Real Tips to Up Your Game on Linkedin

Before you proceed with reading this article, I want you to know that this is not yet another article that promises to guide you through the terrible terrible world of social media and how to use it for anything other than wasting your time. I will do my best to give you only the tips that I have followed and others I have either discovered by chance or through my exposure to job related experiences myself.

I have followed these tips and insights not only during my job-seeking time but also to promote myself as a professional on a daily basis.

Tip: Create a CV in Word or PDF format and upload it to your summary.

If you want to stand a chance in the world of modern day recruitment AKA Linkedin; you need to make sure that you have a real Linkedin profile, and by that I mean a complete profile not just an account that you have signed up for for the sake of being there on Linkedin.

Consider this a checklist of things you should do after listing your work experience:

  1. Choose the right title for you. Many mistakenly put their current or latest job title. Don’t do that, instead, write your career title or the areas where you see yourself having a career in the future. For example, on my profile I’m using “Communications | Writer | Integrated Marketing” but I could also use “Communications Specialist”. The reason I wrote “Writer” and “Integrated Marketing” is that I wanted people to know what areas of expertise are my specialities especially that many will not understand what communications entail. Come to think about it, I can alternatively write “PR | Visual Communications | Arabic Content” or something along these lines not only to explain but also because the right keywords will help optimize search results (ideally, if everything else is done right, people searching for PR, communications or Arabic content should be able to see my profile in the top results). For more on SEO for Linkedin profiles, read this article.
  2. Choose the right profile picture:

Make sure your profile picture is neither:

  • Mug-shot photo that is more suitable for a DUI. Passport photos are forbidden!
  • Too friendly. Like that picture of you on your last vacation
  • Taken from a long distance. People need to see your face to recognize you and remember you later hopefully

Your photo can be a bit friendly, fun or creative IF:

  • You work in a creative field like a designer, creative writer, photographer…etc. In fact, people expect your photo to be a bit creative (at least I do) and a boring photo of you with a straight face will be disappointing.

3. Don’t leave your profile summary empty. You must fill in the summary field but don’t just summarize your work and education experience; you need to list your most important achievements and the special skills and interesting facts about you (if your profile is all about traditional writing but you’re highly skilled at social media for example). The summary is the first and probably the only part recruiters will read in some cases. And again, it’s very important to use the keywords you think are most important to describe your work and at the same time are most used by recruiters searching for talent.

Tips: If you’re a creator of things that can be shared online; keep on creating even if you’re not paid for it

4. Use multimedia to support each work experience you list. It will bring your profile to life too.

Important tip: create a CV in Word or PDF format and upload it to your summary. This will be appreciated by recruiters who will find it easier to download your resume. I used Canva.com to create a minimalist template for my resume, and if I could do it, anyone can. The other important reason why you should create a CV and not rely on your Linkedin only is because some job ads require that you upload your CV too whether through Linkedin or on their website. My advice is to upload your CV to all the jobs you’re applying to on Linkedin regardless.

5. Update your list of skills at least once a year making sure that the most relevant are on top.


Bonus Tips

— Make sure your contact and personal info clearly show where you want to work. I’m currently looking for a job in the UAE, I’m here on a visit yet I have updated my contact info to show my address as Dubai — UAE. You have to edit your “Intro” section too and list your country as UAE for example if you’re currently looking for a job there.

— Don’t shy away from listing your freelance jobs as long as they are relevant. This is especially important to minimize any gaps between your full time jobs. I have taken freelance jobs on a part-time basis for nearly 2 years during my pregnancy and decided to stay home until my baby completed his first year. I have added my freelance job in the “Experience” section and all the projects I have undertaken in the “Projects” section.

— If you’re a creator of things that can be shared online; keep on creating even if you’re not paid for it. To keep your Linkedin profile fresh, interesting and engage people; write articles, share blog posts, designs, presentations, photos…etc and remind people of what you’re good at. I encourage you to create articles directly on Linkedin because this way you will get followers and not just connections. These followers are your audience, they are ready to listen whenever you have something to say.

— Share content related to your industry but only after you have read it. Some content has very appealing titles but no substance at all. If you aim to position yourself as an expert or opinion leader, you need to know exactly what’s in that article you just shared.

— For practicality and to sound more tech savvy at the same time, edit your public profile settings and make sure your Linkedin URL has your name whether first name only or first and last is up to you. My profile’s URL is www.linkedin.com/in/shaden

— Recommendations simply make your profile look good when you have them and the more you have, the better it looks. From my experience, people tend to forget or find excuses not to write you a recommendation if you stopped working with them, and it’s not because they don’t want to do it, but because they are mostly busy, plus it’s a real burden if someone doesn’t enjoy writing (most of people don’t). So my advice to you is to request your recommendations BEFORE you leave the company, when you’re still there and able to friendly nag on them.

What other tips would you share with job seekers and professionals out there? I’m curious to learn from you!