One of the questions our team of procurement Recruitment Consultants gets asked a lot is, "How can I improve my LinkedIn profile?" - so Hayley Packham, Procurement Heads' Operations Director, shares some of her advice.
There are a number of quick and simple things you can do to not only improve your visibility but increase your network on the platform.
Types of things you want to be doing are completeness.
There’s something on LinkedIn called All-Star status, and there are certain things you need to do in order to achieve that.
One of those is having at least 50 connections, which I’m sure most of you do have.
Unless you’re new to the platform, you need to have listed two past employment positions and a current position. Treat this as an online CV.
So, within those positions, you want to get as much detail out in terms of the achievements.
What you’re responsible for, the impact that you’ve made on an organisation, industry, location and education information is really as well.
So those are the five key things that you need to do to achieve an All-Star status.
What that means is you are more searchable in the open market, not only to recruiters, but prospective employers as well.
Clearly, a profile picture needs to be a professional headshot, I don’t mean professionally taken by a photographer, but it does need to be a professional photo, so no selfies, please!
A headshot will suffice and then you’ll notice you have a banner in the background, if you are currently working for an employer, it’d be really good to put the company’s banner in the background. If you’re not working, find something professional that reflects the industry that you’re in rather than leave it blank – again – it just makes your profile stand out more than others.
When recruiters are searching for candidates for prospective jobs, you are three times more likely to be contacted if you have a profile photo, so please do bear that in mind.
The headline piece is probably the most important because that is entirely searchable for recruiters and employers.
So, beneath your name, there is essentially a strapline that you can fill out that showcases who you are.
You want to include the industry that you’re in, so, if it’s procurement, I would be putting something like Head of Procurement or Procurement Category Manager and listing that category.
If it’s professional services or commodity-based then include the location that you’re in.
Because when recruiters want to look for you and match you to roles, that headline is fully searchable for us, so that needs to contain as much detail as possible.
You’ve got about 150 characters to play with, but use that as a vehicle to become more visible in the market.
Networking and groups are really important, there are loads of relevant groups to your industry on the internet to join and be part of and start networking.
There are many opportunities here to actually get in front of prospective employers, so you never know what the opportunities might lead to but you do need to be visible.
You do need to be sharing information in those groups, you need to be sharing content on your LinkedIn profile that is relevant to the industry that you’re working in and you need to start connecting with people.
If there are businesses that you are interested in, follow them.
If there are key decision-makers in those businesses, connect with them, they may not always connect with you back, but what you can do if you follow somebody is to actually comment on their content, which means that you are still instantly visible.
So there are a few really good tips.
If you are immediately available or you have your open to work banner, there is a featured section in LinkedIn, and I would advise you to actually attach your CV as a PDF document because again if somebody’s looking at your profile and is potentially interested, they can also then click on the CV to get some more information.
Lastly, follow any hashtags that are relevant to you. Once again this makes you more visible and gets you in front of the right people and also make sure that you’re networking in the right spaces.
I do have a LinkedIn guide called Getting Market Ready, that I’d be more than happy to share with anyone in my network.
If you just drop me an email email@example.com I’ll send that over to you and that just goes in a little bit more detail about what I’ve discussed this morning. I hope that helps.
About the author
Hayley Packham is one of our Senior Procurement Recruitment Consultants as well as being Procurement Heads’ Operations Director. She typically recruits procurement roles such as; Heads of Procurement and Procurement Directors, Category Leads and Managers and Senior Category Managers.