How to build a LinkedIn profile for a job you want

If earning the occasional paycheque is in your best interest, here’s how to make sure the best recruiters find you.

 

Meryl D'Souza February 6, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, LinkedIn released a list of the most powerful profiles in the UAE for 2016. For those stranded in that limbo of looking for a job, there are quite a few things you could take away just by looking at their profiles.

Now, we get that not everyone is observant enough to notice so we’ve gone ahead and created a best practices checklist that will help propel your LinkedIn profile and personal brand. Here’s how to upgrade your LinkedIn profile.

Start with a professional photo
That amazing picture of a sunset in Tuscany may have over a thousand likes as your Facebook profile picture, but it’s a no go for your online CV. While we’re on the subject, a selfie doesn’t count as well – no matter how good your phone’s camera is. Get a professional picture taken. Dress for the photo as you’d dress for an interview and remember to smile. Think of that photo as your first handshake with a potential employer.

Make your headline stand out
By default, LinkedIn populates your headline with your job title and current company, but sticking to that is a waste. Your LinkedIn headline is valuable real estate and may be the only part of your profile that a recruiter or hiring manager actually looks at. You only need to keep it to about 10 words, but be clever. 

Fill out the “summary” section
We could tell you to use bullet points so that it’s easier to read or that you should fill it out with 5-6 of your biggest achievements in your career, instead we’ll tell you this: Adding a summary of 40 words or more makes your profile more likely to turn up in a search. The more visible you are, the higher the chances of getting offers.

Add images
You can add a whole host of media files to your profile. This helps it stand out as a visual portfolio as opposed to a drab old résumé.  

Complete your profile
We’re in a digital world. Being a master of one is great and all, but you need to prove you’re an all-rounder. Also, make sure you fill in your skills. Listing your skills on your profile makes you 13 times more likely to be viewed on LinkedIn. Your connections can endorse you for these skills, so make sure to include a mix of high level and niche skills, which are relevant to your career and clearly indicate your key competencies. 

Keep your work history relevant
Of course, filling out your profile is no excuse to throw in every tiny thing you’ve achieved. So while it’s great that you won a hot dog eating contest in 2006, your recruiter doesn’t need to know. Unless you’re applying for Adam Richman’s spot in Man v. Food.

Add links to relevant sites
Hyperlink to your company profile or blog or any articles written about you.

Ask for recommendations
Recommendations are your digital references. They are a great way of not only showing that you get along with your colleagues but also supporting the skills and qualities you have included in your profile.

Use status updates to share industry-relevant content
Instead of sharing meme all day, take some time out to share something that’s revenant to your industry. This can help show recruiters that you are focused and in-the-know in your industry.