LinkedIn is widely recognised as one of the best online sites for finding a job. A great profile and a brilliant network are all you need to get started.
There’s only one problem…
If you’re like most job-hunters, you probably aren’t very good at promoting yourself. That’s not surprising, because most people have been brought up to think blowing your own trumpet is bad manners. That makes selling your skills and experience hard. You may even hide your brilliance for fear of appearing boastful or arrogant.
However, it’s not enough to put the facts of your career on your CV and hope the HR manager sees your potential. You need to point out where you excel, what you’ve achieved and how you can add value to a business.
How do you get noticed on LinkedIn?
Before you start, it’s important to understand how LinkedIn works. LinkedIn isn’t just a social media site for business people. It’s a massive search engine too. Most recruiters and employers use LinkedIn to make searches that enable them to find people with specific job titles, experience and skills.
So your main goal is to ensure you rank high in the search results, ideally on the first page. There are a number of ways you can raise your ranking.
- Write relevant and interesting posts on your page feed.
- Publish LinkedIn articles.
- Join and become active in relevant groups.
- Comment on other people’s posts or articles.
- Get mentioned in other people’s posts or articles.
Getting noticed on LinkedIn is now as powerful as a mention in a technical magazine or the press in the past. The main difference is that it’s you who controls the process. That means you’re missing on job or career opportunities if you don’t optimise your profile to maximise your rankings.
Achieving a higher profile and getting higher search rankings takes consistent effort. The key is to make posting and connecting on LinkedIn part of your regular activities – and not something you do only when you’re looking for a job or a promotion.
How do you create a professional LinkedIn profile?
Your first job is to create a strong foundation on LinkedIn. That means getting your profile right and improving it over time. Yes, this isn’t a one-time-only task. You must continue to enhance your profile by gaining endorsements, writing articles and connecting with more of the right people. Over time your efforts will be recognised.
When you have a 5-star profile page with a well-written sales pitch, you’ll rank high in searches. It will also help you engage with employers, recruiters and headhunters because you’ll have a solid basis for growing your presence and status.
When creating your professional LinkedIn profile, focus on the value you can offer to a company. Don’t be drawn into telling your career or life story. Your writing style also needs to be professional and focused on your sales pitch.
10 Keys to a High-Ranking LinkedIn Profile
Here are 20 profile features you should check and update regularly. Some of them are quick wins, while others may take some time. However, all are worthwhile because help you create a LinkedIn personal brand to move your career forward.
1. Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn
Your profile picture is your calling card on LinkedIn – it’s how people are introduced to you and (visual beings that people are) it governs their impression of you from the start. Make sure the picture is recent and looks like you and that your face takes up around 60% of the frame. Wear what you would like to wear to work and smile with your eyes!
2. Make your headline more than just a job title
There’s no rule that says the description at the top of your profile page has to be just a job title. Use the headline to say a bit more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick.
3. Turn your summary into your story
Your summary is your chance to tell your own story, so don’t just use it to list your skills or job titles. Bring to life why your skills matter, and the difference you can make to the people you work with. This is your most personal piece of content marketing, so invest some time here. The wording must create a desire for the hiring employer, recruiter or head-hunter to interview you for relevant roles.
4. List your relevant skills
Scroll through the list of skills and identify those most relevant to you. Don’t let the list stretch out too long though. Check it periodically to make sure it still reflects what you do best.
5. Use endorsements
Rather than asking for endorsements, go through your network and identify those you genuinely want to endorse. This often triggers others to endorse you, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask.
6. Request recommendations
There’s a handy drop-down menu in the Recommendations section of your profile that makes it easy to reach out to specific contacts and request recommendations. Think about whose recommendation you’d value and send a personalised request to that person.
7. Share relevant content from your LinkedIn feed
Sharing relevant content with your network is a great way to add value for your connections. Share content you find genuinely interesting and that aligns with your point of view.
