Every second of every day, someone signs up to LinkedIn looking for employment, employees or industry connections. Accessed by around 380 million users globally (including around 90% of the Australian professional services workforce), the networking powerhouse is now one of the most effective tools you have in your electronic briefcase.

But amongst that massive user base, how does one stand out? With help from LinkedIn Head of Communications Shiva Kumar, Red Wire wrangles the ultimate guide to enhancing your page for maximum exposure.

If you build it

An attractive LinkedIn page is the cornerstone of your digital CV: a chance to show attention to detail and your capacity as a desirable employee. The goal here is to be concise; a potential employer should be able to digest your skills and ambition within 30 seconds. Start from the top, with a clear, high quality, professional profile photo, and a brief headline (say, under 120 characters) as a snapshot of who and what you are about. Shiva has some specific guidance for the rest of your page:

The headline is a great way to show your value and passion in one quick line. Inspire the viewer to read more — LinkedIn gives preferential treatment to those with a 100% completed profile, so it’s imperative you complete your entire page. Your LinkedIn profile is 12 times more likely to be viewed if you have more than one position listed!

Though your workplace summaries should be kept short, LinkedIn’s portfolio feature is one of its greatest assets, allowing your work to tell your story for you — think of all those photos, designs, videos, words, and campaigns.

Adding a summary of 40 words or more makes your profile more likely to turn up in a future employer’s search. A good tip is to ensure it includes keywords featured in desirable job descriptions for your field.

Avoid buzzwords (examples: strategic, team player, creative) and focus on your career accomplishments. The key here is avoiding the clichés: when inputting your employment history and skills, keep your focus on keywords and successes. Tell them what you really did!

Include a mix of high level and niche skills. Be authentic and add skills that your connections can endorse you for and recognise. Almost half of all recruiters say they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience.

It’s all in the SEO

Think of your profile as a web page on Google: when someone searches for you, you want to be the first name to appear. LinkedIn runs its own search engine that can be optimised to work in your favour, and can be the difference between potential employer viewing your profile or not.

LinkedIn has its own set of rankings based on your connections and profile. Start with connections:

  • 1st-degree profiles are those who have invited or accepted your invitation
  • 2nd-degree are those connected to your 1stdegree contacts
  • 3rd-degree profiles are connected to your 2nd-degree network

When employers search for new prospects, results start with 1st-degree connections and 100% profile completeness, then 1st-degree connections and less than 100% profile completeness, 2nd-degree connections with 100% completeness, and so on. Connections remain an integral part of LinkedIn, however, a bigger is better approach may be detrimental to your cause:

Rather than aiming for a particular number of connections, consider the type of connections you want to be associated with and only connect with people you know and trust

After connections, the content of your profile is ranked next. Your headline is the most important part of your page (Google crawls this for external searches), followed by keywords from your company name, skills/endorsements and job titles, then lastly by job description and summaries.

Using LinkedIn’s free analytics tool, you can find out which search words are leading people to view your profile. Any features or tweaks you implement should take a trial-and-error approach, and will require constant updating to really nail your potential.

Staying involved

Your LinkedIn page is an ongoing document that should change depending on needs of your profile. By adding value to your specific community, you add value to your company and your personal brand. Mr Kumar recommends following influencers (like Arianna Huffington or Naomi Simson), sharing industry-specific news and publishing your own expertise to boost your network.

Joining an industry group or niche hub is a great way to become known in your area, offering opportunities for insights and networking to draw users to your profile. With a newly minted publishing platform, you can now deliver long-form insights and expertise in your chosen field. Writing on LinkedIn is a great way to tap into and grow your network. Not only will your posts reach your connections, you can also build a following. Over 1 million professionals have now written a post on LinkedIn.

Interacting with your company’s profile is also a great way to show you’re a team player, with a broader opportunity to boost your reputation around the office. From sharing updates through to commenting on blogs, it’s a great way to boost your profile across the wider business. Vodafone GM of Employee Communications Rachel Jepson agrees:

We actively encourage the Vodafone community, from our frontline to senior leadership, to connect with us on LinkedIn as a platform to engage, communicate, and share ideas. Our employees play a really important role in connecting us with a much wider community across Australia, which helps us understand our customers better, as well as recruit great people.

Make your page look good, find people with similar interests, draw them to your optimised profile, increase your SEO and the inevitable opportunities will come to you. It’s a simple, but extremely effective update that can make all the difference.

Happy linking!

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Camilla Gulli

Editor

Camilla Gulli,
Editor

As Editor at Red Wire, Camilla is particularly passionate about diversity in tech, content marketing, social media, and disruptive platforms.

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