Over the past few years, LinkedIn has become an essential personal branding tool (even in the Czech Republic with 600 000+ users as of September 2014). I will discuss few tips how to make it outstanding and valuable for potential recruiters. This article is a summary of a presentation provided by Tomáš Dušenka, a professional recruiter at Česká spořitelna, #1 on the Czech bank market with more than 650 branches and around 10,000 employees.

Before you start to update your profile it’s a good idea to turn off the notifications (you can do it in the right sidebar while editing). Your followers won’t be then spammed by all the minor changes you have made and saved. You can turn it on when you are almost done (for example with your Summary updates) to let them know your profile has changed.

General Section

  • Good photo = 40% of success. Try to avoid blurred or party photos. Imagine you are the recruiter and would like to hire yourself.
  • Publish your name without academic degree or other titles. Use your name without diacritics. No worries, LinkedIn will find you even without them ;-)

Headline

Headline is the place where you can distinguish yourself from others. Promote yourself. Headline and summary are the first fields recruiters (or anyone searching for suitable candidates) see.

  • Describe you position in a way it’s obvious what you do or what you are interested in. Do not write just the title of the position (“HR Specialist”). Get inspired by top headlines but do not copy them!
  • Edit the URL of you profile to make it readable by humans (for instance www.linkedin/in/petrzak1)

Summary

It should reflect your story. There is a lot of space for your job titles further, this is the place to promote yourself in a personalized way.

  • Write it in the “I” form. I did, I succeeded, etc.
  • You can introduce the company you are currently working for and describe what you do for it.
  • Even though you can’t use formatting, there are several symbols you can use, see Symbols to spice up your LinkedIn profile
  • Claim why someone should contact you

My Experience

This is the most important part.

  • Write in points
  • You can divide every position in sections “What were your responsibilities”, “What results you have achieved”, “What you have learned”
  • Describe everything clearly, write it for your 90 years old grandma or 10 years old brother ;-)

Skills

  • At the beginning it’s fair to mentioned 10-15 skills. More could be suspiscious (Do you really know all of these?)

Education

  • Add you Bachelor’s/Master’s thesis
  • If you are currently studying but not finished yet, state the year you suppose you will receive you degree (it will appear there as “Expected”)

Volunteering, Additional Awards and Honors

  • Have you volunteered?
  • Have you awars any prize?
  • Definitely write it down!

What else?

  • The more people see your profile the better (obvious, I know :-)).
  • Use synonyms as well as abbreviations.
  • Use key words.
  • Be active, extend you network.
  • Add yourself to different groups according to your interests to get updates and job opportunities.
  • Keep you profile up-to-date and relevant
  • Add link to your LinkedIn profile to your email signature (either text or button)