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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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Your CV: Why It’s Still Critical to Your Success This Year

Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci, in 1482, wrote the first ‘official’ CV? It was addressed to the Duke of Milan in the hope of gaining a specific painting ‘gig’. 

Da Vinci was well known for his intelligence and consequently focused the content of his CV on the project in question. He highlighted his prowess and results in using certain painting techniques he knew the Duke required for the painting in his ‘CV’. 

Fact: Tailoring your CV to the role in question has always been critical. 

I am sure Leonardo would have been astounded to discover that this humble communication piece would continue to be the start of the recruitment process over five hundred and forty years later. 

Though candidates are taking to TikTok and other social channels to promote their personal brand, a CV continues to be the first communication piece your legal hiring manager requests from the team here at Clayton Recruitment. 

So, what are the key elements you need to consider as you craft your CV to stand out to the business you want to work for? 

After over twenty years of reading good, average, and downright diabolical CVs, we have a few suggestions to create a CV that profiles you as the perfect candidate to take to interview. 

Let’s start with the basics hiring managers look for on the first skim through. 

CV Basics 

Before diving into specific content and structure, let’s confirm some CV basics. This is the initial document your new employer will see alongside a cover letter should you choose to use one; more about that in another post. 

It does not need to be more than a couple of pages long; brevity and getting to the point are key. Your hiring manager will explore more about you and your experience related to your CV in the interview. Remember to ask your recruitment consultant for help on this. 

Ensure your full current contact details are visible and correct; name in bold at the top of your CV, followed by your full address, email and mobile phone number. 

It is common for candidates to find their old CV on a hard drive and use this without checking that the details and phone numbers are still accurate. There isn’t a requirement for a photograph in the UK, nor should you add your date of birth or marital status. When it comes to pronouns, she/her, he/him, the decision is yours.  

If you have a disability, it is not necessary to add this though it can be helpful for both your recruitment consultant and hiring manager to know when they are setting up an interview. 

Create a new email address purely for job hunting. There is nothing worse than an overflowing personal inbox where email communication gets lost, and you end up missing vital emails from your recruitment consultant.  

Though your name may be taken on Gmail or Outlook.com, adding private or personal or a number to your name should work.  

For example, Angelasmithprivate@gmail.com looks professional and is easy for a recruitment consultant to remember. Avoid adding your birth year, for instance, AngelaSmith1977, as this could set up age bias. If you were born on the 27th of the month, AngelaSmith27 would be fine. 

This leads to formatting, fonts, and grammar. The more challenging something is to read, the less people concentrate, and key convincers about you and your ability to excel in the role you add to your CV can get missed. 

Use a professional font, nothing less than 10 point and avoid any non-professional style; you are applying to a buiness. It is easy to think that standing out in this way is a good idea. It isn’t -leave that to the answers you give in the interview. 

Have clear headings for sections, use spacing and bullet points and keep a consistent formatting theme in the body of your CV. 

Read through your CV to check for context and content and that it reads well. Typos, spelling, and grammar can trip up the best of us, so treble check everything and get a friend or significant other to read over what you have written. 

CV Content 

As Da Vinci worked out, tailoring your CV to the job you are applying for is critical, which you can do throughout each section I have highlighted below. 

As a start, add a personal statement. This is a concise summary of four or five lines that summarises you, your work history, and your main achievements. 

Your Personal Statement  

Be specific in your work title; for example and avoid jargon. In many professions, years of experience post qualification are critical to add here. Refer to any main achievements, and where possible, make these relevant to the job description as you now start to tailor the CV for the role in question.  

Finally, give a couple of examples of what you can bring to the role. 

Work Experience 

When it comes to work experience, list your current position first and then work backwards. Add the title of the role, the business in question, how long you were there and your main responsibilities. Then list the key results you delivered and align these to the job description. Talk to your recruitment consultant, who will be able to help you pull out what the firm in question is looking for. 

Highlight Work Gaps 

As you add the list of roles and businesses where you have worked, highlight any gaps you have had and why.  

