3.1 Your profile
Your profile summary is an important section of your profile. The best way to gain inspiration for writing it is to look at people in careers that interest you and see how they describe their work and histories. Think like a recruiter when writing your profile and use the key words you used to search similar profiles on LinkedIn. Activity 4 will help you to develop your summary.
Activity 4 Developing your summary
Search on LinkedIn for some job titles that you are thinking of pursuing. If you don’t yet know what specific job title interests you, try looking at the profiles of particular companies and their employees, or at professional institutions.
- Think about your key strengths, how would you like others to see you? If you need help, ask your friends and family – what do they think you are good at?
- Write a draft summary based on your research and key strengths. However, please do not launch your profile until it is ready.
Further hints and tips to being found
You should aim to have a profile which is 100 per cent ‘complete’, giving you an ‘All Star’ profile strength. If you haven’t completed this already, you should spend some time building up the sections of your profile listed below.
- Experience: complete this section, starting with your most recent job role. Include at least two jobs which you have had in the past and ensure you include clear job titles and work history. Your work history is not just a list of tasks, but should instead contain a selection of key accomplishments and, where possible, use quantifiable figures to draw the eye. To stand out from other profiles, use the opportunity to really sell your skills in this section and include all-important key words and phrases.
- Volunteering experience (seeSection 3.2 for details)
- Education: make sure you include your qualifications at degree level along with other professional awards or training. It is not necessary to include school information unless you particularly want to
- Languages are highly sought after by employers, so do not forget to add any you are fluent in as an additional section to your profile.
Include your career break on your profile and don’t try to hide it. Briefly explain the reason for this break; for example, ‘parenting career break’ or ‘career break for travel’. This is much better than having a gap in your experience, as gaps that aren’t addressed may cause the recruiter to question your ability, so a clear explanation can remove any reticence. Please include any voluntary, freelance or entrepreneurial roles you may have had. This can include consulting on a project, either ad hoc or unofficially, for an ex-colleague or friend, to demonstrate that you are continually developing your skills.
Listen to Julie Thornton, Head of HR at Tideway, talking about career breaks and how best to present these in a CV or in LinkedIn.
When you have finished creating your profile, try searching for yourself on LinkedIn and check out your site as a visitor. Are you impressed? You can also click on the ‘Profile’ tab at the top and then ‘View profile as’ to see how you appear to either your connections or the general public. If you have signed out, you can edit your profile and summary by signing in again and making changes. Again, ensure that notifications are turned off and no messages are automatically sent to contacts.