Your LinkedIn profile – it’s what recruiters and employers should ideally find when they search for a candidate who fits their needs. And if you want to be found for your professional niche, then you need to optimize your CV for LinkedIn.
When all is said and done, you need to treat your CV for LinkedIn like you are writing for a search engine, and if you want to be top of mind when someone is searching for an employee in your respective field, then you need to get your optimization on.
1- Make your headline shine
Too often, LinkedIn profiles contain titles that are incredibly ambiguous or only mention the name of the company they work for rather than their actual specialty. If you want your headline to shine, make it keyword specific.
For example, if you are a social media specialist – then a title like “Social Media, Content Marketing, SEO” would work well, as such skills are a necessary part of your industry. And for the love of all things holy, avoid buzzword like “guru” and “ninja.” They only serve to make you appear like a junior in your respective field and they make some people throw up a little bit in their mouth.
2- Use the right keywords in your summary
If you’re a social media manager and want to be found for social media or related fields of expertise, then your CV for LinkedIn should reflect this with the right use of keywords throughout.
Your summary, your experience, your top skills; all of these things should contain the keywords you need to be found for (social media) in your respective city or country. Make sure that these keywords are at the heart of everything you write about yourself.
3- Add the right URLs in your contact information
With LinkedIn, you can add URLs that are relevant to your profile. If you have a website, blog or social profile you want to link to, you can do so. But in the name of all things SEO, you want to make sure you link up the name of the website and your own name for social networks rather than write something generic like “My website” or “Twitter.” Write your name for your social networks like so: “Rosy Saadeh – Twitter” and write the full name of your blog or website (choose “Other” in the options and name your website accordingly).
You are in no way obliged to add all of the links to your social networks, either. If you have a party lifestyle and your Facebook page cannot be viewed by the public, then there is no point in linking to it. Link only to social networks and websites that you use in a professional capacity.
In the same vein, make sure that your LinkedIn URL has your name in it (i.e. http://linkedin.com/in/rosysaadeh/)
4- Use bullet points to list your skills/accomplishments
Reading through filler to get to the gist of what you can offer an employer? Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you want to optimize your CV for LinkedIn, it needs to be keyword rich and skinny on the wording. It shouldn’t take 3,000 words to describe what your specialties are.
As well, if you don’t know it yet, people scan online, they do not read. So make sure your CV gets to the point and quickly.
5- Post relevant experience only
If you worked in retail before you became a social media manager, don’t add it to your CV. Why? Because unless it lends itself to why you would make a great social media manager, it will dilute your keyword-rich CV into a sea of irrelevance.
If you don’t have much in the way of experience, adding all this filler will not do you any favors either way. You’d be better off volunteering in the field you want to excel in or getting certifications to optimize your CV for LinkedIn rather than adding irrelevant work experience.
6- Avoid typos and grammatical errors
No matter what your profession, typos and grammatical errors are frowned upon by the Internets as a whole; this isn’t specific to LinkedIn. There’s a running joke among social media managers that if you want to create engagement on social media, just misspell something. But when it comes to your CV for LinkedIn, typos are essentially a death sentence for the most part.
Read and then reread your CV for LinkedIn. Then don’t look at it again. Then reread it again the next day. And reread it again a week after that. You may find that there are things that need to be changed and improved. But misspells above and beyond all else are a major no-no and I know many a recruiter and HR director that rips up CVs and throws them away due to typos and incoherent copy. Your CV is your initial impression when applying for a job and if that isn’t impeccable, chances are you let other things slide as well.
7- Keep it reader friendly
At the end of day, you still need to write for human beings and not just the crawlers. Your elevator pitch (summary) is where you can be punchy and show off your personality. After all, you want to work with people who are like-minded and share your sense of humor, or perhaps lack thereof.
In a sea of boring CVs, you can stand out by promoting what you do professionally and what you’re like in your off time. If you’re a superhero dad or a Star Wars trivia junkie, let it be known. A little humor can break the stuffiness and lighten the mood for those searching for the right person for their organization.
Now try to find yourself on LinkedIn
No, I don’t mean this in a philosophical way. Head over to the “People” tab on LinkedIn and click on “advanced search.”
Enter the keywords that you want employers, recruiters and networkers to find you for (i.e., social media manager) and the geographic location (Canada, for example).
Begin your search. Are you listed on the first page? If you’re not, you will need to revisit your profile and make improvements (start at #1 at the top of this post) until you manage to hit that first page result. I believe in you, you can optimize your CV for LinkedIn and become a superstar in your respective niche. Now get to it.