8. Add comments
Well-expressed comments enable you to share a broader range of content. A comment that expresses a viewpoint establishes you as someone with an opinion. It’s also likely to draw additional comments, which then raise your profile across LinkedIn. Just make sure you’re happy to be associated with what you say.
9. Follow relevant influencers for your industry
Following relevant influencers on LinkedIn adds a range of interesting content in your feed, which you can then share with others when you think it adds value. It also helps to give context to your LinkedIn profile by demonstrating your passion for what you do.
10. Start conversations with articles and longer posts
Publishing articles and longer posts is a great way to get conversations started. These give you the space to express opinions and discuss ideas. It also marks you out as a thought leader and keeps you updated on what others are talking about. Keep an eye on the comments and be ready to respond.
By consistently posting interesting information, you’ll stand out and catch the attention of employers and headhunters. You’ll make it clear that you want to be an influencer in your field and do more for the organisation than just the job.
What NOT to do on LinkedIn?
Although LinkedIn is a great place to make connections and find a new role, it comes with a health warning. It’s important to remember that LinkedIn is a social media platform, which might make it easy to get sucked into arguments, moan about your job or boss and talk too freely about your personal life.
As you can imagine, this wouldn’t be a good look for your brand. In fact, it’s likely to damage your status with your existing employer and any future employer. That’s why it’s important that you don’t engage with anything that might be controversial. Definitely don’t get into an online shouting match with someone who annoys you.
Don’t forget to be social
It’s easy to forget about the social side of LinkedIn, but just as with a live networking event, you need to be sociable as well as businesslike. It’s a two-way street – you need to comment on and respond to other users’ posts, not just put your own stuff out there. Being social means taking an interest in what others say and writing comments on their posts.
Don’t be negative
Overall, LinkedIn tends to be a grown-up and well-behaved social media platform – mostly because everyone has their professional hat on. Where Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a free-for-all in terms of commenting and expressing opinions, LinkedIn is far more respectful and reserved. It’s also far more positive in tone, so avoid negative behaviour when you post on LinkedIn. Otherwise you won’t develop positive connections and build a strong network.
Don’t forget who’s watching you!
Even though LinkedIn is a social network, you need to think about what you say and to whom because you never know who’s watching! Remember that your comments are public, so, be careful what you say.
Which LinkedIn plan is best?
You can choose between many of the LinkedIn plans: Free, Career, Business, Sales or Hiring. However, if you already have a high-ranking profile – when six or more of your key skills rank on searches and you have 99 endorsements – you don’t necessarily need to pay for any of the paid plans because you’re already getting seen by a wide network of people.
Even if you don’t have a high-ranking profile, the paid LinkedIn plans might not be the best route for you. You’re better off saving your money and using it to pay someone to improve your LinkedIn profile first. This will ultimately deliver better career and job-search results.
LinkedIn may offer you a free one-month trial of one of their plans after you’ve been active on the platform for a while and getting some traction. At that point, you can try it out and decide for yourself whether it offers you a good return on your investment.
How much does a LinkedIn profile cost?
Writing your own LinkedIn profile won’t cost you anything except time and effort. But your time and energy are probably your most precious commodities. And creating a professional LinkedIn profile is a lot of work too.
However, there’s no reason why you can’t hire someone to do it for you. In many ways, getting professional help is a good idea because it saves you time and delivers a better result.
This is why creating high-ranking LinkedIn profiles is a service we offer here at Career Consultants. As well as optimising your profile so it gets found by the right people, we can keep it updated and increase your visibility by writing posts and articles for you.
At Career Consultants, we charge around £300 for a full, 30-day LinkedIn profile service. And if you want us to write posts or articles for you, just ask for a quote.
This service is ideal if you’re a business owner, a CEO or someone who wants to take their career to the next level. We’d be glad to help you create a LinkedIn profile that delivers your next ideal role.
Do fill in the form on this page and share with us what you wish to achieve career or jobwise.