All Paths Lead to LinkedIn

All Paths Lead to LinkedIn

15.03.2024
7 min.

Have you noticed that when filling out a job application, companies ask for a link to your LinkedIn profile in addition to your CV? They have a good reason. To land your dream job, you need to stand out from other candidates and be able to “sell” yourself in the marketplace. We’ve gathered recruiters’ recommendations on how to proceed when creating a quality LinkedIn profile that will rapidly increase your chances of dazzling recruiters.

By the time you finish reading this sentence, 303 people will be submitting a job application on LinkedIn. The social network, which dates back to 2002, now has more than a billion members, most of whom have at least a bachelor’s degree and an annual household income of more than $75,000. Therefore, LinkedIn is not only used by B2B marketers and entrepreneurs to expand their influence but also by recruiters, hiring managers and professionals looking for potential candidates for open positions.

If you’re looking for a new job and prefer to work from home, it pays to be aware of the level of competition. Remote work accounts for only 15% of posted job offers, yet half of all network users respond to it. In a market that is over-saturated with candidates, those with the most elegant profiles will rise to the top. “Your LinkedIn profile is your digital brand,” confirms Lianne Zhang, Director of Talent at Milestone Technologies. “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had two equally qualified candidates and the one with the better LinkedIn profile got the job.”

By the time you have read these lines, 8 candidates have been hired for the new job position through LinkedIn. It happens every minute. If you are also determined to harness the potential of the main professional platform to achieve your ambitions, check out our summary of the most important tips on how to create or improve your profile.

Remote work accounts for only 15% of posted job offers on LinkedIn, yet half of all network users respond to it.

LinkedIn Is a Network of Detail-oriented People

Upload a photo to your profile that closely resembles your current look and where your face takes up at least 60% of the space. If you need to create one, wear business attire, photograph yourself from the chest up in front of a simple background, and smile with your eyes. Avoid bad lighting, group shots and low-resolution images. While a profile photo is essential to appear credible, this is not the case with a background photo. If you decide to post one, consider using a subtle picture related to your career. It can help you stand out and let recruiters know what type of person you are.

The caption under your name is one of the first parts of your profile that someone will see, so it deserves extra attention. Rather than a job title, include skills, certifications, future goals, and your own interpretation of what it means to do your job. You can populate the Featured section with selected posts, newsletters, articles, links, projects, or media that validate your skills. The Activity section continuously displays information about what you’ve shared, published, and commented on. It not only demonstrates your commitment to developing your professional network and skills but also your professional approach, values or personality. So try to stay active and consistent on the platform.

Every Word Must Fulfill Its Meaning

The “About (you)” section offers a glimpse of your writing style, it should tell your story and grab the reader’s attention. To do this, the first two sentences must be engaging and quickly state who you are. Most recruiters prefer candidates to summarize their professional ambitions, brand, and unique skills in no more than two paragraphs. Although the text should focus primarily on your career, highlighting personal interests can soften your profile. LinkedIn experts also recommend that you include a clear call to action at the end of your summary – for example, for people to contact you or visit your website.

Use a consistent tone, bullet points and striking action verbs to describe your previous job positions. In other words, treat this section of your profile as you would your resume. However, you may face the following dilemma when providing information about your education: to disclose or not to disclose the dates? The answer is not clear-cut. Skipping the dates may raise questions and appear misleading. On the other hand, dates pose a risk of age discrimination. Experts recommend a happy medium – if the training or projects took place more than 15 years ago, do not include the dates.

It will also be beneficial for recruiters to read your volunteering experience on your profile. Its importance is emphasized by Sylvia Ličková, Senior IT Recruitment Consultant at TITANS. “They speak about the candidate’s social commitment, character, values and interests. They create an overall picture of the candidate’s personality. Any additional information improves the profile, which also has a positive effect on the recruiters’ search algorithm for the candidate,” explains Sylvia Ličková.

A professional profile photo is essential to appear credible on LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn Profile Requires Pickiness

Go through the list of skills on offer and choose those that are relevant to you. If you have too many and not all of them are key to your career, it won’t create the best impression. The skills you list in your profile can be publicly praised and endorsed by people in the form of endorsements. Unfortunately, these details won’t impress recruiters, because you can be endorsed by people who don’t even know you. Recommendations from current or former managers, i.e. personal references that illustrate their experience of working with you, carry the most weight. It is worth approaching the contacts whose opinions you value the most and asking them for a recommendation.

Recruiters often filter search results for candidates by entering keywords that are relevant to the position or industry. The more keywords you include in your profile, the more your chances increase. Also, be careful about using words that are overused in LinkedIn headlines and summaries. These are terms like “leadership,” “strategic,” “experienced,” “creative,” “innovative,” and “certified.” You can label yourself as such, but in that case, you also need to demonstrate these characteristics in practice so that they are consistent with your description on your profile.

There Is Always Room For Improvement

Another useful feature is the ability to record the pronunciation of your name, which will prevent embarrassment when meeting foreign contacts. This will allow them to hear the correct pronunciation of your name in advance. Finally, one of the easiest ways to expand your network of contacts on LinkedIn is to sync your profile with your email address book. That way, the platform will suggest people you could connect with.

And how are you supposed to decide whether to accept connection requests from strangers? “I recommend accepting invitations from anyone until you have the maximum number of connections – on the Slovak LinkedIn, it’s about 30 thousand connections. However, what’s worth looking at is the country that the potential connection comes from – whether you want to operate from that location, and whether it’s interesting to you business-wise. At the same time, every relevant connection can bring more inspiring connections and opportunities,” recommends Sylvia Ličková.

And what do inspirational profiles look like? The Data on Steroids agency has published this year’s ranking of the 100 creators on Slovak LinkedIn who are worth following. We’re proud to have one of our CEOs, Róbert Dusík, ranked 87th. For those who wonder what top profiles look like abroad, we recommend following, for example, Jasmin Alić or Richard van der Blom.  

One of the easiest ways to expand your network of contacts on LinkedIn is to sync your profile with your email address book.

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