How to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile with Chelsi Clifton

Q&A from the webinar

1. Would you recommend changing the background/header image on our profile to use the branding of the company we currently work for?

I would! This is your opportunity to personalise your profile and changing your banner goes a long way to helping make your profile ‘pop’. Your LinkedIn banner can be whatever you choose – you can create your own, use your company branding/images or upload background image templates. I would recommend customising this and making it unique to you.

To access the banner image go:

  • Profile > Edit Profile > Click on Add a background photo

Here are a few ideas around LinkedIn banner templates: https://www.pinterest.nz/tandsgo/linkedin-background-images/ or you can even create your own LinkedIn banner (free) through canva: https://www.canva.com/create/banners/linkedin/

 

2. How do recruiters use LinkedIn to look/search for candidates?

 Recruiters spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and many have a “LinkedIn Recruiter” license which essentially allows us to search the entire LinkedIn platform. Alongside advertising roles through common job boards, LinkedIn allows us access to a large network of ‘passive’ candidates (candidates who may fit our search criteria but may have missed the advert, or those who are not currently looking for a new role but may want to hear about a dream opportunity) as well as those who have indicated they want to hear about new opportunities. We use advanced search features to comb LinkedIn. Some of the most common search fields are: Job Title, Location, Industry, and also Keywords for more technical roles or critical experience required (this would search profiles with that specific keyword appearing at any point throughout the LinkedIn profile and profiles are ordered by the number of times the keyword appears.  We are also able to further refine this by other profile types (e.g. those Open to New Opportunities, those seeking Contract roles etc), as well as qualifications, years of experience, company, previous company, and much more!

With this in mind, it reiterates the importance of ensuring your LinkedIn profile remains up to date and remember to consider using the keywords within your profile that are relevant to the target positions you are seeking.

Important to note, you should not wait and rely on Recruiters to find you through search only – if you are actively seeking a new opportunity and have updated your profile, connect with a few reputable Recruiters who are advertising roles you are interested in and continue to keep an eye on job boards (including signing up for LinkedIn Job alerts!)

 

3. Can you please show us how to update your URL?

  • Click on the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage
  • Click view profile
  • Click Edit public profile & URL in the right rail, click the edit icon next to your public profile URL
  • Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box
  • Click save

 

4. Can you expand on differentiating cv content from LinkedIn profile content please?

CV’s are used for when you are actively seeking a new role and they serve to match your experience and skills with the requirement of the job.

While a LinkedIn profile can be used to connect or be connected with opportunity it also has other benefits including to build and develop your professional brand and network and to stay informed and keep up to date with what is going on in your industry. I like to think of your LinkedIn profile as your digital portfolio of your career journey. Unlike your CV, you don’t need to go into detail around your remit, responsibilities, and achievements/results, within your LinkedIn profile you can build a story and rich narrative around your contribution and add value to the company you work for and it’s a profile readers can interact with.

Here are some helpful tips on How to write a winning CV

 

5. I have realised that my ‘endorsements’ are about a decade old, and some of the skills have long since been re-branded. How best to generate new skills/endorsements? I have just been updating them but clearly the new ones haven’t yet been endorsed.

LinkedIn endorsements are a feature that allows your connections to endorse you for certain skills – they can add validity to your work. There is a limit of 50 skills you can add. If you have removed some skills to make room for more, the endorsements attached to those skills will also be removed (in order to bring these back you’ll need to re-add the skill and type it exactly as it was displayed on your profile). When it comes to skills, and if you want people to acknowledge your skills you can gently remind relevant connections to endorse you (but be careful to not come across as disingenuous). You can also manage your endorsement settings on your profile (through Featured Skills & Endorsements) and select how you want to receive and give endorsements by toggling Yes or No to the right of each option.

 

6. Do you believe there is any value in subscribing to LinkedIn Premium?

This depends on what you want to achieve, but purely for job seeking purposes, in my opinion, I don’t think it is necessary. The huge upside with Premium however, is gaining access to LinkedIn Learning which is an education platform and gives unlimited access to expert-led courses on demand, based on almost any skill or topic that interests you!

 

7. If you haven't been updating your career highlights - should you be retrospectively adding this?

I would recommend taking the time to do this and it all goes towards showing a complete view of your digital portfolio.

 

8. When you talk about publishing an article, should it be written directly as a post or should it be an article saved as a pdf and uploaded?

At the very top of your LinkedIn feed, you will see a box with ‘Start a Post’ and the option to select ‘Write Article’. This is where you can start writing your article and play around with images and formatting (you can save it as a draft until you’re 100% happy with it) – it will officially be shared with your connections and on your feed as soon as you hit Publish. These articles are automatically saved to your profile and you can view them by:

  • Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage
  • Click View profile
  • Scroll down to the Activity section
  • Click See all on the right
  • Click the Articles tab at the top of the page

 

9. On the topic of metrics, what SSI score would you suggest as a goal?

SSI (Social Selling Index) is a score from LinkedIn based on how effectively you portray your professional brand, build relationships, find the right people, and engage with insights. Here is a link to find out your current SSI score: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/the-social-selling-index-ssi (click Get your score free)

There is a lot of debate around whether this is a vanity metric or a valuable tool! Personally, I don’t tend to use this as one of my metrics – but I have met with people who find it useful, many of whom are in sales or digital marketing. I believe it is a good thing to keep an eye on if the areas above are important to you. I can’t comment on what SSI score would be a good goal as I feel it largely depends on your purpose and role.

 

10. Should connections only be people you have connected with professionally.  i.e. no friends at all?

No – your connections absolutely can be a mix of personal and professional – however, remember to keep your comments/content relative to the platform (it’s not Facebook!)

 

11. If people can see you've viewed their profile - is it actually considered a bit creepy if they get an alert? I get nervous about looking at pages of people I look up to/are work inspiration!

I think there are two sides to this – if you’re viewing profiles of people you look up to, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with this at all (not every day of course, but the odd view!). If they see the fact you have viewed them, it is another way for them to keep you front of mind. You can also choose to change your browsing mode and can do this by:

  • Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn page
  • Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown
  • Click the Privacy tab at the top of the page
  • Under the How others see your LinkedIn activity section, click Change next to Profile viewing options
  • Select the mode you would like to browse in

 

12. I'd love to hear your opinion about the "Featured" section and including a CV or not in my profile

The Featured section is reasonably new to LinkedIn (it is located at the top of your profile between the About section and Activity section). If you do not see this feature, you may not be able to access it yet – it’s gradually being rolled out to all members. I do not (yet) have access to this feature but based on my reading this is an area allowing you to showcase your skills more prominently – e.g. sharing your best articles or videos, highlighting projects etc. Again, this is another way of differentiating yourself, customising your profile, and making it more personal to you. It’s a section I’m looking forward to having access to and experimenting with!

When it comes to adding a CV to your LinkedIn Profile, my personal opinion is not to (I’m sure there will be others who strongly disagree!). My concern with this is more around protecting your own privacy and uploading your CV to your profile will mean your job search is no longer private. I also strongly feel that if your LinkedIn profile is well written and contains enough information for a new Hiring Manager/Recruiter to learn more about you they will be able to make the decision there and then around whether you are worth contacting.