Be transparent; the world is a very different place to what it was, and taking time off to look after our own mental health or family members, new and old, happens. Hiring managers in the working world, as you might expect, are naturally predisposed to look for detail, and if they can’t identify what you were doing between 2011 and 2012, they will be left wondering what other details are missing.  

I am sure you can answer the question well in an interview, but remember this is a screening stage where the hiring manager will likely read your CV in isolation. 

Education and Qualifications 

When it comes to education and qualifications, use a similar format with the most recent qualification first. State the type, result, the dates and the university or college. A brief summary of the areas or specialisms you studied will be relevant here, as would any memberships you are a part of. 

Relevant Skills 

When it comes to skills, list anything relevant to the role here. This might be your new business development skills, a specific software package you can use or languages if they are relevant to the role, geography and the population the business serves. 

Interests and Activities 

If you are involved in activities that relate to your role and profile you as a team player or potential leader, then, of course, add that here. 

Summary 

When it comes to writing a CV, the devil is in the detail, and this is where the help of your recruitment consultant is vital. 

We have shared a basic flow here, and it is up to you to fill in the gaps relevant to the specific role in question. 

If you are ready for your next legal move, check out a selection of our current vacancies here and then upload your current CV here. Our team are based across the UK, and you can find all the relevant phone numbers here.  

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Why managing your online reputation is crucial

  • June 28, 2017

While social media can be an excellent way of promoting your individual brand and add a personal context to your CV, it also has the potential to significantly damage your online reputation and may hinder you in your search for your next role. There is no way of knowing what the long term implications of posting content online will be, a status or photo that may seem harmless at the time may discourage a future employer from taking you seriously, or considering you for the position at all.

Protect your online reputation

According to research conducted by cyber security experts Norton, millennials need to be more conscious about their digital footprint. More than a quarter of 18-34 year olds have no idea what appears when their name is searched online, and perhaps more worryingly 48% of hiring managers indicated that they chose not to take on an applicant after discovering something on their social platforms. Moreover social media is a standard used by recruiters to help them select appropriate candidates for interview. So how can you manage your online reputation, and ensure that it bolsters your CV, rather than hinders your job prospects?

Start by googling yourself. This is the first step that any recruiter or potential employer will take, so it’s important that you know what they’re likely to find. As the number of social media profiles we have steadily increases, so too does the amount of information potential employers are able to find out. So it’s important to check your privacy settings. While you may want to have more professional platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter open to the public, it’s unlikely that you’ll want employers to be able to trawl through your personal photos on Facebook or Instagram.

What would a potential employer think?

It’s also worth considering the type of content you are posting on your profiles and the impression this might give to a future employer. It’s definitely not advisable to post potentially embarrassing photos on any of your public profiles, or to ignore unprofessional ones you might have been tagged in. In addition it’s worth bearing in mind how a rant about how awful your day at work has been might look to someone thinking about hiring you. Impulsive updates are also not a good idea – take Donald Trump for example, who has launched countless Twitter rants and now faces a serious backlash which is likely to hurt his campaign for the most powerful job in the world.

Social media can be great at demonstrating your personality, however in terms of advancing your career it’s important that you find the right balance between personal and professional updates. You might want to tweet pictures of the salad you had for lunch, but you might want to counter that with a link to a recent blog you have written, or write about a professional development course you went on recently. For every five updates you post, it’s recommended that at least one is directly related to your career or personal development, that way an employer only has to scroll through your most recent updates to know you are hardworking and committed to your role.

Finally, make a note of who you are regularly engaging with on Twitter, if you are retweeting or sharing friends’ updates it’s vital that you consider how these might reflect on you. Try to engage with industry professionals or get involved with live chats to show that you are actively engaging with relevant sector conversations.

Don’t let your reputation be tarnished through social media

Social media can be great for interacting with friends, however it can also be a professional minefield so ensure you always remain conscious about how a potential employer may view your online profile, and make sure your profiles and privacy settings are all in order before beginning to search for a new role.

For more tips from the Clayton Recruitment team click here. And if you’re looking for your next role we should be talking. Get in touch today or take a look at our vacancies here.

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