You may have half-heartedly created a LinkedIn profile at university, quickly pasting some work experience and leaving a photograph for your page. Fast-forward to graduate and realize just how useful LinkedIn can be for your job search. It is not only a network and gain access to industry insiders.

A whopping 9/10 companies use LinkedIn during their hiring process and if they can not find you, then you're missing out! It's the go-to job search tool in today's job market. Think of LinkedIn as your virtual business card.

To ensure that you are making the most of your profile, you want to improve your chances of landing an interview and coming up in Google searches. Because let's face it, potential employers enjoy research on their candidates.

If you're new to the world of LinkedIn, here are 4 basic things you should have on your profile.

A professional headshot

Did you know that recruiters spend 19% of their time looking at photos on LinkedIn? Having a photo makes the experience far more real and if you have not bothered to upload one then it shows you're not 100% serious about the job search.

Make sure that it is a high-quality photograph of you alone. Save the holiday or party photos for Facebook! Think, passport photo. Looking straight at camera, head and shoulders shot, clean background. There should be distractions, and you should look 'interview-ready'.

Girl talking on phone

A great headline

Get your copywriter on and create a memorable profile headline! Try and avoid clichés like "SEO guru" and avoid buzzwords at all costs. Everyone is "creative" and "responsible". These sound like lazy regurgitations and hiring managers will see right through it.

Instead of "Project Manager", spice it up by adding "Project Manager with 10+ years of experience". It's clear which one packs the bigger punch!

If you do not have your dream job yet then you're aiming for it. By doing this, you will boost your chances of appearing in job searches and it will show hiring managers your ambition. So, if you are still working towards a career in "content marketing", you can add "content marketing enthusiast" to your headline.

Lacking inspiration? Have a browse through other professionals that are currently using your position and see what type of keywords they're using.

Write a killer summary

It's vital to use this space! Try to use up all 2,000 characters in order to optimize your profile with relevant keywords that will attract hiring managers to your page.

Like a pile of CVs on a desk, it's best to assure that potential employers do not have to look at each profile in minute detail. They want an overall idea of ​​who you are and what skills you hold before investing time into your profile. This is where your summary comes in!

Use this section wisely to draw them in, make them take that next step to know more about you. Add links or upload files or your best work. You can also include a SlideShare presentation or you are the best candidate for the job.


Although it's tempting to reel off all your past experiences, keep it short and sweet on LinkedIn. As personal branding consultant Joanna Murchie says , "the idea of LinkedIn is to give more weight to the CV, to provide more information about the person than the CV."

Recruiters will often scan multiple profiles so that they are begging for your resume. So, pick 3-4 or your most impressive achievements and give a letter outline of each one.

Francesca Hooper writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in sourcing candidates for internships and  graduate jobs .


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