As LinkedIn has become a more of a reliable vehicle for finding influencers, prospects, partners and new talent, your LinkedIn profile is more important than ever. As you look for work in Canada it is essential that you do all that you can to make your LinkedIn profile as professional as possible.
1. Capture your good side
For your LinkedIn photo, you need to have to use a high-quality, professional headshot. It is ideal that you use one that is sized at 400 by 400 pixels. In the LinkedIn settings of your profile, you should also make sure that the picture is visible to everyone. To do this click Edit Public Profile and set your picture visibility to Public. This will make it much more visible in searches when employers are looking for people with your skill set and experience. It should go without saying that your background should be plain and your dress formal. The last thing that you want a potential employer seeing is a picture that was obviously taken in a bar or on holiday.
2. Make your headline attractive
You need to keep the headline of your LinkedIn page shorter than 120 characters. It is even better if you keep it shorter. Including industry relevant keywords is essential. This will allow potential employers to find your page with greater ease. You also need to make sure that your summary is short, to the point, and interesting. A hiring manager will have read thousands of these over the years and you need to make yours stand out.
One major trend emerging on LinkedIn is that people are starting to focus on future goals and ambitions. Instead of focusing on what you did years ago, you should think about discussing some future goals and ambitions. This mindset is perfect for many new immigrants and will excite potential Canadian employers.
3. Relevant experience is more important
Listing your past experience is important for your LinkedIn profile. You should be mindful that some of your past experience may not be at all related to the career you want to pursue in Canada. Don’t list all your previous jobs—unless they’re relevant to your current career aspirations. Instead, focus on the workplaces and experiences that paint your professional credentials in a positive light. On an ongoing basis, it is essential that you remember to update your current position, too. If you’ve received a promotion, won an award, published an article or are involved in an interesting project, it makes sense to update your profile accordingly.
4. Certifications are eye-catching
Add whatever notable skills, certification or abilities you have, and ask your friends and colleagues to endorse you. Many training programs or skills will have badges that you can add to your LinkedIn profile. Update this section regularly—or at least whenever you learn a new skill. You should also delete skills that are no longer relevant to your career interests.
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5. Personalize your URL
In the upper-right corner of your profile, you’ll see “Edit public profile and URL.” Click it. You will have probably been given a default URL that is a little clunky. You can edit this here. You should make it as clean as possible. Perhaps, your full name if it has not already been taken by someone else. If it has, consider a variation including your middle initial. This step is important as it will allow you to add this link to your resume and online job applications and look as professional as possible.
6. Endorsements are important
Asking your family, friends, coworkers and former colleagues is an essential first step in getting the endorsements that you need on your LinkedIn profile. Substantive, descriptive recommendations from former or current colleagues are perhaps the most persuasive piece of content you can have on your LinkedIn profile. Write recommendations for others freely, and be bold about asking for friends to return the favour.
7. Post articles
This is a great way to demonstrate that you are keeping up to date with industry news and trends. If you’re looking for search visibility, LinkedIn isn’t necessarily the best place to add articles. However, publishing articles is a great way to show off your expertise. You can either post articles that you find in your news feed published by others. Or you could write your own. Writing your own will give you a chance to really show off your skill set. It’s a good idea to write a new post every 2-3 months. This will keep the content on that you post up to date. It will also show employers that you are engaged and active.
8. Make it personal
When you add someone new to your network, make sure that you send a message explaining your reason for wanting to connect with them. If you don’t already know them, and all you do is send the default connection request it will probably be ignored. Your message does not need to be too long or detailed. Adding a personal touch will go a long way to ensuring that the person that you are looking to contact will see value in the connection.