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12 top tips to make the most of your LinkedIn profile

If you’re searching for a job, it’s really important that you utilise the power of social media.

Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever before to connect with future employers, network with peers and market yourself to potential employers. And best of all, it’s completely free – so it makes sense to use it to your advantage!

If you’ve been in the army, you might not even have a social media presence. But trust us, using social media can make all the difference when it comes to your job search – so long as your profile gives the right impression.

One of the most powerful platforms for job hunters is LinkedIn. So, read on to find out how to optimise your LinkedIn profile for the job hunt and ensure potential employers notice you...

Why LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is without a doubt the top professional networking site in the world, with 740 million users worldwide. With more than 55 million companies listed on the site and more than 14 million live jobs, it’s no wonder that 87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn as part of their candidate search.

If you’re searching for new employment opportunities, it’s essential to create and use a LinkedIn profile. From networking to research, there are plenty of ways LinkedIn can aid your job search. So, read on to discover how to optimise your LinkedIn profile for the job hunt, make the most of your profile and ensure potential employers notice you.

1. . Add a profile picture

First things first, make sure you have a profile picture. When someone runs a LinkedIn search, they only see 10 people per page in the search results – and users with a profile picture are 14 times more likely to receive page views.

So, make sure your profile doesn’t get overlooked by ensuring you've got a professional, up-to-date profile picture. Look relaxed and approachable, be sure to smile and make sure you dress smartly – after all, first impressions count!

2. And don’t forget the headline

Along with your name and profile picture, your headline is the other thing that someone sees when they do an initial LinkedIn search.

It appears right below your name (simply hit the ‘edit profile’ page to update yours) and gives you a chance to provide a short, snappy, 120-character summary to reel potential employers in.

Keep it clear and concise – remember, you can go into more detail on your profile – and make sure it highlights what you do or what type of position you are looking for. For example, if you’re searching for a marine engineer role, you could write “Marine engineer with 10 years of experience in repair and maintenance seeking a new challenge”.

Image of hands typing on a computer keyboard to write up summary of himself for a new job application

3. Write a summary

The summary/about section isn’t used enough by job seekers on LinkedIn, but it’s a great way to give people who’ve just landed on your profile a brief overview about who you are and what you do, just like you would for your personal statement in a CV. 

Use it to expand on your headline and be sure to include relevant keywords and information.

For example, you could follow your marine engineer headline with “After more than a decade working on Navy vessels and offshore platforms, I am extremely competent in repair and maintenance and am looking to expand my experience and explore new opportunities either in the UK or overseas”.

4. Highlight your recent experience

Your experience needs to be evident to anyone who views your page – and it’s important to include keywords here to ensure your profile is found. Not sure what to put? Take a look at some job descriptions that interest you for ideas on the types of keywords to include. If you’re looking for an aircraft mechanic role, for example, include buzzwords such as the type of aircraft you have worked on and highlight what you did in previous roles; for example, the repair and replacement of aircraft components.

Just be sure to include relevant experience only – no one wants to see every job you’ve ever had cluttering up your profile!

5. Be comprehensive about your skills

This leads us onto our next point – make sure you include relevant skills. Did you know that those who post skills on their LinkedIn profile are 13 times more likely to have profile views compared to those who don't?

So be sure to list all skills that are relevant to your industry, from specific skills to softer skills such as organisational skills and problem-solving skills.

6. Check, check, and check again

Your LinkedIn profile is nearly complete! Now you just need to thoroughly proofread your profile to ensure there are no mistakes.

After all, there’s no better way to turn off a potential employer than having a profile littered with mistakes – especially if you’ve claimed that attention to detail is one of your strengths! Use online tools such as Grammarly, or alternatively, get a friend or colleague to take a look over your profile – sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is all you need.

Someone holding a phone,  with user icons surrounding mid-air to demonstrate building your network on social media for the purpose of job application

7. Build your network

Now your profile is ready, it’s time to develop your network. The more you grow your network, the more visible you become – and the more exposed you are to new opportunities.

From previous colleagues to friends of friends or even people who work in companies that interest you – anyone can be a connection.

8. Join groups

Another solution to how to optimise your LinkedIn profile for the job hunt, expand your network and get your name out there is by joining relevant industry groups. It could also give you a ‘way in’ to connect with people working for companies you are interested in.

Just be sure that you only join groups that have frequent activity – there’s no point in joining groups that haven’t been active for months.

9. And get involved!

Try and get involved in conversations too, whether by commenting on posts on your news feed or joining in with group conversations.

By getting involved, you can show off your experience and enthusiasm for your industry – and the more you interact, the more you can build your profile and gain recognition.

10. Be authentic

However, when interacting online, it’s important to stay authentic at all times. Don’t over-egg your experience or make up scenarios that didn’t happen just to look good. Be yourself and represent who you truly are.

Remember, you’re representing yourself, your skills, what you know and what you do to potential employers, so it’s important to be honest.

11. Research companies you’re interested in

As well as building your network through groups, one of the best things about LinkedIn is that you can find and follow companies.

Make a list of the companies you’d like to work for and search them out.

Not only is this a great way to keep up to date with industry news, expand your network and potentially hear about opportunities, but when you get further down the line and are preparing for an interview, you can easily research companies too. In fact, research found that among the people who found jobs in three months or less, 91% used LinkedIn company pages for research.

12. Keep your profile up to date

Finally, it’s important to keep your profile up to date and use LinkedIn regularly.

There’s no point in only updating your profile every now and again; if you’re going to keep up to date with the latest opportunities and industry news, you need to make sure you stay active. And the more you use your profile, the more visible and searchable you are to potential employers, too!

Need more help?

If you’re currently searching for a new defence contract role, we’re here to help. At M&E Global, we are experts in employing highly skilled contractors to work on exciting roles all over the world and can provide expert advice on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile for the job hunt. Find out more about the opportunities we are currently working on here, or better still, contact our team today to get the ball rolling.

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