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How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Stands Out To Employers 

When it comes to selling your value to a recruitment company like Clayton Recruitment and the clients we work for, there are a few pivotal documents required to draw attention to yourself. 

The humble CV is one, followed quickly by your LinkedIn profile. 

As LinkedIn is the biggest social business network outside China, with 850 million members listed, it is more crucial than ever to leverage the opportunities your LinkedIn profile provides as a positioning tool for your career. 

Your LinkedIn profile has many positive attributes. Unless you share a name with a well-known person, it is highly likely that your profile, if created properly, will appear on the first page of Google. 

Even though your CV/Resume is a standard document that demonstrates your career journey, a LinkedIn profile can deliver even more insight about you as a potential recruit in an interactive and engaging style that a CV alone cannot achieve. 

In today’s post, I want to share why your profile is so important and the easy, quick wins to ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd. 

Headlines and Pronouns

Your headline is often the first piece of text a recruiter or potential hiring manager will see, so make it count. Paraphrase what you do, and the good news is LinkedIn now allows 220 characters, including spaces. Here is an example of a headline that works.  

“Marketing Manager at IKEM Solutions building B2B business and brand growth across the North West” 

With D.E.I. being on most workplace agendas, LinkedIn now allows you to add your preferred pronouns on your profile. The use of pronouns will let hiring managers, colleagues or online connections know how to address you to prevent any misconceptions.  

A Professional Photo

LinkedIn produces numerous reports that demonstrate the power of imagery and media on your profile. Profiles with a professional photograph can get 14 times more profile views vs those with selfie style images or group pictures. 

Phone technology today means there is no excuse not to have a professional LinkedIn profile picture. Ask a colleague or friend to take a photograph with their smartphone in good lighting where you shoulders and face are visible to give an honest and accurate perception of who you are professionally. 

Head and shoulders are the best shots. Your face, preferably smiling in appropriate business attire, makes the best impact. Remember, recruitment consultants viewing your profile are imagining how you will fit into their client’s organisation, so this is an easy way to make an impact.  

How To Get In Contact

As a first start, do you have all your contact details visible?  

Make sure you have a mobile number and a Gmail/Hotmail address that is your most active and professional email account. Try to avoid the likes of 90sbaby@hotmail.com or something with your birth year in as this can indicate age bias subconsciously.  

A professional url demonstrates your attention to detail, for instance, LinkedIn.com/in/Andy Gold as opposed to LinkedIn.com/in/Andy-Gold-2671c567. 

It’s also important to include links to your blog where you share knowledge related to your sector which is a great feature a lot of LinkedIn users forget to utilise.  

Featured Section

Have you written papers or presented at an industry conference, or recorded any work-related videos?  

If the answer is yes, add them here, and this will certainly make you stand out from the crowd and gives recruiters or potential businesses the chance to see more of what you can do rather than just reading it on a CV. 

Your About Section

Please do not add only your essential skills or paste sections from your CV into your summary section. Use it to catch people’s attention as you share relevant information about who you are and your skills and abilities; you have 2000 characters, so make them count. 

In this section, talk about the value you will add to an organisation alongside your skillset. Be different and stand out by explaining how you might help a potential new employer solve their problems while being genuine and authentic. 

Our experience as recruiters is this attracts our attention, plus it makes it easier for us to ‘sell’ the fact you are a ‘must see’ candidate for our client and pick out your best attributes towards their needs. 

Here are some examples from LinkedIn themselves as to what they see as great profile summaries. 

Add to Profile and Open To

On the right-hand side of your profile, you will see a button that says ‘add to profile’. When you click this, it reveals all the additional sections you can add to your profile.  

From featured items to licenses and certifications, and courses and recommendations the list is endless to really boost your profile against your competitors.  

If you are open to work and currently not employed, you can add this to your profile picture by clicking the relevant button. This lets recruiters know instantly without even clicking on your profile that you are a potential candidate for their client and therefor you are most likely to be seen.  

In the ‘add your profile’ section under background, share details of all your work experience that will communicate your capability. Then list all your education and volunteer activities. Today, organisations have an active CSR programme that they love to promote to new starters; therefore, this area is essential to share too should you have experience in those departments. 

Under accomplishments, you can list publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honours and awards, test scores, languages and how you are involved with communities that are important to you. 

This makes it easy for a recruitment organisation to identify your skills and expertise as a potential match for their client. 

The big question is, does your profile: 

  • Help your standout? 
  • Communicate your value, including providing supporting evidence? 
  • List your work achievements? 

Share Useful Content

Depending on your current organisation and their social presence, you can share and like content until your heart is content. This unconsciously communicates to everyone how connected you are and what is important to you. When someone arrives on your profile, it is one of the first sections they can see. 

You can now share an article or even upload a compelling image or create a video on your LinkedIn profile. All of which enable you to communicate your personal brand and show recruiters areas of your work you are particularly interested in the most. 

List The Skills You Know Are Important in Your Industry

When it comes to skills, you can add up to 50, which could help you stand out to a recruitment consultant and your future employer. You don’t have to add all of them as only your top ten will be profiled, so make these the most important. 

