LinkedIn 101 – Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Relevant to the Canadian Job Market
By Teneal Bird
We all know that your LinkedIn Profile is an essential tool in attracting recruiters. This is incredibly important for Canada’s work environment because 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet their potential candidates.
We’ve seen the stats, and they make it pretty clear that you as an individual need to stand out within your prospective career avenue. Recruiters will not be able to find you if your profile does not cover the basics, let alone the full package; therefore, you need to put the effort in to stand out among the crowd. That is what we intend to help you with.
Over the next few weeks, a series of blogs will be posted that details specific parts of your LinkedIn profile that you can optimize into a bespoke profile that recruiters will find easily within a pool of about 350 000 Immigrants who are in the same boat as you.
The Top Fold
Firstly, we’ll be looking at the top fold of your LinkedIn profile. The phrase ‘above the fold’ originated from newspapers and website design and refers to the ‘big story.’ Or, to put it simply, it is the most important section to read according to the owner. It was reported that 80% of a person’s viewing time is spent above the fold.
The same can be assumed for the start of your LinkedIn profile; it’s the first point of contact that you should use to catch a recruiter’s attention to your profile. This needs enough information that sells you as a viable candidate for a job you might be looking for.
Your photo will be the first thing that recruiters see, and you need to make a good impression from the first point of contact. Therefore, you should ensure that these guidelines are met to give your photo the biggest impression:
- Keep it simple
- Smile, look and be approachable
- A recent photo will help, especially as you will be new
- Try and keep the background neutral, with no clutter
The background banner needs to be much the same. It is excellent real estate for your profile, so you have the freedom to be creative and use it to market yourself in the best way possible. You could use it to put your contact details down or reflect some of your core values that show how you work with clients. You could even use it to highlight the services you provide, and some people just put a simple picture with a short quote.
Moving on to your headline, you need to understand that the algorithm will search through LinkedIn profiles and find keywords that are being searched for. It is what often ‘encourages a potential recruiter to delve further into your profile.’ Your headline should have the appropriate keywords to improve your chance of appearing higher on the list of search results provided to the recruiter. Words such as ‘Innovator” or “Tech Guru” are not ideal for this and instead look to using practical, easy-to-search words relating to your respective field of work.
It’s good to do some research:
- Look at what sort of job you’re trying to apply for.
- See what skillsets everyone is looking for when it comes to your expertise.
- Look at other profiles of people in a similar position to what you are looking for and see what they have in their headlines.
- Tip! Have a look at the endorsement section of your profile! What are the top 5 skills that you are endorsed for? If those aren’t part of your job search, then you might need to make some adjustments. Your endorsements need to read similarly to the skill sets you want to leverage in your career.
- Dividing your skills with a vertical line divider helps them become more readable. Some people use emojis, but it is important to understand that certain trends apply to particular job descriptions. For example, a marketer uses emojis, and even then, you should try to use them sparingly.
Once the recruiter has looked at the top fold, they will quickly compare whether your profile displays the skills they are looking for, and if that checks out, they’ll be encouraged to look further into your profile!
Furthermore, some last notes to leave you with:
- The audio recording: Canadians do love the South African accent. The audio recording is a creative way to teach prospective employers how to say your name or hear something catchy that might tie into your job description. This part is at your discretion, and you have creative freedom!
- Your address: The ATS (applicant tracking system) will not include you if your address is not a Canadian address. It’s important to pin your location to Canada by putting something like ‘Toronto’ in there, or even just ‘Canada.’ This widens the search criteria and indicates that you’re willing to work in more than one area.
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