linkedinLinkedIn has revolutionised the way progress our careers, both when we are actively seeking a new opportunity and when we are being headhunted for our next potential career move.

LinkedIn is the first port of call for recruiters and employers when looking for the right candidate to fill an exciting new position, which makes the first line they read about you vitally important.

That first line is your headline on your LinkedIn profile, and those 120 characters can help you make the best first impression possible.

Perfecting Your LinkedIn Headline

When you first started out on the professional network, LinkedIn will have automatically used your job title and work place as your headline. When you created your account, LinkedIn used your job title and place of work as your headline.

If you want to stand out and grab the attention of potential employers then this needs to change ASAP. Use those 120 characters to not just let people know not just where you work or what position you currently hold there, but what you bring to the company.

Showcase your talents by let people what you do as part of your job and what problems you can offer solutions for. Your headline should answer the following questions for anyone reading it:

·         What’s their profession?

·         What are their strengths in this current profession?

·         How do they contribute to their current employer?

It’s also important to ensure that your headline has keywords in that will allow you to be found in searches for people with your particular skills/profession. Recruiters often use the search function when headhunting for a position, so make sure your headline contains keywords that are related to the next career move you are looking to make.

Getting The Rest Of Your LinkedIn Profile Right

Your headline plays a vital role in maximising your efforts on LinkedIn, but there are also other aspects of your profile that need to be considered to boost your job hunting success.

Your Image – They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and your LinkedIn profile image is no exception. This is the first visual the potential employer or recruiter will see of you, so it’s important to have a strong, professional picture on your profile. No posing selfies or images taken from your holiday last year. The best image to use is a head and shoulders shot of you smiling, taken by a friend or colleague against a simple background.

Your Summary – In a similar way to the personal summary on a CV, this section should be used to further showcase your individual strengths and talents and distinguish yourself from others in your profession. Use further keywords and phrases that describe what you can bring to an organisation and will help your profile get found in the right searches. You also have the opportunity to add images/videos, documents and more to your profile summary, so use these to showcase work or achievements you are particularly proud of, such as awards, etc.

Think of your LinkedIn profile not only as a networking tool but also as a virtual CV. It can be a valuable tool in helping you progress your career and find exciting new opportunities. Making sure you keep it up to date and make the most of all the sections and features available to you will help you to get the most out of LinkedIn as a networking/job-hunting tool.