Do you have a LinkedIn profile? And, do you wish that potential employers and professional connections browse it to learn about you and reach out for opportunities? If you answered both questions in the affirmative, then it’s time to log into the platform and review what your LinkedIn profile says about you.
It’s no secret that your profile needs to be inviting and sprinkled with the right pieces of information but how exactly can you achieve that? Let’s find out. LinkedIn expert Shelly Elsliger was the speaker at one of New Canadians’ live webinars and shared her best practices with us. Shelly advises newcomer job seekers like you to give the viewer a glimpse of your professional expertise, qualities, personality and skills through two fundamental sections in your LinkedIn profile – the Headline and About section.
Before anything else, make sure that your profile is complete and that you have filled in all the sections that LinkedIn suggests for you. Also, check to see if your contact information and the location, education and employment highlights that appear in the section around your name are all updated.
Make an impact with your LinkedIn headline
The LinkedIn headline is the section right below your name that allows you to share your branding statement or tagline. “It’s basically your unique value proposition and must include functional and strategic keywords that resonate with what you have to offer,” says Shelly. In these 220 to 300 characters, communicate what is it that you do and what you offer. The branding statement is actually the first part of the search algorithm on LinkedIn. So, it should convey a clear message and create a positive emotion. Remember, this isn’t the place to say ‘looking for a job’ because employers and recruiters don’t search for candidates using these keywords; they would probably type the position or role in the search bar.
Also watch: Maximize your job search on LinkedIn
The About section on your LinkedIn profile is where your story comes to life
As a platform, LinkedIn is constantly evolving so the character count for the About section may vary for different people. Some may have more, but everyone has at least 2000 characters to talk about themselves in this section.
Catch the viewer’s attention
Shelly’s top advice is to ensure a catchy and compelling opener so that viewers hit the ‘more’ option. “When somebody hits more, your algorithm goes up; LinkedIn realizes that you’re somebody that people want to know more about and network with,” she says. Also, write your story in the first person. If you write it in the third person, it doesn’t seem like you own your story.
Include what you’re good at in your profession and life
In short and separate paragraphs, share your story; we all have one! It’s better to focus on achievements in this section than listing roles and responsibilities. You have the Experience section on the profile for just that. Talk about what you do or what significant impact you’ve had in a previous or current rule. Throw in numbers to quantify your achievements. It’s the perfect place to mix the information with some personality traits and share what you’re good at in life, goals, ambitions, motivations, a mantra for success or what you’ve learned along the way.
“Share with people your unique selling proposition, but use the storytelling technique in the sense that it’s a story and not something like a resume where you have just bullet points telling about roles and responsibility. Think of it more as an informal coffee chat as opposed to a resume reiteration,” adds Shelly.
Yes to keywords; no to buzzwords!
If you’re a professional in a certain industry, like for example marketing, you want to have industry-specific keywords in your story because the about section is the second part of the LinkedIn search algorithm. Look up job posts to see the technical and role-related words you can include. However, stay away from general buzzwords like ‘passionate’, ‘motivated’, and ‘creative’, unless you’re going to support that with examples or anecdotes. Listing these words without an explanation will only waste this premium space.
Conclude with a purpose
End the About section on your LinkedIn profile with a call to action. As a newcomer job seeker in Canada, you can invite people in your network for a coffee chat or informational interview. Or, let them know that you are looking for opportunities to connect with people or find a new role.
For more, take a look at our YouTube channel. We have lots of informative interviews, webinars and talk shows to help immigrants in Canada with their employment and settlement needs.
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