Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful job search tool. In many cases, your profile is the first thing people see — with a good one, recruiters will find you instead of the other way around.
Use a Professional Profile Picture
Make time to take a professional-looking headshot. The camera on most smartphones is good enough to get the picture you need. Find natural light near a window, dress in clothes that you would normally wear to work and smile. Presenting a warm, friendly face makes a hiring manager think, ‘that’s someone I want to work with.’
Have a Great Summary
The summary is something that should be easy to scan and features all of the necessary quantified achievements. Think of it as your cheat sheet and a quick highlight of your best traits. Write short paragraphs, include industry keywords and use bullet points to get your point across.
Highlight your Experience
Again, make it easy to scan. Avoid too much text and use white space to help draw the eye to the good stuff (your achievements). Keep the details to a minimum and tell only the best of your achievements; numbers always impress.
Outline your Educational Pursuits
Education is important to feature prominently. Be sure to include honours or high standings as well as your schooling. If you have completed a bridging program at ACCES Employment, include the academic portion of the program in this section. Canadian employers will recognize the school and it will boost your Canadian credibility.
In today’s globally connected world, speaking more than one language is a hugely attractive skill to potential employers in Canada. Speak a little Urdu? Understand enough French to get by? Include it on your LinkedIn profile.
Include Professional Certifications
Does your profession require certifications in order to work in the field? Include your certifications in other parts of the world and, if you’ve started the process to get certified in Canada, include that as well (e.g. 2015 – present, or certification pending completion). Also use this section to showcase any complementary certifications you have, such as project management of workplace health and safety. These certifications are great added value skills for employers and help put your profile ahead of other candidates.
Mention Awards and Honours
If you been honoured with an award in your workplace or by your professional association, add an ‘Honours and Awards’ section to showcase your exceptional accomplishment. For some employers, awards mean a lot to their brand. For example, many Canadian employers tout their inclusion on lists of ‘Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians.’ Award-winning employees help to contribute to this image, so make it known on your profile.
For a good profile to really get noticed, you need to be active on LinkedIn; like colleagues’ posts, comment on stories and share relevant articles and information. Remember, LinkedIn is a social network so make it an extension of your regular communication with your network.