Optimize your LinkedIn profile: 8 steps to a personal brand
Your profile on LinkedIn – world’s largest network for business contacts – is not only an important instrument for your recruiting activities. Use it to establish a personal brand as a credible and trustworthy recruiter or executive search partner. These 8 steps show you how.
Imagine yourself being approached by a recruiter as a candidate. You most certainly would look up the recruiter on every possible channel (starting on LinkedIn) to make sure you can trust them, before you call or message them back. When the recruiter’s profile exudes credibility, trust, authority and friendliness, you are more likely to entrust your career to this person.
So how do you create a profile that invites candidates to write you back? Follow these 8 steps, and you cannot go wrong.
1. Write an Extraordinary, Descriptive Headline
Your LinkedIn profile’s headline really matters. Make it meaningful and catchy. Describe your strengths and areas of focus. You may need time to find the perfect text, but this is the first impression that candidates have of your profile.
Examples of convincing headlines (max. 120 characters):
Peter Pan – Managing Director at Talentor Neverland– the Executive Search Network | Talent Acquisition | Career Planner
Mary Poppins - Recruiting the very best talent for UK’s tech companies for Talentor UK
Luke Skywalker – Technical recruiter at Talentor seeking mechanical engineers in Norway
2. Choose a Flattering and Professional Profile Picture
As with all other social networks, when you visit a LinkedIn profile, you first look at the picture. The picture alone makes your profile 14x more likely to be viewed by others.
Make sure the picture expresses your personality and charisma and conveys professionality, friendliness and warmth. The optimal picture size is 400 x 400 pixels. Choose a square picture with no more than 8MB. Use a portrait (60% of the frame is taken of your face) as profile picture. This ensures you are recognizable in the thumbnail in the LinkedIn Newsfeed. Choose clothes, you would normally wear at work and a simple background that is not distracting. Have a professional photographer take the picture.
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to personalize your background image (1400 x 425 pixels). If you work for a recruiting company, it makes sense to choose homogenous branding. If you are self-employed you may find inspiration at https://linkedinbackground.com.
3. Get Your Vanity URL for Increased Searchability
At LinkedIn you can customize your profile URL to make it more readable and memorable. We recommend you use this option and create a URL that has a personal connection to yourself or your primary website. You increase the likelihood of being found by others and make a more professional and elegant impression.
4. Enrich Your Contact Card
Let the candidates get in touch with you in every possible way by adding all your contact details to your contact card. Include your personal or company’s website / blog to the contact details. When you select the “other” option in the drop down next to the website entry field, you have the possibility to describe the services you offer to your target group.
5. Build Trust with LinkedIn Recommendations
You are good at what you do and have helped many candidates find a job they love? Reach out to them and ask them for a recommendation on LinkedIn. If your last contact was already some time ago, include your notes on their recruitment process to help them remember how it went.
6. Endorsements Strengthen Your Recruiter Brand
Your LinkedIn profile can be enriched with up to 40 different skills. We recommend you add a limited number of highly-quality skills that underline your professionalism. For example, interviewing skills are more important than Microsoft Office skills. Try to get endorsements from your connections.
Examples of skills you can be endorsed for:
Recruiting | Talent Acquisition | Executive Search | Human Resources
IT Recruiting | Technical Recruiting | Digital Recruiting
Relationship Management | Change Management | Communication
7. Tell Your Personal Story in the LinkedIn Summary
The summary section right below your headline is the supreme discipline for your personal brand on LinkedIn. Don’t make the mistake of just summing up your experience by adding platitudes like “20 years’ experience in IT Recruiting”.
Address your target group in the first-person perspective. Tell your story. Its’s the perfect place to talk about yourself, your passions, objectives, accomplishments, and mission as a recruiter.
Another option: make the summary about your target audience. What are their passions and career goals? Why are you the right person to help them get there?
The LinkedIn summary could be the crucial tie-breaker that convinces a candidate to work with you instead of another head hunter.
8. Share Content and Create Added Value
Further build up your authority as recruiter or HR consultant by voicing your own opinion, sharing the content of your company’s blog, or posting the advice of authors you trust and like. Don’t overdo it here. Too much shared content can look spammy and take a lot of time. Better to plan that content activity to take place on a regular yet modest basis.