Applying for a job is no longer only about your resume and cover letter. Having the right LinkedIn profile and developing your personal brand on the platform can help your application stand out and open new opportunities. This article details how to brand your LinkedIn profile. We reflect on three tips to supercharge your brand on the platform so you can stand out to recruiters and hiring managers.
Start with your profile picture
Attaching a photo of yourself to a resume is taboo because it can attract bias without communicating what you add to the role. But on LinkedIn, it can improve your connection with those in your network because they have a better understanding of who they’re communicating with.
Your profile photo doesn’t have to be fancy. Here’s how you can take or choose a great LinkedIn profile picture without high costs:
- Find a background that isn’t too distracting (a solid neutral colour is excellent) and an environment with plenty of natural light
- Avoid low-resolution photos
- Ensure the photo looks like you and reflects how you look day to day (old photos are not ideal!)
- Ensure you’re the only person in the picture
LinkedIn also provides space for a banner image on your profile. This is a great space to display something about your brand or services, as well. If you’re looking to design one, Canva has some great templates.
Think about keywords and statistics, not buzzwords
Keywords are an essential aspect of your brand on LinkedIn. When someone arrives on your profile, what do you want to communicate? It could be terms such as “insurance”, “cybersecurity”, or “big data”.
Your keywords aren’t necessarily your role or ideal role but where your experience lies. By having these keywords in your profile summary, role descriptions, and even headline, you can tell others what you’re all about. And it can help recruiters understand if you’re that person they’ve been looking for.
Statistics are a great way to quantitatively show hiring managers how well you’ve done in prior roles. This can include values such as “reducing costs by XX%” or “increasing efficiency by X hours per week”. To prepare these statistics, it starts in your current role. Ensure that when you work on a project, you find ways to quantify your results.
Simultaneously, you should avoid buzzwords. Buzzwords usually sound nice but have little meaning for others to ascertain what you’re all about. It’s words such as “professional”, “good communicator”, or “team player”. It’s common for job seekers to use these terms in their profile to boast their abilities. Still, these words realistically tell recruiters and hiring managers very little about you because the terms are generic. In contrast, not everyone can say they’re an experienced insurance professional.
Write and share articles and thought leadership
Sharing your thoughts on LinkedIn can be one of the best ways to find new opportunities and appeal to recruiters. Sharing an article with your thoughts in the caption or even writing your own posts can show that you’re genuinely an expert in a particular field. It can also open room for discussion. Individuals outside of your network may even see your articles or thought leadership and reach out to you for your experience.
However, it’s important to draw lines on what you discuss. Often controversial or polarizing topics unrelated to your industry can cause more harm than good. If you’re a banking professional, LinkedIn might not be the best place to debate religion or politics. You should also avoid posts that would be better left on Facebook, such as funny videos or memes.
Another benefit to writing content for your LinkedIn is the ability to pin specific posts on your profile. This feature lets your content have evergreen value instead of being relevant for a few days to your network and then forgotten in your account’s archives.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers in today’s labour market. Having a good profile picture and the right keywords and producing LinkedIn content can ultimately help you expand your network and appeal to recruiters and hiring managers.