When you think about embarking on the job search and finding a new role, what are the most important things that you should update? Almost everyone we speak to would say “my resume”, and they wouldn’t be wrong.
But with over 600 million users worldwide, and 11.2 million users in Australia, people are neglecting one of the largest available networking tools only a click away on a mobile app; and this tool – if used optimally, can be the difference for you and your job search.
So, it’s time to start looking for a new role; your CV is complete, your latest job is at the top, your systems, achievements and contact details are all up to date, and you are ready to start sending it out via job boards, to recruiters and to people in your network.
Why stop there? Linkedin has become one of the most relevant sites for both job seekers and hiring managers, providing helpful content, the chance to connect with ex-colleagues who you may have lost contact with, access to job postings and Instant Messaging that potentially give you a direct link to the people you want to work for! So having an insightful, detailed and personalised profile is only going to aid you further.
Here are 10 LinkedIn tips that will help you optimize your profile:
1. Take a New Profile Picture, or choose a professional one
It goes without saying, this is your first impression on Linkedin, and although photoshoots aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, it's easier than ever to take a high-quality picture on an iPhone or Android these days!
Dress like you would for work (smart casual, open collar, blouse) whatever fits your industry and personality the best
Feel free to smile, it isn’t a passport photo! You want your profile to feel engaging and welcoming from the outset
Ensure that it is only you in the picture, and more importantly more of a “close-up” of your head and shoulders – you ideally don’t want to be cropping other people’s heads out or be so far in the distance that all we can see is your suit from the races that one weekend in 2008
2. Stand Out Headline
Your headline (along with your name and profile photo) is the first thing that appears when you come up in someone’s search, you want this to grab attention and explain who you are almost instantly.
Headlines can reflect your current role:
Financial Controller @ Richard Lloyd
Audit Manager @ KPMG
Or, they can reflect what your skillset is and what you are looking for:
CA | FP&A | Financial Analyst | Management Accountant
Part-CPA qualified Assistant Accountant – seeking new opportunities
3. Complete your “About Me”
So, you’ve attracted people to your Linkedin Profile, they’ve been interested enough in your headline and your friendly yet professional photo makes them feel comfortable. Now, the first thing they will see is your “About Me”. LinkedIn already asks you to fill this in the “optimise” your profile section, but when completing this section, don't be too generic or too vague. Approach your “About Me” as a simply:
Summary of your skills and experience
A little bit about your career journey/locations
What you are looking for (if seeking a new role)
Who you are currently, for example:
CA qualified Financial Analyst, with over 5 years within the Big-4, Media and Entertainment industries. Having completed my CA exams, I travelled around Europe, settling in the UK for 2 years and working in finance contracts; returning to Sydney in 2021.
Currently seeking Senior Accountant, Management Accountant and FP&A roles in Sydney.
With 2 years of experience as an Accounts Officer, I embarked on my CPA after completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at Macquarie University. I joined Richard Lloyd as an Assistant Accountant in May 2021 to further develop my accounting skills.
You can be as creative as you like, and you can update your "About Me" description depending on where you are currently in your career, but the idea is to make it short and snappy, with enough about you to intrigue the reader into wanting to know more.
4. Add your Education / Certifications
It comes as no surprise that the accounting profession is one that is heavily reliant upon not just experience but often higher education and professional qualifications. You probably are always asked about these in interviews and meetings with recruiters, so making it very clear on your LinkedIn is a must.
Under the “Education” section on your LinkedIn page, you can add as little or as much information as is relevant, but a great way to add this in would be:
Years of study/completion
Summary of result and relevant modules/exams taken (optional)
Repeat this for your Bachelors, Masters (if applicable) and CPA/CA/CIMA qualifications, even if they are only partially completed.
5. Align but don’t copy your resume
This is probably one of the most important parts of LinkedIn and it is founded on being able to demonstrate your skills and experience - so not updating your roles and duties is a big faux pas!
It’s vital to stress that you want to match your resume, but not copy it verbatim. Nobody is wanting to sit and scroll through a long list of your responsibilities; so instead of copying and pasting, summarise what you have been involved in to highlight what level you are at and what your capabilities are.
6. Utilise the learning hub
LinkedIn isn’t just for networking and being seen, over the years they have developed some great tools for members to use. Short courses on leadership to introductions to ERPs and BI tools for Accountants are also on offer.
Learning and developing is always important, and is a great investment in yourself and your career. Some courses do come at a cost, or you can purchase a monthly subscription, but it is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning, especially if you are between roles. Some popular courses that are worth exploring are:
Accounting Foundations: Understanding GAAP
Becoming a Bookkeeper
Excel for Accountants
Power BI Essential training
SAP ERP Essential training
Financial Modelling and Forecasting Financial Statements
There are also a whole host of videos and interactive study links. Now, these won’t necessarily mean you are ready to jump straight into a role you haven't had experience in, but it does demonstrate your eagerness and ability to learn, which is key to progressing in the accounting profession.
7. Expand your network
LinkedIn is a networking tool and a very powerful one. With the lack of actual face-to-face networking events, it is becoming increasingly important to accounting professionals at all levels.
After updating and putting so much into your new-look LinkedIn profile, you want people to see it. This doesn’t mean just adding all of your friends and colleagues – but that is a good start. You will also want to reach outside of your network to industry leaders, people from companies you find interesting and inspiring and recruiters too!
The more specific and targeted your LinkedIn connections are, the more likely you are to have relevant and helpful posts in your feed. It is also a great way to interact with people in similar roles, share ideas, see what other companies are doing and come across job postings too.
8. Customise your URL
This is a small feature on Linkedin and relatively unknown, but one that is quite important and can only strengthen your profile and professionalism. We recently touched on this in a previous blog – it‘s a 30-second process that can benefit you in the job search. The reasons being:
It looks neater when using it on your resume
Demonstrates IT literacy
It shows that your personal brand is important to you
Is more personal to you!
9. Check your profile strength
When coming to the end of updating your profile, there is a handy feature that helps to guide you on what is still to be completed and what you have already done. This is a great way to measure just how robust your profile appears and when you’ve added all of the relevant content will increase further.
How to view the Profile Strength:
This is aimed to help you fill in any blanks that you may have missed. By completing all of the sections will increase the discoverability of your profile and the likelihood of you appearing in more profile searches.
10. Start Engaging!
Now that you have a full-strength profile, made connections across your industry and profession, and maybe taken advantage of courses that are available, it is time to engage!
All in all, LinkedIn is a Social Media platform, so start to like interesting posts, comment on things that interest you and spark up conversations. You have a wealth of knowledge to share from your experiences and starting to build your own personal brand on LinkedIn will get you noticed!
It’s a professional platform, of course, and we see a range of comments and posts every day, but that one comment or like may lead to more connections, more messages and more opportunities for you!
Understandably Social Media isn’t for everybody, but creating a professional, interesting and engaging LinkedIn online presence is a great step (second only to creating a great resume!) towards finding a new role or new mentors.
If you would like any further support or have any questions for one of our team members at Richard Lloyd, please contact us here.