When searching for a job a LinkedIn profile is a must-have tool. If you cannot be found online you are missing out. These examples can help you out !
In order to stand out from the competition, you have to be able to follow a multi-channel approach to job hunting. In the eBook, 6 Steps to Landing Your Dream Job, which is freely available on our site, I talk about the importance of marketing yourself into a job while implementing a range of personal branding techniques and other modern job hunting strategies using social media and networking. So, it is easy to see that social media plays a central role in personal branding.
Successful branding starts with seeing yourself as a brand, building your network and working to retain a strong online presence. Being active on social media sites like LinkedIn and sharing posts featuring the work you are doing, is called personal branding. Also, creating your own logo, personal statement and a phrase or a word that characterizes you as a person or the work that you do is called personal branding. You are probably doing most of these things already without realising that you are working on your own personal ‘brand.'
But, what exactly is your ‘brand’? In their book Be Your Own Brand: Achieve More of What You Want by Being More of Who You Are, marketers David McNally and Karl Speak provide the definition:
‘Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you’.
When looking for a job, you want to create a working relationship with people on social media and hopefully get employers interested in you – or better yet, interested in checking out your resume and what you have to offer. Essentially, that would be the first step in getting noticed. Now, what better way to do that than using LinkedIn as your online resume?
One of the best and probably the easiest ways to build and develop your personal branding strategy is using LinkedIn. The world’s most popular professional networking platform equips you with the tools you need to build your resume quickly and easily.
As a jobseeker, you have to be able to think on your feet and act smart even when working on your resume. So why not take advantage of what’s already there? Using LinkedIn is currently the most effective way to build your resume online, to get yourself out there, connect with other professionals and search for a job. The way I see it, it’s a service that can cover all of your job hunting needs.
Many industry experts and professionals have acknowledged the importance of using LinkedIn as part of their job search strategies and retaining their professional status. Here are some of the best LinkedIn profiles that show exactly how you can make the best use of the tools available from LinkedIn.
#1 Brittney Borowicz
Brittney’s LinkedIn profile gives the reader all the information they need. Starting with the professional summary, Brittney makes use of the section wisely including bullet-points that emphasise her best qualities and skills. Instead of using a long and boring paragraph, she prefers to include short and concise statements that help recruiters understand what her work involves right away. Volunteering is crucial here because it helps employers understand important elements of her personality. Also, Brittney makes smart use of some visual content on the page – which LinkedIn allows, including videos.
#2 Alan O’Rourke
Alan O’Rourke makes an effective use of personal and business branding. This is evident from his cover image which promotes the organisation he represents and some free products they are offering. Alan decided to include some examples of his work as the Director of Marketing in his current role. The two guides are evidence of what he can do as a professional and other professionals are encouraged to take a look. Because Alan is also an author, he includes links to his books and gives credit to people who helped him complete them.
#3 Melissa Heisler
When scanning Melissa Heisler’s LinkedIn profile, you can tell that she has a strong following. This is evident from her skills endorsements - shew has more than 99. Friends, past and present coworkers and possibly partners can prove that Melissa is an expert in many fields and possesses strong skills and knowledge on entrepreneurship, start-ups, coaching and personal development amongst others.
#4 John Crossman
When you first look at John Crossman’s profile, you realise that he is a man who values the importance of teamwork. As the president and probably the owner of a company, he wants to focus on company culture and give profile visitors the idea of what’s like working for the company. This is a great idea for personal branding. Also, in his experience section, he makes use of visual content including images of himself and other people who work with him.
#5 Xand Griffin
As a marketing professional, Xand Griffin makes use of visual content including links to her written work. These are either projects she has been involved with or articles and books Xand has written. What I personally like about her profile is the publications section because it clearly presents what she has worked on and showcases her ability to ‘help the world become customer-centric’ through her work, which is her career goal.
While you can’t include everything you did in your career on your profile – and you probably shouldn’t, there are many ways to build a strong LinkedIn profile that presents you as a job candidate worth consideration. To create a LinkedIn profile as strong as these professionals here is what you need to pay attention to.
Get Down to the Basics
If you want to create an impressive online resume profile using LinkedIn, you have to make sure it’s complete. Just like the marketing partner and Director of SEO at KoMarketing, Derek Edmond advises, a professionally-looking LinkedIn profile should contain the following:
- A professional profile photo (headshot)
- A strong profile headline that describes what you do (job title, industry)
- A well written professional summary
- A well-constructed list of your work experience and education
- A list of your most relevant skills and endorsements
- Recommendations from customers, peers and colleagues
- Involvement in relevant LinkedIn Groups
- A list of industry-related projects
- Publications/Evidence of your work
While I have to agree with Edmond on this, perhaps the most important here is uploading a professional photo because that’s the first thing employers are going to see. Also, getting the professional summary right and describing the work you are doing as accurately as possible is vital. This includes writing down your job title, the industry you work in and describing who you are and what you do in a few lines. There is no need to write too much in this section because where words fail to give the right impression, a few links on your profile to your personal blog or portfolio can do the trick.
Customize Your Profile
To be effective, your LinkedIn profile needs to be customised to the job you are looking for. Just like creating a resume from scratch, you have to tailor the content so that it relates to the industry you are hoping to get into. A customised LinkedIn profile is five times stronger than a generic profile that presents the story of your life and details employers don’t really care about e.g. courses that have nothing to do with the industry you are in, jobs you had as teenager or skills that are specific to a different kind of job of that you want.
Also, using keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile is going to help you rank higher in Google searches. As such you will have more chances to get noticed. So, don’t forget to include words that describe the work you are doing and are commonly used by professionals in the industry. Include these in your professional summary and skills section.
Employers are more likely to hire a candidate who has profile recommendations than those who don’t. That’s not because they don’t necessarily believe what you are saying on your profile, but because recommendations help you gain more credibility. It makes it easier for employers to believe that you are a reliable and trustworthy individual who is being honest about his credentials and what’s being written on your resume. If you don’t have any recommendations, I suggest that you ask people you work with or have worked with to say something – preferably good, about you.
Creating a complete resume profile is crucial to getting noticed by other professionals and making a good impression on employers who are already using social media to screen job candidates.
So, are you doing anything to increase your LinkedIn’s profile strength and get noticed? Have you thought of personal branding? Let me know in the comments section below…