accomplishments in the role, including outcomes for key duties and/or projects. Use tangible results and figures where possible to stand out. These examples of quantifiable results work just as well for your LinkedIn profile as they do your CV
  • Start each sentence with an action verb to highlight in detail your skills and accomplishments – this is another simple trick to prove your professional skills that works for both your LinkedIn profile and your CV 
  • Use bullet points 
  • Write your profile in the first person to appear more approachable to readers
  • Check for grammar and spelling mistakes – a spelling mistake could cost you a job opportunity
  • Add the company logo to make your page more visually appealing and complete. 

6. List education and courses 

Start with your highest or most relevant achievement and work down. It is recommended that you don’t list all classes you have ever taken. Rather, list those that are most impressive and sought after by employers in your industry.

Mentioning grades is not necessary on LinkedIn – although, if you achieved an outstanding result, don’t leave it out!  

7. Ask for skills endorsements and recommendations  

Asking another professional for an endorsement on LinkedIn doesn’t come naturally to everyone. However, asking for and receiving endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn allows your expertise to be certified by others, which strengthens your profile and is a great advantage as a job seeker. 

LinkedIn endorsements occur when a 1st-degree connection endorses one or more of your skills. It is a simple one-click process. People may independently decide to endorse you, however most endorsements occur after being requested. So, ask current and former colleagues if they can endorse the skills they’ve seen you use. In return, offer to endorse them. 

LinkedIn recommendations carry more weight than an endorsement as they require a connection to take the time to write a testimonial. Be selective in who you ask for a recommendation, such as former managers, key clients or close colleagues. When you reach out to a connection to ask for a recommendation, remind them of particular successes, projects or duties that they were privy to that they may like to mention.  

Next steps

Once your profile is complete, make sure you regularly update it when you learn a new skill or complete a piece of work that is worth showcasing. Then, begin to grow your presence and engage with your network. You can do this by sharing content relevant to your specialism or industry, posting your own professional insights and liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s updates. Don’t forget to also connect with professionals you meet.

It’s also important to remember that your LinkedIn profile does not replace your CV during your job search. CVs are still the most important weapon in your armoury when it comes to getting a job, but it should be complemented by a strong, professional and active LinkedIn profile – one that brings all the claims you have on your CV to life and showcases everything you have to offer as a person and as a professional.

Finally, once your profile is up-to-date and working for you, you may start to show up in search results for relevant keywords used by recruiters when they look for people with particular skills. So, if you receive a message from a recruiter about a potential job opportunity, you may be interested in our advice on how to respond to recruiters on LinkedIn.

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