Did you know that anything you do online leaves a personalised digital footprint? This is a unique trail of data created while using the internet and employers are actively looking at it to find proof of your professional skills. Our research of over 50,0000 candidates indicates that LinkedIn is extremely important when looking for a new job. We not only think that it’s worth it, but we want to show you how to use LinkedIn effectively. Did you know that a complete profile (e.g. scoring 100% or becoming an “all-star”) is 40 times more likely to receive a job offer? This is because a completed profile ranks higher in the internal algorithm, meaning you’re more likely to be discovered.

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Learn how to use LinkedIn effectively with these 6 practical tips and improve your employability chances:

1. Complete your LinkedIn profile

A half-baked profile wouldn’t do you justice. To achieve an all-star profile, you should start with:

  • Profile picture. Chose the most recent one and the one you look most professionally;
  • Your current location;
  • Perfect headline. Specify your job title. Do not overcomplicate it with commas or technical details;
  • Outline work experience in a chronological order (a current position, with a brief description, plus two previous positions);
  • Outline technical skills. List tools, programs and applications you had been using. Make sure to check the spelling and use the most common ways of technical terms spelling.
  • Outline education in a chronological order;
  • Develop your professional network. You need at least 200 1st degree connections related to your professional sector.

2. Keywords are king

Keywords are important on LinkedIn because of the internal search algorithm that hiring managers and recruiters use to source talent. To capitalize on the algorithm, use specific keywords such as particular languages and frameworks. (Example: Python, R, Ruby on Rails, Angular.js, Sass, WordPress, etc.). At the same time, make sure to remove or de-emphasize skills and technologies you are not interested in working with.

Bonus tip: If you are switching careers, limit keywords relating to the previous job role across your profile and highlight your learning/non-professional experience for the next role. Otherwise, recruiters for the previous role may contact you more often than your desired next step.

3. Summarise your unique story

The summary section is your chance to tell your story and describe what motivates you. Show examples of how you are motivated, e.g. “After discovering my passion for Ruby for Rails, I made 5 websites for friends and family, interned with a local business for 6 months, and hired myself out as a part-time freelancer for 2 years. I’m looking forward to bringing that passion to a full-time role.”

Write in a first-person voice to explain what you do in a natural way. You may want to make it clear what you are looking for at your next position or what challenge you want to be a part of. Though it’s important to use keywords, don’t go overboard. LinkedIn’s algorithm can tell when you’re trying to game the system.

4. Show off!

You can add media to the summary, experience, and/or education sections. On LinkedIn you can add documents, photos, links, videos, and presentations. An easy way to provide evidence of your skills is by including links to your portfolio, Behance, Dribbble or personal blog. This is especially important if you don’t have a lot of relevant experience. By showing work, you are substantiating your stated skills and experience.

Bonus tip: Keep your summary to 40 words for optimum indexing on LinkedIn’s internal search results. Include links to your profiles on Behance, Dribbble or personal website.

5. Personalise the look of your page

Did you know that you can reorder the sections on your LinkedIn profile? This is useful for career switchers or fresh graduates who do not have relevant work experience yet.

Bonus tip: For instance, your current work is unrelated to design, so your “Experience” section won’t impress recruiters. However, you have taken some courses and/or individual projects. Drag those higher on the hierarchy of your profile. You don’t have to remove your unrelated experience, but you can curate your profile in a way that draws attention to the best portions.

6. Add your education

The education section is especially important for fresh graduates or career shifters because it shows that you’ve studied and been tested on your tech knowledge. It also shows you value self-improvement.

People who fill out their education section receive 10 times more profile views than those who leave it blank. Don’t worry if you do not have a degree, certificates and e-learning count too.

Download our full guidebook for IT professionals or Designers on how to optimise your Digital Footprint here.

Here at PitchMe we use data you provide from your LinkedIn account, a number of other sources and more to build you a real-time snap of your skills, what we call a SmartMe profile. We’ll then present your profile anonymously to employers, including only relevant information about experience and skills to match you with a job suitable for your skillset.

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