The UK is in the grip of a skills shortage. Therefore, if you know you have in-demand skills, communicate them on your profile wherever you can. You would be surprised that this is an area often forgotten by even the best of candidates. 

Endorsements and Recommendations

We all now live and work in the review society. Social proof is a significant influencer in our current community. Who has not viewed Trip Advisor before booking a restaurant or holiday with their significant other? It is the same in the business world. 

Therefore, collecting recommendations and endorsements is crucial for your career. If you have not got any, ask for them from your contacts. All too often, people are shy about asking for validations of their work. The good news, which might surprise you, is that many people are more than willing to give you a recommendation as long as you offer to give one back in return. 

Finally, Complete Your Profile in Full

A question for you? Are you using all the features we have mentioned? 

Do you have a presentation or video on your summary? Have you got a link to a paper you have written? 

It is interesting the impression people get from reading a full LinkedIn profile. It sends a message to recruitment companies that you are a person with attention to detail and take their career and work-life seriously – a great candidate for their clients.  

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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How to become an effective networker

  • July 20, 2017

They say it’s not what you know, but who you know. Unfortunately who ‘they’ are has been lost in the sands of time, but the point is definitely a good one and has become no less valuable as the working world has shifted dramatically in recent years. In fact, a recent study from The Sutton Trust found that the majority of people in this country believed that who you know is the most important factor in achieving career success. Despite the influx of vast amounts of technology that have infiltrated almost every area of our lives, nothing can top a strong personal or professional relationship that has been developed through trust and shared mutual interests. But how do you become an effective networker?

Unfortunately, not all of us are comfortable networking with total strangers. While many readers will be the type happy to sidle up to someone unfamiliar at a conference or seminar, many would prefer to stay in their comfort zone and leave the relationship-building to the salespeople. However, there are ways to get around the fear and our tips should give you an insight on how to become an effective networker.

Change your mind-set

Ultimately the goal of networking is to help other people and when you’re forming relationships who are you more likely to remember; the person that spoke about themselves for 10 minutes without taking a breath, or the person that proposed a useful solution to your problem? Rather than thinking about who you need to know, instead consider who you can help. This isn’t completely altruistic, by assisting someone you’re more than likely to get positive feedback from them which could spread to their wider network, making your next ice-breaking conversation considerably more straightforward. If you’ve helped someone out in the past, they’re also more likely to want to assist you by introducing you to their contacts or giving you a discount for their services, for example.

Practice your pitch – but be natural

It’s worth preparing and practicing a short 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ that covers the highlights of who you are, what you do and why you’re at the event. However, remember to remain natural and try to at least make it look like hours of practice haven’t gone into your introduction. The practice will give you confidence and that can be the key to having the belief in yourself to meet new people.

Set targets

The room full of 500 other people suddenly looks a lot less daunting if you’ve set yourself a target of meeting just five of them. If you’ve had time to meet every single person at an event then it suggests you haven’t been spreading your time effectively or have been meeting a lot of people who wouldn’t be of use to you, or both. Try to get hold of the attendees list ahead of the event and set yourself a realistic target of key stakeholders that you want to meet.

Don’t forget names!

An obvious one. Nothing puts John off quite like being called James and it’s essentially just a sign that you’re not listening properly. If you do forget then politely ask the person again, it’s much better than the alternative of either waiting for someone else to join the group or scrabbling around to try and remember their name.

Smile, make eye contact and be positive

Okay, this tip is three in one but hear us out. This should be a given really. People are much more approachable when they’re smiling, it’s an evolutionary response to grow closer to someone who smiles, and the same applies with eye contact. It’s hard to trust someone whose eyes are darting around the room and you probably wouldn’t want to be stuck with an individual who’s overly negative and intent on seeing the worst in everything. Don’t be that person and you’ll find that people will probably approach you, which is half the battle.

Listen

It was Epictetus, the Greek philosopher who, in AD 55, said that “You were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Nearly 2000 years later that principle still applies and, as I’m sure you’ll all be only too aware, there’s not many things more annoying than someone who is intent on talking at you and not listening to anything you say in return. This will only turn people off, no decision maker worth their salt will invest in a one-way talking machine and it’s highly advisable to avoid becoming one of these people by actually listening to what people are saying.

Ask questions

Along similar lines, asking a few questions not only shows that you’ve actually been listening, but you’ll find it’s also likely to allow you to build stronger relationships quicker. It’s important to find common ground with whoever you’re engaging with, whether that’s their son’s nativity play or how their football team is getting on. Doing so will allow you to build bonds at a faster pace than you would be keeping quiet.

Networking doesn’t have to be painful and, done correctly, it can hugely increase your employability and earning potential so it’s something worth putting that extra bit of effort into. You never know, the next person you engage with at a conference or seminar could be the key to finding you a high-potential job, for example, so it’s worth moving away from that wall and start engaging with others. After all, the chances are they’re equally as nervous as you are.

Take a look at some our other blogs to gain some more valuable career advice.

Or take a look at our current roles to find your next game-changing role.

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