What Women Need to Include in Their Linkedin Profile to Increase Visibility
Most people think that LinkedIn profiles are only useful when searching for a job. Think about it. How many people who are happily employed spend time making sure that their LinkedIn profile gives that recruiter who comes across it every reason to get in touch?
Of course, we all accept new requests and add the new people every once in a while, but is that enough to make us stand out?
With a million things competing for the little time that we have, many people tend to ignore their LinkedIn profile. What most of us forget is that if you choose to invest time in making your LinkedIn profile a kick ass profile, you will be attractive to recruiters. As a result, you will be staying available for new and exciting career opportunities without actively seeking them.
LinkedIn now has more than 500 million users in 200 countries. It is currently the largest professional network in the world. With such a big user base, members of the community have access to millions of opportunities thanks to the connections that can be made on the platform.
For example, every member of this community has access to the more than 10 million active jobs on the platform. This means that millions of recruiters are looking to hire and if you position yourself accordingly, you could be one of the beneficiaries.
After LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion, we can be sure that the company will be around for quite some time. This is the place to be if you want to be found by employers and recruiters.
You have just arrived in a new town for a business meeting. You have a few hours before the meeting starts and you are feeling a bit hungry so you decide to grab a bite. You have no friends in this town so you turn to good old Google.
Type a few keywords and voila! You have the names, reviews and locations of a handful of restaurants that you can go to for a bite. Naturally, you will look through a few of these restaurants before you decide on the one to use.
This is exactly what happens when employers and head-hunters go to LinkedIn in search of people to fill their open positions. Your LinkedIn profile is what makes them decide if they will consider you for the open position or not.
Today, we’ll look at tips that women can use to increase their visibility on LinkedIn.
Before we get to the visibility tips, let’s start with some of the benefits that you stand to gain by improving your profile’s visibility.
BENEFITS OF RANKING HIGH ON LINKEDIN
- You’ll get more eyeballs. How many times have you ever looked beyond the second page in Google? If you are like most people, you only consider the results that show up on the first page. Recruiters will do the same so if your profile will be missed by most recruiters if it is sitting somewhere on page 10.
- You’ll get a competitive edge. The world (and LinkedIn) is full of people who are more qualified and more experienced than you for any position. However, if your profile is on page 1, you will be considered first.
- Your profile works for you around the clock. This means that you are being considered for jobs all over the world even when you are sleeping.
- When your profile ranks high for a certain keyword g. Mechanical Engineer in London, you will be perceived as one of the best Mechanical Engineers in London. Who doesn’t want to work with the best?
- A professional profile filters out the bad offers and attracts good offers. If someone is looking for the best people in your industry, they will send the offer to people with professional profiles that have received LinkedIn’s approval. If your profile is high on LinkedIn’s list of professional in your industry, you are more likely to get offers that are worth your consideration.
HOW TO BEING RANKED HIGH ON LINKEDIN
Now that we know why you should rank high on LinkedIn, let’s look at tips that will help you get this high rank.
Complete Your Profile
Your profile needs to be 100% complete. You will not rank well if you are missing a profile picture, or the summary or tagline. The good thing about this is that it helps your ranking and on top of that, helps give a good impression on the people who will read your profile.
A profile with incomplete information tells recruiters that you are either lazy or one of those people who are quick to quit the minute a challenge shows up. LinkedIn also ranks complete profiles higher than those with missing information.
It will also help you get targeted offers because recruiters will have all information about you to decide if you will be a good fit for the position they want to fill so they will only contact you if the offer is relevant to you.
To fully complete your profile, you will need to enter the following information:
- A profile photo
- Your location and industry.
- Your current position along with a description that should contain some of your duties and responsibilities.
- At least two past positions. You can include volunteer or internship positions if you are on your first job.
- Your education.
- At least three skills
- 50 of more connections
It’s also a good idea to promote your brand by having a relevant custom profile URL.
Make Your Photo Count
We have already said that you need to have a profile photo for your profile to be complete. Here’s more: Not just any photo will help you. The profile photo contributes significantly to the first impression the potential recruiter will have of you so it needs to make you look authentic and professional.
To know if the picture is good enough for your LinkedIn profile, as yourself if it would be good enough on the cover of your autobiography. If the answer is no, it’s time to get a new profile picture.
If you can show yourself in action, the better. If not, that’s still fine. Just make sure that your face is clearly visible and the background is relevant to your industry. Office environments work for most people. If possible, have a professional photo taken by a photographer.
Don’t forget to smile.
When uploading the photo, give it a name that has keywords relevant to your industry. For example instead of giving it a file name like “John Doe,” use something like “New York Web Developer”. Although the people viewing your profile will not see this name, it will show up in searches and give you a little bit more exposure.
Virtually all the spaces that need filling on your LinkedIn profile are spaces that need information about you. You can use these spaces to your advantage by presenting the information in a manner that is easy to digest for readers.
Everyone likes a good story. So go ahead and write a short but compelling story outlining your achievements. This works best when used on the summaries under your current and past positions, and also when talking about the projects that you’ve worked on.
