Unless you’re actively looking for a job, it might be easy to ignore your LinkedIn profile. And this approach is more than understandable. After all, LinkedIn isn’t exactly your typical “fun” social media platform. It’s not where you and your friends exchange memes and videos of dogs.

But truth be told, as a digital recruitment company, we know there’s a lot of benefits to be gained from ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is in top-notch shape, always updated, and the best it can be.

It can sometimes feel selfish or a little self-centred to focus on marketing ourselves, but the reality is that when we neglect personal branding, it’s also a big missed opportunity from a professional and marketing standpoint. And in the professional world, your LinkedIn Profile is the heart of your personal branding.

Choose a great photo

Some say your LinkedIn Profile is like your digital business card. Well, we think the profile photo you pick for your LinkedIn Profile is the business card of that digital business card. As visual creatures, images strike us before words do. Make sure that the first strike is a winning one.

Make your headline more just a job title

But be sure to stay on course. You can make your LinkedIn Profile headline by sharing a bit about, what you do, why you love what you do or how you view your role. The more you can be specific about why you stand out from your peers, the better. There’s no reason for you to just stick to your job title or company when writing your headline. In fact, if you’re actively looking for a job, we suggest against it. Something like “passionate about designing great user experiences” or “helping to develop world-class mobile applications” or “project manager, pet lover, amateur basketball player” are all great examples of a LinkedIn headline.

Get more out of your target job descriptions

When you’re scoping out the platform for ideal jobs, keep note of the job descriptions that you come across. The words that stand out the most are the ones that most recruiters likely use when they’re looking for talent like yourself. You can create a browser folder and save the links for jobs you apply for as shortcuts in that folder so when someone calls you back you are not left asking them what job they are referring to (because you have applied for so many).

Write a winning About Section (FKA Summary Section)

An ideal LinkedIn Profile About section should walk the reader through your key skills, work passions, unique qualifications, and a range of industries you’ve been exposed to over the years. You should be able to cover all that in about 3 to 5 short paragraphs. Make sure to include something about your values and personality, remember that recruiters and employers look for a culture fit, not just a technical fit.

Steer clear of buzzwords

And when we say steer clear of them, we really mean avoid them like the plague. We’re talking about words like expert, entrepreneur, industry leader, guru, experienced, skilled, motivated, strategic, passionate and other similar ones. These words are the most overused words on LinkedIn. And if you ask us, we think you can do way better than that. Try to be more specific around what you do and what value you can bring to a potential employer.

Write as if you’re talking to your target recruiters

It’s easy to consider your LinkedIn Profile as if it were a CV or a resume. And in some ways, it is. But never in the sense that it’s a piece of paper with information about your professional life, and not much else. Try to tell a story to the reader, make it interesting and compelling and include contact information to make it easy for people to reach you.

Don’t forget to highlight your achievements

Effective recruiters know to target high performers when they’re looking for talent on LinkedIn. So it would be in your best interest to highlight your achievements and accomplishments on the About and Experiences section of your LinkedIn Profile. Highlight accomplishments such as promotions, times you’ve been handpicked for projects, contributions to the team and company and what you’re great at doing. This is the place to showcase your strengths and attributes.

Bonus: Get a custom URL

When you first sign up for a LinkedIn account, you are assigned a clunky combination of numbers as your URL. From a marketing viewpoint, it would be much easier to publicise yourself if your URL is custom (think: LinkedIn.com/YourName) not to mention it just looks cooler and has a more “official” feel to it.

Need some extra tips to improve your LinkedIn profile? Start the conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing office@redwolfrosch.com.au or calling 1300 544 652.