Is It Time To Update Your LinkedIn Profile?
March 30, 2016
LinkedIn is one of the most versatile recruitment tools in the world, allowing you to create a professional profile that incorporates elements of the traditional CV along with multi-media elements such as video, PowerPoint presentations, published articles, and images.
LinkedIn is the ideal way for any life science professional in a commercial or R&D role to craft a memorable and highly searchable job seeking profile, while also tapping into active job postings, discussion groups, and published pieces relevant to your area of interest and the wider life science industry.
With over 90% of companies now using LinkedIn as their primary social job seeking platform, any candidate who doesn’t have a dynamic and up-to-date LinkedIn profile is doing themselves a great disservice. There are some key points to know when working on your individual specific LinkedIn profile.
How to Create an Effective LinkedIn Profile
Your photo should be a clear and professional-looking headshot. When applying for a role, it would be worth investing in a professional shot that potential employers can easily envision appearing on their ‘Meet the Team’ page. If you choose not to enter a photo, it is extremely unlikely that a hiring manager will click on your profile or continue to read it.
The summary is the most important part of any LinkedIn profile, as most hiring managers will not read any further unless you give them a powerful reason to. Firstly, given that the majority of your industry peers are equally qualified and experienced, ensure that your degree level is stated prominently in your summary. Your summary should concisely highlight your career achievements, and what role you are currently looking for.
Don’t give in to the temptation to simply post your CV on your LinkedIn page as-is; you need to tailor your employment history to the LinkedIn format and style.
Above all, remember that LinkedIn operates as a search engine, so use keywords that it can trawl to match you with vacancies and interested hiring managers and senior recruiters.
Adding an appropriate Company or other role specific presentation to your profile is very powerful, so choose a standout and non-confidential example of a past presentation to feature on your page. Any video you have of past speaking engagements would be ideal to feature on your LinkedIn profile. Also, a current video presentation pitching yourself as a candidate is an excellent idea.
Published papers from your professional history are ideal to post on LinkedIn, as well as any articles you might like to write on your page. (This is your own publishing platform, so use it well.)
Include powerful testimonials from those who have weight in your field, or noteworthy referees from others.
LinkedIn profiles with images are more attractive and therefore more persuasive, so brighten up the page with relevant images, and use images when you post any articles.
Build your network to attain 500+ quality connections. Send invitations to connect and reach out and start conversations with relevant people. Remember that your connections list will be visible to others, so target your connections wisely. Where you can endorse your connections for their skills, when you do, reciprocity suggests they will almost always return the compliment and endorse your page in return.
LinkedIn is wonderfully dynamic, and you’ll find many industry or role specific groups posting active discussions and articles in your field. Join discussion pages and comment on matters pertaining to you and relevant industry topics. This networking strategy will build your connections quickly and create a buzz around your name as an informed and engaged participant in your industry. You could even start a group in your niche field to make a really strong impression or peer to peer forum that is not recruitment related for the exchange of ideas and best practice.
Immediately personalise your URL to make it easy for people to search for and remember you. It’s very easy- just hit the edit button next to the existing pre-generated one and insert your own. Most common names will already be taken so you may need to play around with versions of your name while keeping it recognisable. (Avoid using year of birth as it will age-date you unnecessarily.)
Visit job listings. LinkedIn will notify you regularly of jobs that might be of interest, but you can also view current listings in your industry at any time.
If you upgrade to the Premium version you will be able to access other features of LinkedIn, including being able to see who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days.
You can use LinkedIn to research companies and key players in your industry. The free version will only give you a photo and headline of those you are not connected with, while the Premium version will give you access to the complete profile.
Finally, remember that many other candidates will have a similar educational and professional profile, so you need to find a way to stand out. LinkedIn allows you to create a powerful impression with an engaging summary, an excellent photo, and a visual LinkedIn profile featuring different multimedia examples of your work. LinkedIn isn’t just for when you’re job seeking. Because it’s a networking tool and a publishing platform, LinkedIn is the ideal way to build your connections, get involved, and stay up to date with events and developments in your industry.
In short, this professional networking platform is vital to your industry career from the first day and beyond.