LinkedIn is an online social network application that helps you build and engage with your professional network. Over the years, LinkedIn has developed itself into an important network tool for employers and job seekers. It is an excellent tool to make sure that you can be found by recruiters.
Recruiters use LinkedIn for (1) searching for suitable candidates, (2) for attracting a certain target group, and (3) for checking upon potential job applicants. Also when you are looking for a job, you can actively search for what is being offered: employers often upload their vacancies on LinkedIn as well. You can directly apply on LinkedIn which causes your LinkedIn profile to function as your digital resume.
You can simply upgrade your LinkedIn profile by adding a professional picture and writing a personal summary (e.g. strengths, goals, ambitions). In addition, you can add different companies and institutions to your ‘interests’, to stay updated and informed about branches of your interest, companies and vacancies.
Is your profile incomplete or not up to date? Then the recruiter will quickly take off and he or she probably will not bother to review the rest of your profile.
Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to your picture, headline and your summary. If you want a practical example of a strong LinkedIn profile, click here.
LinkedIn offers a checktool, the social selling index (SSI), where you can have your LinkedIn profile rated on several measurement scales. Recruiters score around 70 out of 100. The Aureus board scores around 35. The score increases if you are well connected and active (posting, sharing, and liking of articles) on LinkedIn.
The checklist below can be used as a review tool for your to professionalize your personal LinkedIn page:
- Name – Put your full name here, without extras such as your phone number. You can add academic titles (e.g. MSc )
- Photo – Take care of a good, professional business photo. Make sure your LinkedIn photo is not a group picture.
- Professional headline – What do you want to highlight? This is the first title that will pop up in LinkedIn’s search function when people look for you.
- Contact details – Fill out your email and phone number. You can adjust your privacy settings to set show your details only to conections within network.
- URL of your public profile – You can adjust the URL of your LinkedIn page. Changing the URL to your name will make it easier to find your profile.
For example: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaimysiegersma/
- Activity – Your updates appear in this section. Edits you made to your profile are also shown here. Important to know is that you can switch off these updates. This way, people on your LinkedIn network will not get notified if you are making small changes to your profile.
- Summary – Use this part to give a short (maximum two alinea’s) description on you. Are you still studying? Are you looking for a job? What are strenghts or ambitions you like to highlight?
- Experience – Fill out your professional experiences which are relevant, like part-time jobs, projects, internships or summer jobs. This part of your LinkedIn profile most resembles your hardcopy CV. Be detailed, do not forget to mention your tasks, responsibilities, results and skills obtained per job position.
- Courses – If you have followed relevant courses and/or trainings, you can add them to your LinkedIn profile.
- Languages – Make sure to distinguish mother tongue next to foreign languages.
- Feautred Skills & Endorsements – You can add skills related to your education or work experience. It is important that your skills are endorsed by your connections on LinkedIn.
- Education – Mention your current and previous studies. It is also wise to include your secondary school here and mention the track (or profile) you followed.
- Recommendations – Ask previous or current employers to write a short review about your work attitude and potential work assignments.
- Company pages – In order to stay up to date on news and vacancies of companies of your interest, it is wise to follow them on LinkedIn. These pages also
enable you to quickly reply to news and vacancies.
It may be clear how a well-organized and professional LinkedIn profile may help you in finding a job. After you have applied the checklist above to your LinkedIn profile, it is time to go to the next step.