Here’s a format that you can use to avoid giving too much information:
- Present the problem: For example, “The company was struggling with finding storage space for the many documents created during the process of serving customers”
- Talk about your solution: For example, “I used my skills as a web developer to come up with a portal that would work on the company intranet to collect and store all the information online for easy retrieval”
- Boast (slightly) about the results: For example, “This made it possible for the company to save on paper costs and reduce the storage space requirements while make it easy and fast to retrieve information about our customers”
Ask for Recommendations
Any of your LinkedIn contacts can write you a recommendation. The best thing about your recommendations is that they are public and they show who gave you. So use this chance to get all industry leaders who have been in contact with you to write you a recommendation.
This will show everyone reading your profile that you are respected in your network and well connected. You can work on this gradually by aiming at getting one new recommendation every month.
It’s also important to hide any recommendations that you don’t want on your profile. If it doesn’t preach the gospel you want preached and reaching out to the writer is uncomfortable, feel free to hide it.
Use Industry-Specific Keywords
Search engines use a number of factors to judge content. For LinkedIn and many other search engines, keywords form a big part of the factors that are considered before results are displayed. With this in mind, it’s good to note that you should not just stuff the keywords in the text.
Your keywords should read naturally and they should be well distributed throughout the text.
Not sure which keywords to include in your profile text? Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter looking for somebody with your exact skillset. Which words would you type in the search box? Those are your keywords.
A picture is worth a thousand words. This is true even on your LinkedIn profile. It showcases your work in a format that recruiters will be happy to interact with. It’s also easier to believe a photo or video showing you in action than a bunch of words saying how good you are in your work.
LinkedIn allows you to do this so feel free to add photos, videos and presentations of your work. They will give you credibility.
Create a Public Profile Badge
If you have a blog or your own website, a public profile badge will make your LinkedIn profile easy to find. Luckily, LinkedIn makes it easy for you to have one without worrying about the technical side of things.
To get one, you only need to go to this page while logged in and you will get a number of options to choose from. Pick the size that works best for you and copy the HTML code accompanying. Paste this code on your website and you will be ready to go.
Your blog’s visitors will be able to easily find and connect with you on LinkedIn.
Pay Attention to your Headline and Summary
The photo, headline and summary are the three most important elements when it come to the first impression that your potential recruiters will have. We all know that the first impression will determine whether or not the recruiters will stay on your profile so it’s important that it is done right.
Your headline doesn’t need to be your job description. In fact, you can use that space creatively to wow any recruiter who looks at your profile like these individuals did.
Your summary is also as important. Ideally, it should be around 3-5 paragraphs long with a bulleted list somewhere in the middle. It should talk about your passions, skills, unique strengths and some information about the industries that you’ve worked in.
Like we said above, you can also throw in an image, video or presentation.
Organize Your Endorsements
Endorsements work hand in hand with your skills. They help show that you are really good in the skills you have listed on your profile. However, having too many skills listed could send the wrong message so feel free to update this list as you move along your career path.
The skills to leave on this list are the skills that are relevant to your current position.
Update Your Location and Industry
One important element in searches is location. In most cases, recruiters will look for people in a specific location. When your profile still says that you are in the same city that you left 10 years ago, you will be getting offers that can’t help you.
In the same way, if you make a career transition to a different industry, update this on your profile.
Add Projects, Languages and Volunteer Experiences
These are very useful for recent graduates who don’t have a lot of work experience to show. Even if you have years of experience, these sections can help you amaze a potential recruiter by proving that you are an all-round professional with a life outside the workplace.
They also provide numerous opportunities to add relevant keywords to your profile. These keywords will help you rank higher in search results.
Showcase Your Past Roles Achievements
It’s not a bad idea to boast a little on your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters are looking for top performers so it’s a good idea to give the impression of a top performer. Talk about, and if possible show pictures of projects that you’ve successfully completed in the past.
You can also mention promotions that you’ve received at work alongside other such accomplishments.
Don’t Leave the Current Job Blank
Even if you are not currently employed, you can’t afford to leave the current job blank. This is because most recruiters search for candidates using their current position. LinkedIn then finds people currently holding the position they searched for.
This is convenient for recruiters because searching for past jobs will display thousands of candidates (including retired professionals) who have ever had the specific job title. If your current job is blank, then you miss out on such opportunities.
If you are unemployed, you can work around this by posting the job title you are targeting but with the words “in transition” or “seeking new opportunity” in the box where you would have entered the company name.
Join Groups and Participate
In addition to providing you with networking opportunities, groups can go a long way in helping you in a job search. They show that you are passionate about your field and that you know your industry.
Who knows? A post in a group could be seen by somebody who admires your expertise enough to reach out and give you a job.
Give Your Contact Information
You don’t have to give all your contact information to the extent of being vulnerable, but you should include a way that can be used to reach you. You can leave an email address, Facebook page, twitter handle or your website or blog URL.
Show Your Passion and Enthusiasm
Reading through your profile should show that you are proud of your job and happy to be in your industry. Share interesting things happening in the industry and follow industry leaders. Nobody wants to work with somebody who feels like they are in the wrong industry.
Be your industry’s cheerleader and your works number 1 fan.
Expand Your Network
Finally, the more connections you have, the higher your chances of appearing higher on search results. LinkedIn search results will show you higher if the person searching is a connection within your network.
So if the person searching is a connection or you have a common connection, your profile will rank higher in the results.