Standing out from the crowd: the second instalment in our series for candidates.

Over the years, I’ve seen many changes to the recruitment process.  What hasn’t changed, though, is the importance of making the right impression and being able to communicate your suitability for the role you are applying for.  In our second blog about standing out from the crowd, I share my top 5 tips for getting the most from your LinkedIn profile. 

In very simple terms, successful job searching is all about selling yourself to a potential employer; and LinkedIn is increasingly being used as a shop window.  The platform gives candidates an opportunity to showcase their skills and suitability for a role.  It also gives employers valuable insights into candidates and opportunities to proactively target the best people.  So what can you do to make sure LinkedIn is showing you off in the best possible light? 

Here are my top 5 LinkedIn tips based on my experience working in the finance and accounting recruitment sector.  I would also highly recommend checking out LinkedIn’s own ‘how to’ guides before writing or editing your profile. 

  1. Say cheese!  I am still amazed by how many LinkedIn profiles don’t have a photo at all.  You don’t want it to appear that you have something to hide, so choose a profile photo, but choose carefully.  Make sure your photo says the right thing about you – remember, first impressions count.  Keep it professional – a well-lit, head and shoulders photo with a neutral background is what you are aiming for – preferably wearing work attire.
  2. In a nutshell.  Remember to complete the short summary that appears just below your name.  This is an opportunity to briefly describe yourself in a nutshell, but be careful of falling into the trap of simply listing a string of over-used buzzwords.  I find it’s useful to say what you do and for whom.
  3. Sell, sell, sell!  The ‘About’ section is your opportunity to tell your story, bring to life the skills that matter, and explain how you add value to the people and organisations that you work for.  This is your opportunity to sell yourself.
  4. Mind the Gap!  Candidates may take breaks in their career for a variety of reasons such as travel, raising a family, caring responsibilities, or redundancy.  Career breaks are only a problem if you try to hide them or when they are not explained clearly.  Honesty is always the best policy, so list your breaks and provide a short positive overview of what you gained from that experience.
  5. Keep it fresh.  Your LinkedIn profile needs to show a potential employer what you interested in and that you are engaging in current issues and discussions.  Who do you follow?  What groups do you belong to?  Keep content fresh by posting responses to relevant articles of interest or by publishing your own posts and articles.  Share content that you find genuinely interesting and that aligns with your core values and point of view. 


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Darran Crellin
Director, Fletcher George Financial Recruitment