So for the past few years I have consistently been hearing the debate regarding the importance of having an exceptional CV versus an exceptional LinkedIn profile. Here's the thing - it shouldn't be a debate any longer, the no.1 platform for finding a job and talent is LinkedIn.

A lot of the time, people have a great looking CV with a mediocre LinkedIn profile. To be clear - having a great looking CV is important but LinkedIn is your real first impression with potential employers and hiring managers. Did you know that 83% of people will check your LinkedIn profile before taking a meeting or interview?

Your CV may look and read very well but no-one can see that publicly, your LinkedIn profile can be viewed by EVERYONE. So make sure you are making the right first impression, invest in your own personal brand by taking the time to fill out your details correctly. Would you work for a company who's website is half done or 'under construction?' The same now applies to you as a potential candidate.

For those of you struggling to make a great first impression online, here's a few quick tips:

  • The profile picture - make sure the image fits well, it's a professional looking photo (not one of you at a wedding!) This is your professional image, people are looking at you and making assumptions, whether you like it or not.
  • The Headline - this is limited to 120 characters and offers a unique chance to showcase your individual job title/talent or skillset. LinkedIn automatically populates this with your job title but don't miss a chance to stand out from the crowd
  • The summary; depending on your level of seniority and the purpose for you being on LinkedIn, I always recommend you avoid writing this in third person format. It's more conversational and people feel like they can relate to your experience quicker.
  • Complete your work history and experience in a similar way that you complete your CV. Give insights into achievements, project involvement, day to day duties and a brief company overview. Be sure to include job locations also!
  • Similar to your experience, be sure to fill out your academic background and include results if you feel it's appropriate. All of this information is searchable by talent acquisition teams or headhunters
  • The rest - to gain an "all star profile" on LinkedIn you must have minimum 5 skills listed with a max of 50. Don't get too carried away here.
  • Testimonials/Recommendations are important to build credibility to your profile. If you have senior individuals endorsing you for your work ethic, professionalism and/or impact on business this will absolutely set you apart from the rest.

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