In today’s digital age, personal branding has become an essential practice to help you stand out against the competition and foster career success. Among the myriad of social networking platforms, LinkedIn stands out as the go-to platform for professionals to market themselves, showcase their skills and connect with like-minded individuals. If you’re beginning the search for new opportunities within communications, marketing, digital or change – whether it’s a permanent, interim or contract role – it’s vital to ensure your digital footprint portrays the best representation of your skills and expertise.
Make Yourself Discoverable by Optimising Your LinkedIn Profile
Choose the Right Keywords
Your headline section is one of the most valuable fields for LinkedIn’s algorithm, followed by the job title and summary. If you're openly looking for a new position, use this space to advertise yourself and insert keywords targeted to the role you're looking for - in the same way organisations use "we're hiring".
A good practice is to use standard job titles yet specific job titles, to assist with searchability. For example, "Immediately Available Head of Marketing - Luxury Sector” will be visible to recruiters in the search results without anyone having to open your profile.
Likewise, if you are a specialist in areas such as ‘Content’, Performance’ or ‘Product’, ensure this is highlighted on your profile to help headhunters understand your experience. The same goes for industries that place heavy emphasis on previous experience.
You might only have a few seconds to grab the attention of the someone scanning your profile, so it’s important to be clear about what you do and what you’re looking for.
Customise Your LinkedIn URL
Take the time to customize your LinkedIn profile URL – it looks more professional, shows an eye for detail, and makes you more discoverable in the searches. Ideally, the URL should be your name, with dashes separating the words, because Google reads them as spaces.
Here’s how to do it:
1. On the top of your LinkedIn homepage, click on the Me icon and select View profile from the drop-down menu.
2. Go to the options on the right and click Edit public profile & URL.
3. Under the Edit your custom URL tab, click the pencil icon next to your current URL to edit the link.
4. Use your name or a combination of name, middle name, profession or company, and click Save.
Finally, remember that you can only change it once in 30 days.
Set Your Profile to Public
Make sure that your profile’s visibility is set to public to avoid alienating future employers, colleagues, and customers. If you are concerned about privacy, you can easily adjust some of the information in your profile setting to make sure that only approved connections see it.
Time to Shine: Build Your Personal Brand
Treat LinkedIn Like a Dynamic Resume
List your accomplishments with an emphasis on those that will be relevant to the jobs you want to attract. To impress recruiters, avoid jargon but list the key skills and industries, such as digital marketing, internal communications, public relations, etc.
In your description, sell yourself but keep it concise and clear. Be sure to include facts and figures that demonstrate your achievements. For example, stating that you ‘increased engagement by x%’ is far more compelling than calling yourself a ‘social media or email marketing expert’.
Finally, just like your CV, make sure that you regularly update your profile – certainly every time you make a career move, speak at a conference or learn a new skill.
Engage & Make Meaningful Connections
Your LinkedIn network is your most valuable asset. Building and expanding your network can help to open doors to exciting opportunities in your career. While it’s a good practice to accept most of the connection requests that you get, be proactive and start sending them as well. Start by connecting with colleagues, current and previous, your alumni and fellow industry professionals. Keep in mind potential prospects and be sure to connect with recruitment consultants (specifically VMA GROUP recruitment consultants!). You never know what new opportunities may come your way.
Set time during the day to go through your feed to like, comment and share content posted by your network. Not only does this keep you visible but it’s a good way of building and fostering relationships over time. Actively participate in discussions, sharing your views and insights. If there’s no relevant discussions for you to join, initiate your own!
Create & Share Thoughtful Content
LinkedIn is a professional network, so make sure that the content that you share aligns with how you want to be perceived by others in the business world. Keep your posts thoughtful and positive!
If you are a specialist in an area, for example, ESG strategy or CSR communications, consider publishing your own articles directly on LinkedIn. Your connections will be notified, so it’s a great opportunity to share your expertise and build your personal brand.
By optimising your profile and developing your personal brand and network, you will stand out against the competition and position yourself for career success. So, go ahead and leverage the power of LinkedIn to shape your professional future.
If you are looking for new opportunities, browse our open roles or speak with one of our consultants today. Our dedicated team are here to help in finding the role that’s the right fit for you.