LinkedIn 101 – Tips to Boost Your Profile
By Teneal Bird
Recently, we went about covering some aspects of LinkedIn Profiles that help recruiters identify you from a big pool of individuals in the same work field. It cannot be said enough, but LinkedIn is one of the most critical tools in your arsenal if you’re searching for a job here in Canada, let alone anywhere else in the world.
Previously, we spoke about the Top Fold of your LinkedIn Profile. This blog will entail two key features:
- Your Summary
- Your Experience Section
It is essentially your About section, but the keyword here to remember is ‘summary.’ This means you should avoid writing your About section as though it’s a long and detailed piece of prose. It needs to be clear and concise with numbers, facts, and figures. Like your top fold, it is one of the first things recruiters see when they come to your profile and should entice them enough to keep reading your profile. This is where keyword density comes into play – if a keyword shows up multiple times throughout your profile, it will positively impact the search.
A small thing to note is that your LinkedIn summary is still considered ‘above the fold,’ meaning you do not have to scroll to read it on both desktop and mobile.
This section needs to be completed with a touch of care and effort. The time you’ve taken to ensure that it is done well will show throughout your entire profile.
- If you are talking figures, Canadian recruiters will not understand Rands and cents. Ensure you convert your currency to Canadian Dollars and if you’re expressing growth, represent it in figures.
- If you’re mentioning geographical locations, they definitely will not know the size of Mpumalanga or Hotazel. Canada (9,984,670 sq km) is eight times bigger than South Africa (1,219,099 sq km) by a whopping 9,855,571 sq km!
- Using bullet points rather than long sentences will aid in your summary section’s readability.
- If you have worked with international companies, this is a great place to highlight these companies to create context.
- Use as much of the character limit as you can.
- Use a “call to action” at the end.
Your Experience Section
Your resume and your work history need to correspond and mimic each other. This section talks about your past and current positions in chronological order, with the newest at the top. There should be no discrepancies between dates, roles, or descriptions. They might be phrased differently because you are limited between your LinkedIn Profile and your resume. However, with LinkedIn, you can creatively use far more keywords. This does NOT mean you must go over the top and potentially confuse recruiters, so be careful and check your data regularly to ensure that they coincide.
A side note: Throughout your job search history, you will adjust your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. This involves improving, editing, and removing elements to keep yourself relevant to the job market. Be sure to create a consistent message across all the platforms you use to advertise yourself.
A few tips:
- If you mention a company, try to link them so that the company logo can be inserted automatically. This allows the recruiter to learn more about the company, saving you time from going into detail and allowing the recruiter to spend more time on your profile. Additionally, these can highlight professional developments and achievements on your profile.
- Much like your summary, bullet points are beneficial here but don’t overdo it.
- You can insert your accomplishments here, but you should be factual. Give numbers, statistics, goals reached, etc. Make sure these relate to the skill sets you have highlighted in your headline where possible. Go into detail to ensure that the recruiter gets the bigger picture.
- Again, much like your summary, keep context relevant to Canada. Convert SA Rands to Canadian Dollars, etc.
- This section is a great place to show off your expertise, achievements, and documents. For example, if you’ve published a few articles or were a speaker at an event, you can add this to your experience section, and it will create an image card that a recruiter can view to get to know you a little better.
- Something equally important is your accomplishments section. This is where your projects, awards, publications, courses, patents, test scores, languages, organizations, and professional bodies you belong to are noted as you complete your LinkedIn profile. It will undoubtedly make you stand out, and you should put extra effort into adding content here.
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