11 tips to superpower your LinkedIn presence

You’ve done it.

You finally made a LinkedIn account and filled in the key details in your LinkedIn profile. Then, you made your first connections and maybe even received some recommendations (well done!)
Now, it’s time to take it up a notch. In the digital era, you can hardly overestimate the power of LinkedIn in helping you find your ideal first job.
Here are 11 tips to set yourself apart from the rest.
1. Create your own LinkedIn URL
You will communicate the link to your LinkedIn profile often — in emails, resumes, and on business cards, to name a few places. So you might just as well streamline it a little.
LinkedIn allows you to customize your profile URL. I recommend you simply use your name, as in http://linkedin.com/in/johndoe. (LinkedIn adds the ‘/in/’ on their part).
You could go a little creative here. But remember, you won’t want to change your LinkedIn URL on a regular basis (or even at all) — because any materials with your old URL will be instantly outdated.
1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
2. Click View profile.
3. On your profile page, click Edit your public profile & URL on the right rail.
1. Under Edit public profile URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
· It'll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
1. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
2. Click Save.

2. Get found for dream jobs 
Here’s how recruiters find candidates: they look for key words in a job description and then do a search on LinkedIn for those words.
So, if you want an unfair advantage over other jobseekers, making yourself easy to find is a good idea.
Start collecting job descriptions that you like in particular and look for patterns. What words or phrases keep popping up? A tool like TagCrowd will help you identify the most recurring words using a word cloud.
3. Don’t waste summary space
Don’t be fooled by thinking your summary is the LinkedIn equivalent of your cover letter. Recruiters are usually busy people, so it’s best to keep your summary short and sweet. A rule of thumb is 3-5 sentences long.
A quick summary of your past is fine, but make sure to then shift gears and focus on your ambitions for the future.
4. Find relevant LinkedIn Groups
A powerful but often under-used LinkedIn feature is Groups. These bring professionals from the same industry together to network and discuss topics.
Activity in a LinkedIn Group will not only show that you’re engaged in your field, it’s also a great opportunity to network. If the latter is your goal, be sure to check out local groups.
1. Click the Work icon in the top right of your LinkedIn homepage and select Groups from the dropdown.
2. Click Discover at the top of the page to view suggested groups.
3. You can then request membership by clicking the Ask to join button under the group description.

5. Show off your numbers
In the working world, people love numbers. So, if you have any to brag about, be sure to put them in the spotlight, preferably in your summary.
Examples of numbers you can use are: grades, number of months or years of working experience, number of people involved in a school project.
6. Don’t be arrogant
Coming across as confident is important when you are looking for a job. But there are limits. Nobody likes someone who is full of him or herself.
So, list your merits, but never elaborate beyond the necessary. Also, keep your biggest ambitions to yourself, and list your short-term ambitions on LinkedIn instead.
7. Make it personal
Your LinkedIn profile is not your cover letter, but neither is it your CV. A bare list of your grades and accomplishments may not be enough to persuade a recruiter.
Share a few personal details like your passions, your hobbies and your values. Not only will recruiters remember you better, you are increasing your chances of attracting the attention of companies that share your values.
8. Add a picture, video or slideshow to your summary
Have anything visual to share? LinkedIn allows you to add a photo, video or presentation to your summary.
A SlideShare presentation of your thesis, a great picture of you at work or an internship all increase your visibility and make your profile more attractive.
9. Manage your endorsements
LinkedIn Endorsements are skills that you can add to your profile. Others in your network can then click on them to endorse you for that skill.
Especially in the beginning of your career, for credibility’s sake you’ll want to put up just a few skills. That means you should choose carefully which 3-4 skills you’d like to be known for right now. (Don’t forget to revisit this section at regular times to keep it up to date.)
10. Update your status regularly
Just like on Facebook, you can post updates on LinkedIn. Keep updates professionally relevant — no oversharing or private information, please — and limit yourself to 3 updates per week.
You can talk about developments in your industry, share your opinion, ask questions or simply re-post relevant articles that you find. Posting updates will position you as a genuinely interested young professional.
11. Start writing long-form posts
If you want to take posting updates a step further, you can. LinkedIn allows you to post long-form content as well. These are essentially blog posts that appear on the platform, potentially for all your connections to see.
It may seem a little daunting to write meaningful blog posts at this stage of your career. But if you find the inspiration, by all means be bold and go ahead — done right, it will give you a huge advantage over other jobseekers. You’ll become a more confident writer over time, guaranteed.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out this post on personal branding by our CEO Raf Seymus.

Publication date: 27 October 2017


Penny Van Puymbroeck Team Lead Recruitment