Career Advice

How to Transform Your Basic CV into a Robust LinkedIn Profile

min read
Mikaela Thompson

What is LinkedIn?

In short, it’s the most popular online socio-professional networking platform used by job seekers and recruiters worldwide. You need to be a part of it to stay in the loop with others in your field, find awesome job opportunities, and to keep reaching toward greater success in your chosen profession. Whatever your objective is on this platform though, it all starts with your profile.

Why should I bother with LinkedIn?

Yes, of course there are other avenues for gaining employment but in today’s employment market, you can’t afford to ignore LinkedIn which will increase and deepen your reach beyond boundaries and help you find your best opportunities, or more excitingly, for them to find you. The numbers speak for themselves -

1) LinkedIn has 740 million users across 200 countries.

2) 55 million companies have LinkedIn profiles.

3) 80% of all LinkedIn users cite professional networking as one of the keys to their career success.

4) 87% of all recruiters use this site as a powerful tool for finding top talent.

5) 46 million new graduates use LinkedIn.

6) LinkedIn provides high visibility to its users. That’s why 9 out of 10 recruiters turn to it when recruiting.

7) LinkedIn is growing at a rate of two new joins per second.

And so, the list of stats goes on.

Whether a job seeker or employer, how can you not be convinced?

Key tips to getting your profile noticed

1) Choose the right LinkedIn account to suit your needs e.g., the basic one is free but the premium one costs a fee. However, premium gives you a lot more features and further options, such as, you can opt for Professional, Jobseeker etc., with each one offering you different benefits. To help you decide, this site offers you a free-one month trial.

2) In your basic information: if you’re unemployed be careful of your word choices e.g., use phrases like, ‘currently looking for employment opportunities’ or ‘advertising student seeking challenging employment opportunities’. Show that you’re forward thinking and optimistic for the future.

3) Make sure your profile photo shows you as a professional. In fact, it’ll pay off big to get a professional headshot done – Photos taken by pros get 14 times more views; high quality photos get up to 36 times more messages than those keeping to the boilerplate look.

4) When listing your skills, include at least five, but the more the better up to a possible 50 on this platform. Why? Having 5, will get you 33 times more contact from recruiters and 17 times more profile views. List skills from your most proficient down, to put your best-honed skills in the spotlight.

5) When listing your education, write at least 40 words to show up in searches and show some personality – 40% of recruiters love to catch a glimpse of your attitude.

6) Headlines are important to capture attention, as well as to indicate your job title. They show up in LinkedIn, and on some search engines, with your name and profile pic so leverage this by creating snappy, memorable phrases about what you want to be known for, your value proposition, and of which will encourage clicks to find out more e.g., showcase your company’s achievements (e.g. #1 sales app on Shopify), show your unique certificates/quals (4 x salesforce certified), a call to action (e.g. The best company at …Learn how to), show what problems you can solve (e.g. I help performers land amazing jobs), author listing (e.g. NYT writer, podcast, Worklife, etc.), product type headline (#1LinkedIn influencer Programme), keyword loading, e.g. weave in keywords words that’re associated with your industry, sector, role etc., for greater visibility through SEO (search engine optimization), you can even use emojis to help establish your personal brand.

7) To compellingly highlight why you’re indispensable, quantify your achievements through statistics and ROI (return in investment) details.

8) Use ‘Resume Worded’ to optimize your profile. It’ll give you a score with recommendations on how to improve it.

9) Use the ‘LinkedIn Featured’ section as a great vehicle to showcase your expertise and build credibility. It’s on your profile homepage. Click on ‘add Profile Section’. Click on the ‘featured’ dropdown menu and add.

10) In your work experience, include any volunteer experiences and causes – 41% of professionals surveyed consider this as equally important as paid work. 20% of hiring managers say they’ve hired someone based on their volunteer experience. How? Click on your profile at the top of LinkedIn, click ‘Add Sections’ button, select ‘Volunteer Experience’, click the plus button and fill out the applicable fields.

11) Create a customized URL so that it’s easier for people to find you. Click ‘gear’ next to the public profile link, click the pencil message next to URL. Use your name. If it’s already been used, add numbers behind your name. Your URL needs to be between 5 and 30 characters.

12) Update your profile regularly to keep in touch with colleagues and events in your sector; post content relevant to your industry and field e.g., new innovations, fun statistics, start a blog if you can update it regularly etc.

13) Add video/s that showcase who you are, what you do, your skills etc. Upload it to a sharing site then post the URL to LinkedIn. Content with video is 5 times more likely to get comments and therefore more user engagement.

14) Include images in your content to get 2 times the comments.

A few don’ts to take heed of:

1) If you want your profile to shine and not merge with the hordes on the platform, avoid using these overworked terms (find other synonyms): specialized, experienced, leadership, skilled, passionate, expert, motivated, creative, strategic, successful.

2) When you’re actively seeking a new job, there’s no need to broadcast the fact. To turn off LinkedIn’s activity broadcast, click settings, scroll down to the section ‘How to see your LinkedIn activity’, click on 'share job changes, education changes and work anniversaries’ from your profile, move the button from ’yes’ to ‘no’.

3) Don’t ask people you don’t know for recommendations. But keep in mind, if you give recommendations to others, then they’ll be more inclined to return the favour.

4) Don’t treat this platform like your personal social media accounts. Always use professional language, images, videos etc. There’s a much lower tolerance here than on other social media sites for nonsense and timewasters.

5) Don’t skip the personalization. This site is all about networking and requires a bit of personal connection.

6) Don’t forget to spend time on this site. Gaining the most out of it is a process. Don’t expect results immediately, it takes time. The more you use it, the more useful it’ll be to you.

7) Don’t forget to follow up if people send you an introduction, respond to your request for advice or otherwise take an interest in you. Let them know how you’re doing specifically related to their advice etc., and/or thank them for their time and effort.

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