Updated: Jul 15, 2020
LinkedIn is the largest professional social network online. Having a profile that stands out and appears on more searches will help your chances of being found by Recruiters.
Having an appealing, well thought out LinkedIn profile means you can be found by organisations and recruiters when they are looking for someone with your skills and experience. It can be a powerful way for you to be proactively looking for a job when you are really at the beach soaking up rays drinking a cocktail!
Below are five simple hacks to help you raise your visibility on LinkedIn.
1. Have a professional-looking photograph.
Profiles with a picture are 11 times more likely to be viewed than profiles that do not have a picture. The key here is to have a professional-looking photo. Because mobile phones have such sophisticated cameras on them, you can create a great looking photo without spending any money. Get into your business attire (at least the top half) and stand against a white background. Turn your shoulders slightly and ask someone to take a picture of you smiling from your shoulders up. Make sure the lighting is good and there isn't too much shadow behind you. The image needs to be clear. Once done make sure you have made your profile picture public.
2. Personalise your LinkedIn profile URL.
If you click to view your LinkedIn URL you will likely have your name followed by a load of letters and/or numbers. Changing your URL (called "vanity" URL) will make it much tidier (which looks way nicer on recruitment tools, like your resume) and it will also help in increasing your ranking in searches where your skills and experience are relevant within the search. Try making your URL your name, and then if taken attempt to add the number 0. Continue up until you get the lowest possible number attached to your name (e.g. Jo-Brown0, Jo-Brown1, Jo-Brown2....).
3. Create a compelling brand.
Your brand is the words you use under your name to describe who you are. There is a limit to 120 characters so you really need to make them count! This is an opportunity to use brief, descriptive keywords to you can be discovered in searches. A lot of people put their title and the company they work for. Your internal title does not necessarily resonate more broadly in the market, so consider what keywords people would use to find people like you and replicate them here.
4. Have over 500 connections.
501 is the magic number of people you want to connect with on your LinkedIn profile. Once you have hit 501 connections your profile will state "500+ connections". This number is important because having over 500 connections will also increase your ranking in relevant searches your profile appears. I know this may be a daunting number for introverts (or even extraverts) but once you get on a roll of connecting with people, LinkedIn will help you find other people you may know via their advanced algorithms.
5. List your current position and at least one past position.
Your ultimate goal is to reach "all star" status for your profile. This is predetermined by LinkedIn and one of the contributors to this is listing your work experience. If you don’t list at least two positions, your profile won’t be considered “complete,” which can mean missed opportunities to be found by recruiters.
6. Include your education.
No matter how old your education is, it can still be a contributor to increasing your chances of securing a job. A great feature of LinkedIn is you don't have to list the dates you completed your education, so even if you think your education may be a bit outdated you can still showcase it. You also have the opportunity to rank your education in any order you wish. This is particularly good if you completed more relevant qualifications earlier in your career. You can bring them up to the top of the list so recruiters can see them.
7. Ask for at least 5 recommendations.
Don't be shy! Reach out to people you have worked for, worked with, and managed. A good selection of recommendations will provide a well-rounded view of you for prospective employers and recruiters. LinkedIn have made asking your contacts easy and you can directly approach people via your profile. Ideally, you want to try and get at least five recommendations and the more recent they are, the better. You have the choice to publish recommendations or not, so if you aren't 100% happy with what others write, you don't have to make them visible.