5 steps to a winning LinkedIn profile
14th April 2015
Gone are the days where finding a job means flicking to the back of your local newspaper or visiting the nearby job centre. Today’s competitive and specialist job climate means that we have had to become more specialist in our search and make our resumes more available to potential employers.
One such way of succeeding in this endeavour is to turn to the internet, where LinkedIn is becoming more a necessity for professionals rather than just the latest social media to add to their email footer. Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has gone on to become the world’s largest online professional network with over 370,000,000 members in over 200 countries and territories. While it is a great place for networking and browsing the latest in-house legal jobs, the sheer number of people on the network mean that it is another competitive environment in which you need to stand out from the crowd.
Here we take you through five steps to a winning LinkedIn profile that won’t fail to get our notice.
1. A picture tells a thousand words
The old saying is true – a picture paints a thousand words and your LinkedIn profile picture is no different. Not only will a picture make you more identifiable to potential employers as a real prospect, but it will also help you be seen, as LinkedIn relegates those who stick with the grey avatar that is automatically assigned to new profiles to the bottom of the search results.
When choosing you profile image make sure it looks professional but approachable. The most off-putting thing an employer could see on your LinkedIn profile is a picture of you with a drink in your hand on a night out on the town. Saying that, you still want to look like a human being, so ensure you are smiling and smartly dressed.
2. Add detail
While you want to make sure that your CV is concise, with recruiters recommending it be no more than 1-2 pages, don’t be afraid to put lots of detail on your LinkedIn profile. The beauty of LinkedIn is that it is online and therefore takes an accessible form that means readers can quickly scroll to the bit they are interested in. In addition to detailed descriptions of your past and current roles, including skills and experiences you have gained, be sure to write an effective summary that illustrates to people who you are, what you want to achieve in your career and what you are looking for.
When writing a summary, be sure that, just like your profile image, you show off your personality to the best of your ability. This gives people their first impression of you, so make it count!
3. Join groups
Joining groups on LinkedIn and being active in said groups are among the best ways of acquiring new contacts that could lead to future opportunities. Be sure to illustrate that you are passionate about your field and that you are interested in finding out the latest industry news, as well as sharing your own knowledge so that others can see that you have valuable knowledge about your profession.
Bear in mind that while joining lots of groups could only be a good thing, and you can join up to 50 on LinkedIn, it may be more appropriate to have only seven or so visible within your profile; too many more could look spammy or less than genuine.
4. Include links
The benefits of LinkedIn as an online CV are that you can effectively make yourself a CV and portfolio in one. Be sure to link out to appropriate mentions of yourself online and your work. Perhaps a publication published an interview or feature on you, which can act as an impressive endorsement of your expertise.
Similarly, link out to examples of your work. Linking to articles you may have written or graphics you have created can only strengthen your profile and show, rather than tell, potential employers why you would make a great candidate for their company.
5. Add all skills and endorsements
LinkedIn also extends the referee aspect of a traditional CV. Through listing all of your skills you can be endorsed for such skills where other professionals can give references of your capabilities and confirm that you are experienced in certain areas and practices. While you can say that you are experienced in photo editing software or coding, by listing these skills on LinkedIn, professionals in your network can vouch for these skills.
Just be sure to endorse others too! Make sure you are connected to your colleagues and start endorsing them for skills they have listed on their profiles. Not only will this encourage them to endorse you back, but it will also help you realise any similar skills you may have missed on your profile. If you are applying for a role, be sure to read the job description thoroughly and check that you have any skills listed in the advertisement also listed on your LinkedIn profile if you possess them; they are sure to check.
If you would like more tips on how to strengthen your LinkedIn profile and online professional presence, then make an appointment with us. As a specialist legal recruitment agency, we possess the experience and skills to help your application and profile stand out from the crowd.