A good LinkedIn profile can be an open door

Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér

In Denmark, about two millions already have a LinkedIn profile. These are managers, HR people, and recruitment companies, that uses the media actively when they hire.

“We know from Rekrutteringsanalysen 2016 that 67 percent research a future employee via LinkedIn, and that 95 percent check references of future employees. That’s why it’s important that your profile is sharp,” says Anna Lørup, senior consultant af Akademikernes A-kasse, where she hosts workshops in effective usage of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a good tool for companies. They can get an overview of whom they are working with, and where to draw references, but it is also a tool for applicants to get on the companies radar.
“As an applicant, tour references and recommendations on LinkedIn helps you establish a relation, before the relation happens. All in all, the simpler, smarter, and more precise you can present the information about yourself, the stronger you stand – especially as a recent graduate, who don’t have much experience to brag about,” she says.
As a recent graduate it may be a challenge that your network is underdeveloped.
“But then you have to think creatively and use whatever network you have. There will always be a students counsellor, an exam supervisor, and a long list of classmates who may be done and is moving on, who will put in a good word for you. All in all, it’s about connecting with everyone who knows your professional profile and can recommend you,” she says.
Here are Anna Lørup’s five best pointers on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile:

Use the space ­effectively
Some spaces are searchable on LinkedIn. Here it is important to be so precise that your profile appears in the right searches. In the first lines after your name, you have 120 characters available to describe your work title, your level, area of expertise, and core competences in keywords. Use the space effectively down to the last letter.

Get inspiration from others
If you are not that wordy, it may be hard to find the right keywords. Then it is a good idea to think about the competences you acquired during your studies. It may be words like production optimization, project management, or quality control. You can also look for inspiration from others with the same educational background, or in job listings, where you can see what employers are searching for in the positions you would like to apply for.

Describe yourself – short and sweet.
In the field after your name and keywords, you have the chance to describe who you are, what you can contribute with, and what you want. The description should be an appetizer for the employer, where you sell yourself. Write short and sweet – not too short, but exactly long enough that you awaken some interest. Write a draft in Word before you write in the LinkedIn form online. Show it to classmates and others to get feedback.

Use LinkedIn as a human library
Read others’ profiles and get inspired by them. Some are afraid to do so, because it leaves traces – but forget about that, and do it openly. Write to them you have looked up, who you think look interesting. Use the chance to compliment them and connect with them, preferably with a nice greeting and a reason. For instance: we don’t know each other, but I can see that you are also an engineer, and that we work within the same field. Do you want to join my network, so we can share knowledge?

As an applicant, tour references and recommendations on LinkedIn helps you establish a relation, before the relation happens.”
Anna Lørup, senior consultant in Akademikernes A-kasse

Keep your profile warm
It is your actions that determine how visible you become. Therefore: use your profile regularly – minimum a few times a week. More importantly, broaden your network. Many make the mistake of thinking that their network is the ones they have. You should rather think that your network can grow with those you do not yet have, but could have, who can help you along. It is also important that you react, that is, like, share, comment, or post. It says something about who you are, what you are interested in, and how you work in dialogue with others. You may consider thinking strategically, and only being active on LinkedIn within your ‘brand’ and expertise.
If you choose this strategy, you have to remember it in relation to posts, likes, shares, and comments. It is a good idea to think your strategy through. You have to know: what you want to achieve, and what your goal is – do you want contacts, shared knowledge, or to search for information?