If you’re like most people in Singapore, your approach to writing your LinkedIn profile is to simply copy-paste what’s written in your CV. And in some ways, this style can be sufficient, especially when you have a stellar CV in the first place. But it’s such a waste of LinkedIn’s potential if you don’t create a bespoke profile for the social media site. With more and more employers in Singapore relying on LinkedIn to scope out candidates for vacancies, you want to come up with something powerful and sticky.
Below are some tips on how you can write LinkedIn profiles that rock.
LinkedIn Profile Tips For Impact #1 : Use a professional photo.
Okay, let’s start with this one. You’d think that posting a photo that makes you look like you can get the job done is common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many think their Instagram masterpiece is a great pick.
Reserve the beach shot with Tequila for Facebook. You want to show potential bosses in Singapore you’re trustworthy, competent, and presentable. You’re not required to go for the slick hair and the business suit route — in fact you can aim for simply casual and approachable — but you must still appear as how you would in an actual room of decision-makers.
And yes, mind that pixel count. You want the manager you shook hands with this morning to recognize you once he goes looking!
LinkedIn Profile Tips For Impact #2 : List all your work experience.
Resumes have to be tailor-fitted to the requirements of the job you’re after, which is why strategic job-hunters omit irrelevant work experiences when they submit to HR in Singapore. This means many different versions of resumes, one for each target position.
But your LinkedIn profile is something open to all, and since you don’t know what criteria potential employers may be looking for, it’s best to have a robust profile. (Unless you’ve already decided beforehand that you want to present yourself to just one type of audience.)
Complete your work experience and provide detail for each one. Whenever possible, use the professional gallery: upload presentations, images, documents, etc. to give browsers a better idea of what you do. Share volunteer work experience. HR practitioners today give less value to those with straight career paths anyway, and if your various experiences make you look like a better rounded individual, go for it.
Here’s one advantage of a complete work history: LinkedIn is a networking site; it aims to connect you with people who can endorse you, give you work, or connect you with clients. When you have a complete work history, you’re positioned to link up with every person you’ve worked with over the years — and get as many nods to your skills and expertise as possible. This is because LinkedIn is designed to recommend connections based on where you’ve worked and what you’ve done. A stronger professional network therefore equates to a stronger profile.
LinkedIn Profile Tips For Impact #3 : Take advantage of the summary section.
LinkedIn provides you space for a 2,000 word summary of who you are and what you can offer — and you should take full advantage of this feature. The rest of LinkedIn can feel so disjointed, even dense, but if you write a great summary, you can string everything together into one coherent whole. The summary section can also be the place to inject some humour and personality in an otherwise formal page, and many people in Singapore have opted to use this section creatively.
For instance, some people use the summary section to tell a great story about themselves: how they got their first gig, what they feel is their greatest accomplishment, how they plan to solve problems experienced by their target clientele. Others use the summary section to beef their profile with relevant keywords that will put them at the top of search results (e.g. official job titles, certifications, etc.). Most though opt for a powerful and punchy integration of everything they have to offer including measurable deliverables they’ve accomplished, specific competencies, and vision for the future.
LinkedIn Profile Tips For Impact #4 : Use the skills, recommendations, and endorsement section wisely.
LinkedIn allows users to log in as many as 500 skills and expertise in their profile — and this is where you should promote your competencies. The great thing about LinkedIn is not only do they give you space to list all the things you can do, it also allows people in your professional network to validate every skill and expertise you’ve listed. This gives your profile more credibility than the typical resume. You can be suspected of exaggerating your proficiency in a paper resume, but a verifiable endorsement from a respected person in the field invalidates any argument.
So come up with a comprehensive list of your skills and expertise, and make sure you phrase them in a way that’s search engine optimized. Search engine optimization means taking steps to ensure that you use words headhunters and employers will use when identifying and filtering candidates. For instance, you can put “E-course Designing” in your list, but you can also list specific software e.g. Mindflash or Articulate you’re good at. Once you have your list, it’s now time to ask friends and co-workers to recommend you or even write you a glowing endorsement.
LinkedIn Profile Tips For Impact #5 : Come up with a headline that grabs people’s attention.
You must invest in a headline that will make people in Singapore want to take a look at everything!
I placed this last because the best time to write a headline is after you’ve gotten everything else down. This is because your headline is an integration of everything in your profile, and sometimes it’s only when you’ve looked at the bigger picture that you better understand your competitive advantage.
So what makes a headline stand out?
A concise explanation of what it is you do exactly is an excellent approach. “Internet copywriting expert — Known for a 65% conversion-to-sales rate among website visitors” is better than simple “Freelance Copywriter with 6 years of Experience.”
Some folks opt for a list approach, which is also great. “Social Entrepreneur. Grant Proposal Writer. Project Management Expert.”
And others take the opportunity to put in relevant keywords headhunters and HR personnel will be looking for. This is also a great idea. Just remember, make sure your insertion of keywords still create a natural flow — stuffing every keyword in your headline just for the sake of getting them in is going to backfire. Pick just 1 to 3 keywords and run with it. Anything more is tacky and desperate.