HOW TO MAKE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE STAND OUT TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

Pierce Johnston

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You probably know already, that LinkedIn can be an extremely valuable tool for marketing your experience and for passively receiving great job opportunities.

Not only is it a great way of networking with leaders in your industrybut it can be utilised to promote your achievements and build up a professional online presence – In a world that’s become dominated by social media. 

So how can you make the most of it? 

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1. Your LinkedIn profile IS your CV. 

Nowadays, people are more likely to come across your LinkedIn profile before seeing your CV. First impressions count. My best advice is to make the most out of your landing page, detailing all relevant positions as if it were an abbreviated version of your CV.

Today, LinkedIn has a great tool for actually constructing a CV – and it looks good! If you aren’t already familiar with how to do this, check out this link – LinkedIn Resume Builder.

Simply head to your profile on a desktop > Click the “More” option underneath your headline and you will see the option to build a resume and to save time – a lot of this can be generated from your existing profile.

Make it clear and concise and utilise it to quickly apply for jobs on LinkedIn. Easy.

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2. Key Skills. 

When scouring Linkedin for potential candidates, most recruiters use what’s called a Boolean search technique. You’re probably already familiar with what this means but essentially – they are looking for keywords at first view.

Now technically speaking, they will be looking at the languages, the libraries, the frameworks, the methodologies and even the industries that you have worked with/in

My advice, especially for any software developers – is to list the most important tools from the tech stack you worked with in your positions. Recently, LinkedIn has released a new feature that allows users to list their skills used within a particular position.

BUT be careful. Don’t be that person who just lists a ton of skills that the company used that you physically cannot have used whilst you were working there. So many developers have a long list of buzzwords that just aren’t comprehensible to someone who is trying to pick out your profile. Jack of all trades eh?

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3. Your title. 

Seems a fairly obvious one. Believe me, it doesn’t seem that way when you’re looking for candidates.

The title “Senior Software Engineer” just isn’t enough. I’m sure you’ll still get a ton of recruiter messages, but it’s highly unlikely that they will be relevant to you and your expertise.

Try to be a little more specific. I.E. “Date Engineer”, “Frontend Developer”, “Site Reliability Engineer”, “Mobile Developer”. You get the point.

*Bonus points – if it sounds right, include the language/framework that your role was centered around in your job title(s), it works! (I.E. “Senior React Developer”, “Junior Java Engineer”, “React Native Engineer” etc.)

The same goes for your headline.

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4. Your banner. 

I’d probably say that this would be more important to contractors/consultants, who are selling their expertise as a service to businesses.

Take a look at the “Who viewed my profile section”.

That’s quite a lot of people in 1 week, right? Now, how many of those people do you feel there might be an opportunity to work/collaborate with?

You remember the saying – first impressions count?

It’s the same here – make sure you are leveraging your visual appeal to prospects. Your banner is a great way to do this.

Key points would be to:

  • Clearly outline your title/desired title
  • Include a sentence describing what you do
  • Have an eye-catching picture graphic
  • Include your contact info (Email address)

Most people will use a tool like Canva, as it’s simple and easy to use, and already has pre-set banners that you can work with.

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5. Recommendations. 

When people buy people, people are buying off of trust.

Not an easy thing to build in a short amount of time.

But on immediate impressions – to win over anyone, it’s all about raising the level of certainty in the product that they could buy.

In this case – they’re buying you.

What’s a great way to demonstrate that you deliver a great service and that people can trust this?

Real life recommendations.

If you’ve performed well in a previous position, your previous colleagues and managers owe it to you to shed some positive words about their experience with you, after all, it takes a few minutes, tops.

I would advise reaching out to as many connections as possible & have them write a sentence or two about how you did within a previous role. Doing this is relatively easy – simply click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage > click View Profile > Scroll down to the Recommendations section and click Ask to be recommended. 

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6. Your summary. 

In fairness, I’d say around 95% of people on LinkedIn already have some form of summary which is great. But you have to make the most of it, whilst keeping it concise. Here’s what I’d focus on:

  • Your own mission statement (What you do, why you do it & how it can/has helped others)
  • Key skills and achievements (Tech stack)
  • Qualifications
  • Work experience (years, titles) + industry that you’re invested in 
  • Hobbies and interests outside of work 
  • Email address/Website link

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7. Profile picture. 

To gain interaction, you have to be approachable. As touched on earlier, first impressions count.

I’d like to think the world has changed a little over the past few years. So I wouldn’t expect you to have a completely forced picture, of you in a suit, with a laptop, a cup of organic coffee and a phone to ear…

But, having a profile picture is in some cases vital, for obvious reasons. The best way to do this – is simple, just a headshot, without a death stare…ideally.

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Hopefully the above should help if you are looking to alter your profile to gain more interaction and attention from the right people. Anything I’ve missed?