More Than the Degree

8 Tips to A Successful LinkedIn Strategy

Over 600 million users are on LinkedIn. It has become one of the largest social media platforms used by hiring managers, CEOs and employees. In fact, according to a LinkedIn study done in 2021, 71% of the hiring managers cross-check a candidate’s resume over their LinkedIn profile. Therefore, it is vital that as an aspiring individual aiming to kickstart their career in tech, you get these 7 elements spot on.

  1. The fundamentals. Fill in your email address. Location. Full-name.

Example: [email protected] | Espoo, Finland | John Doe

Hot tip: You can personalize your LinkedIn link by going on the settings option on the top-right corner of the page and customizing your link to fit your profile best. The page will refresh once you make the changes.

  1. A professional, good-looking image of yourself. This is a prerequisite nowadays, thus make sure to have a front-on, friendly picture that represents who you are. A nice tool that exists online is Profile Picture Maker which adds creative backgrounds to your portrait while keeping the outlook professional. To complete a good-looking portrait, include a background image as well. There are several users who miss out on depicting a good profile when they do not put a background image.

  2. Your title. This is pretty much your identity on LinkedIn. While it may be easy to put “Aspiring Data Analyst” or “Actively Searching for Jobs in Data Analysis”; you should aim for differentiation and strategic positioning.

This can be done by identifying three key pointers. Firstly, think about your topic of interest - “graphic design”, “data analysis”. Now, consider a time where you have challenged yourself the most and been able to achieve consistent results. Now, narrate that into your title using numerical figures.

Example: “I code every day in JavaScript and TypeScript” or “I help clients build amazing websites”.

For data analysts: “I deconstruct large datasets into visual figures to make smarter business decisions”. Secondly, it would be important to highlight between 1-3 of your core skills, using a pipe function |. This could be a framework or two that you are really good at.

Thirdly, although not mandatory, you can express your current workplace or university: “Master’s student at Maastricht University in (insert field)”. This is good if it strengthens your area of (potential) work.

  1. The about section - typically this is where most of the users struggle with. LinkedIn provides you with 3000 characters. Use them to explain at least three elements if not more.

a) In 2-3 sentences what are your major strengths and back them up with numerical figures. b) What are your major accomplishments (2-3) regarding the work that you are interested in. c) A call-to-action to keep the conversation going.

Key tip: If you are changing career paths, include a separate section to indicate why you are doing so, what your journey is like and where do you see yourself in the next 1-2 years.

Areeb’s LinkedIn About Example

Lead Career Growth at Integrify with 2+ years experience building career workshops, driving recruitment in previous companies and contributing to a scalable model of graduates from Integrify getting into jobs. + Maintained 70% average quota attainment of graduates from Integrify getting into jobs upon 5 months of completion of their programme. + Prospected and hired up to 10 key positions for a start-up that raised over 1 million euros through crowdfunding campaign. + Drove over 40+ candidates for the largest university in Finland to contribute to 200k+ euros by in-person visits and presentations. + Cricket-team player for Finland outside work competing at a high-level from 2019. “Areeb is an absolute pleasure to work with. He has a strong work ethic and motivates his team to achieve and exceed quarterly objectives.” – [Supervisor, Company] I get excited about opportunities to help people get into jobs they like that drive growth for both themselves and the company they prefer to work with, specifically in the world of tech/digital. Want to connect? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

  1. Ramp up your profile’s creativity with a video section and creators mode topic-listing. For the LinkedIn video tool that pops up in addition to your profile picture, you need to install LinkedIn on your smartphone. From there, you can add a 30-second video recording of yourself.

Consider it an elevator pitch, where you have to give a short introduction, talk about your value to the business world with an example and if possible a call-to-action. This will increase the visibility and attractiveness of your LinkedIn profile.

Secondly, under the resources section you can turn on the creator mode. This feature allows you to add up to five topics that interest you.

For instance, #datamining, #javascript, #react #bitcoin, #software, #recruitment.

  1. A featured section adds credibility to your LinkedIn profile. From the top right corner, you can choose to add a featured section where you can include your “own posts”, certifications, your own portfolio to stand out (highly recommended), projects or any accomplishments.

This makes it easier for recruiters to view your Github profile and projects right away.

  1. Goes without saying, but add a paragraph or bullet points to your work experiences. This is great practice for your resume especially if you start with high-impact action verbs to showcase your impact on the firm.

Even though your work experiences may be irrelevant to the roles you will apply for, it is good to include at least 3-5 years of work experiences to reinforce your soft skills and leadership skills. For starters, you can add Integrify as a “Full-Stack Developer Trainee” or “Data Analysis Trainee” under options of full-time; contract or apprenticeship.

As a student, it is good to start early and creating a creative LinkedIn profile which you can build upon with more work experiences and projects.

  1. Skills and recommendations. Opt for at least 30 skills - LinkedIn lets you add up to 50 skills. You can focus on adding 15-20 technical skills such as “HTML”; “CSS”, “Python”, “ TypeScript” and then interpersonal skills such as communication, leadership, management. Share your profile with your peers to get endorsed for your skills. It significantly helps your profile’s visibility.

Likewise, ask for recommendations and give them back. This does not need to be more than a paragraph but it matters for “first impressions”, especially if you are able to obtain strong recommendations.

- Areeb, first year master's student at Aalto University School of Business

Screen capture from Areeb's LinkedIn profile
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