Ask the Expert: How do I make a great LinkedIn profile?LinkedIn profile is your digital business card. It’s essential to represent yourself consistently and pay attention to each section.
We sat down with Jobrapido’s resident LinkedIn expert and Vice President of Digital Marketing, Filippo Meraldi, to share best practices on how to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level.
1. If you could give a “golden rule” for a good LinkedIn profile, what would it be?
A first impression is important in any relationship and LinkedIn is no exception. Your profile is your digital business card. It’s essential to represent yourself consistently and pay attention to each section. Make sure you have a picture and fill out your headline, summary and a good job description for each job you’ve listed.
The photo is perhaps the most underrated element of a good LinkedIn profile. It has been shown that profiles with photos get 10 times more views of those without. The photo must be professional, clear, and in color, even better if taken in front of a neutral background. I’d avoid using photos taken on holiday with landscape backgrounds or unprofessional facial expressions. The photo will be the first image of you that a recruiter will see and, just like your appearance during an interview, it should make a good and professional impression. I always recommend using a professional photographer for a headshot. While you may have to spend a little bit of money, it’s well worth the investment.
The headline, or what appears written immediately under your name, is automatically generated by LinkedIn using your current job title. But it can be changed, and it’s is your best and most immediate opportunity to communicate what you do to the recruiter. I suggest using this space to communicate your expertise instead of your position. In general, remember that recruiters know your market and will appreciate professionals who clearly frame their skills rather than descriptions full of buzzwords. For example, it’s better describe yourself as an expert in optimizing administrative processes rather than a “financial growth hacker.”
And lastly, don’t forget to describe all your experiences. Older ones should be more concise, but none should be left out. Blank job descriptions send the wrong message – that you give little importance to the work you did in the past. All the work experience you present communicates your professional growth.
2. Are there any profile sections that we can skip or are all sections important?
A more complete profile shows quality and professionalism, so it’s important to fill out all sections that are relevant to you. Some sections only can be added to when you have the right content available, for example attachments to your authored articles or news articles that mention you or your work, etc.
Key words and tags in LinkedIn posts are often overlooked by users but shouldn’t be. Many recruiting systems are semi-automated today and the keys can help them get a first impression of your profile.
Recommendations are probably the last step to completing your profile. It’s important to have recent but above all relevant. For example, a recommendation from a family member or friend isn’t a great idea. It’s always better to have one from a senior person you’ve worked with before.
3. What are the three things to absolutely avoid when filling out your profile?
In addition to those mentioned above, I would say to avoid gaps in your career path. It’s better to enter a sabbatical period than leave a gap between two jobs.
Be careful in how you present yourself and even how you comment on posts, this is a chance to showcase your writing skills.
Once you have built a professional profile, remember not to use LinkedIn like any other social media. LinkedIn is a place dedicated to professionals and posting holiday photos or commenting on posts of others with inappropriate language could have very serious consequences on your personal brand.