LinkedIn is extremely popular and has over 300 million users worldwide. Although still behind Facebook numbers, it is the social media platform of choice for the world of business. It’s a fantastic tool for building a business network. For active job seekers, it’s a key part of the employment hunting inventory.
Use a photo
In the UK it is not standard practice to include a photo on your CV, but it is very important you do include a photo on your LinkedIn profile. People are much more likely to engage with you. Use a photo that is professional with a relaxed smile; not too formal, not too casual.
Background photos work
LinkedIn is a visual experience; using a background photo can make your profile stand out and give it personality. Choose something relevant to your profession or something abstract. Make sure the image contrasts well with the rest of the page.
Always write in the first person
On LinkedIn it is imperative to write in the first person. Remember that you are having a conversation with the reader; so you should write as if you were conversing face-to-face. It is better to write in short paragraphs and avoid bullet points. Paragraphs are a more natural reflection of how we speak.
Headline and summary
These are generally the first thing that is seen when someone is searching, so they have to be eye-catching and relevant, yet concise. Be sure to include relevant key search terms to your role such as ‘actuarial analyst’ or ‘pricing analyst’ so you can be found by recruiters. The professional headline is the most important section used by LinkedIn for key word searches.
Profile visibility is extremely important. In the ‘privacy’ section be sure to make your profile available to everyone to see. In the ‘profile viewing options’ make sure that ‘your name and headline’ is tagged so you can see who has been looking at your profile. This is how you start to build your network and increase your prospects.
Recommendations are a great tool and it always looks good to have third party endorsements. Get at least one and ideally two for your most recent roles. Most people will be happy to oblige so be sure to make use of this great feature. Snippets of your recommendations can also be used to enhance your CV.
Get searching for those jobs
Its sounds obvious but you need to start looking for jobs right away; you’ll even get suggestions based on your groups, searches and the rest of your profile. Make sure you connect with industry-relevant groups and employers that you like the look of. You should always be looking to increase your network.
Be active and current
Get yourself on LinkedIn at least once per day; more if you can. It’s also so important that your profile is current and kept up-to-date. It must also complement your CV. When an employer reads your CV they are very likely to head over to LinkedIn next so make sure you present a consistent and compelling story.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers. If you need help with your CV or LinkedIn profile CV Writers are the official partner to The Actuary Jobs and provide a CV writing service.