Power of LinkedIn


Build the LinkedIn profile that will get you employed


There is an upside to being a job seeker in the digital age. You have numerous avenues to market yourself, including running an active personal website and social media sites showing off your skill set and interests.

This exposes you to a global pool of potential employers.

But that is not all, you can transform your Instagram feed and Instagram stories into a portfolio showing your expertise in, say, photography, or show off your skill in any area of fashion, art, or retail.

With Twitter, you can vocalise your convictions and also challenge world leaders on various issues.

As long as you are consistent in your messaging online, and use it to share your beliefs and convictions, without vitriol and vulgarity, you will find someone interested in taking you on.

Even as you run those various social media profiles, the best way to build and establish yourself professionally is through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site, with almost half a billion people.

But how do you get spotted on LinkedIn? It starts with your profile.

1. Profile Photo: Your profile photo tells people immediately what kind of a person you are. Does the image look professional though? This is industry specific.

If you are a mural painter, for example, if your profile image is of you in a suit, recruiters will doubt you are the best person for the task. You could get creative and share a self-portrait you may have painted or sketched.

This is more reflective of who you are. A painter. Update your image regularly. Don’t place a university graduation photo when you graduated 10 years ago.

The image should also not go past your bust and should make eye contact. By all means, avoid a selfie with puckered lips or a suggestive gaze at the camera.

2. Description: This is an opportunity to answer the following questions in a coherent and compelling prose. Who am I? What do I do? Why do I do what I do? This shouldn’t be longer than 3-5 sentences.

3. Fill in your headline: Most people either leave this section blank or fill in something vague, for instance, “freelancer”. LinkedIn’s standard headline defaults to your title and company. You can do more with this since it is your opportunity to define yourself to the world. Create your title. If you are a student, state what you are studying. Ideally, what your headline should answer is, Who are you? What are your skills? And what do you stand for?

4. Customise your URL: Once you have filled in your LinkedIn profile for the first time, your account URL (or web address) tends to be jumbled letters and numbers no one will remember. The easiest way to customise is to turn the URL into your actual name, which will also make it easier for your profile to appear higher in ranking on Google searches. To change your profile URL, log in to your profile and click the “edit public profile & URL” button. You will then see “edit public profile URL” on the top right side. Click on the little pencil icon and customise your profile.

5. Complete Your profile: The only way people will take you seriously is if you share your skills and experience with them. People want to know what you are capable of, aside from the education and work experience, you can also list awards and recognition you have received in school and other spheres. If you have been involved in volunteer work, it is essential to share that experience, it shows that you actually care about giving back to the community. If you volunteered at a children’s home, state what exactly it was you did. Don’t make statements and leave them hanging, qualify them by sharing your experience. Just because you may not have two-three years’ work experience in an office, doesn’t mean you lack experience at all. Experience comes in all forms.

6. Contact Information: Make sure you provide viewers of your profile an opportunity to access you. If you have a personal website, even if it is a simple WordPress blog or YouTube channel you actively update, then share it. Also, ensure you share an active email address that you regularly check.

7. Get Recommendations: In the conventional CV, you have referees, people who have worked with you who can vouch for your capabilities. Asking people in your LinkedIn network to vouch for you and share their experience working with you adds to your credibility.

8. Join Groups: Groups help you broaden your network and your connections on LinkedIn. It is also the best way to network with industry professionals in your area of interest.

This is a place you can post some of your articles, comment and get constructive feedback on projects you may be working on.

It is through these groups that you could actually get noticed by potential employers seeking your skill set.

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