Did you know that you can find a job on LinkedIn? A lot of people don’t. But as well as searching for jobs yourself, employers can actually headhunt you! They can do this a number of ways, but whether you show in their search results all depends on what you put on your profile.
Often people don’t know what to put in their profile though, so there are sections that are left blank. We’re here to help! So if you want to find out how to use effectively fill out your LinkedIn profile, read on…
If you’ve already got a LinkedIn profile, skip this step. Alternatively, just keep on scrolling!
Create a Profile
Start by typing www.linkedin.com into your web browser. Once you’ve pressed enter, this page should appear:
And if you look in the top right hand side of this page, you’ll see two options ‘Join now’ and ‘Sign in’. So unless you’ve already got a LinkedIn profile, you’ll need to click ‘Join now’. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to fill in the following details:
Then click ‘Agree & Join’.
Fill in Your Details
The next screen will look something like this:
So you’ll need to fill in some basic location details; this is to help prospective employers find you – more on that later. The next boxes you’ll need to fill in are relevant to your most recent Job Title and Company.
Add Extra Details
So now you’re logged in, you’ll need to strengthen your profile. There are 6 sections you’ll need to fill in;
This is the ‘About’ section on your profile. Your introduction will pretty much work like a Personal Statement on your CV – except, in this case, write as if you are having a conversation with someone. Think about what sets you apart from everyone else, and how you can stand out in the crowd of people working in the same industry as you. Demonstrate the passion you have for your sector, and don’t be afraid to show some personality!
Express what you’re currently working as and the general tasks you undertake on a day-to-day basis at work. You can also use this section to share your goals for the future; however, don’t portray yourself as a ‘flight risk’ to your current employer. It’s always good to add some information about the company you currently work for and their products/services.
If you are looking to use LinkedIn to get yourself a new job, make sure your introduction is keyword-rich. Recruiters search for a combination of job titles, skills, and other keywords to find the right candidates. LinkedIn even shows you some of the search queries used to find your profile.
The background section has 4 subsections:
- Work experience
- Licenses & Certifications
- Volunteer experience
This is all pretty self-explanatory; for work experience, you can add past companies you have worked for and your job titles. Again, much like on your CV, this will state how long you worked there, or whether you still presently work there. Your education should include any formal education you have had; from secondary school, all the way to any post-graduate degrees, plus any other forms of education you have had after University (if applicable).
As for licenses & certifications and volunteer experience, these sections do not show by default; meaning they are optional. As an example of what to put in this section, if/when you gain your Assessor qualification, you can add this as a certification! And of course, if you’ve done any volunteering in the past or currently are doing any, you can pop this in this section.
Your skills section is a great way to highlight your talents. Maintaining a relevant list of your skills on your profile will help other LinkedIn users understand your strengths, and can pair you up with the right opportunities. When you go to add a skill, LinkedIn should give you some recommendations on the basis of the information you’ve already filled in up to this point on your profile. You can add up to 50 – but according to LinkedIn’s database of skills, there are over 50,000 to chose from.
You can also get endorsements for your skills; this is where people will pretty much back you up on your skill, and vouch for you that you can, in fact, perform this skill to a high standard. Any skills that have been endorsed will appear first; followed by skills without endorsements, which will appear in the order that they were added.
For accomplishments, you have 8 subsections;
- Publications – List your published work
- Patents – Showcased your innovation and expertise
- Courses – List coursework from your prior or continuing education
- Projects – Add compelling projects to demonstrate your experience
- Honours & Awards – Feature the recognition you’ve earned
- Test Scores – If you’ve excelled in an exam, you can list your score here
- Languages – Show how you can be a fit for a job or overseas opportunity
- Organisations – Show your involvement with communities that are important to you
If any of these subsections are applicable to your background or what you’re currently doing, fill in as many areas as you can. Do you have a blog? Post it in your publications! If you’ve completed a course recently, add it here; do you fluently speak a second language? Here’s the section where you can show off all your accomplishments.
The additional information section is where you can ask connections to write you a recommendation. This is similar to the skills endorsements but is a recommendation of you as a whole; not for one specific skill.
And the last section for you to fill in, if applicable can be quite a hefty one; it’s all about adding the above sections again but in a different language. This will be helpful if you’re looking to move overseas for a new career or simply want to attract those who use other languages, to your profile.
Remember to keep all of these sections up-to-date!
So now you know how to effectively fill out your LinkedIn profile, take a look at our 6 ways to get the best out of your LinkedIn profile…