Session 2 - LinkedIn - The critical 1st impression - Lucy Singleton

22 September 2017

Career Strategy Day

LinkedIn – The Critical First Impression

Lucy Singleton, Personal Branding Specialist at Your Spark

How the recruitment process really works

With the job market radically changing, the recruitment process and how you position yourself within the market has also changed significantly. An estimated 80% of jobs are in the “hidden market” and many companies have moved to internal recruitment. What does this mean for you?

In terms of CV’s:

  • You need to grab their attention and tick all their boxes to make the shortlist;

  • You have 10-20 seconds to make an impact;

  • Tailor your CV to the job description – what are they looking for?

As for LinkedIn screening:

  • More and more recruiters are using LinkedIn to find candidates;

  • This is your chance to highlight what you do – what’s your passion?

  • Keyword optimisation is the key on LinkedIn

  • Gives prospective employers a snapshot of who you are and what your skill set looks like.


Secrets of a Strong LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is as important as ever in today’s market and plays a crucial role in somebody being noticed. Many talented people are struggling to get interviews as they are failing to be noticed.

  • An estimated 80% of Australian professionals are on LinkedIn;

  • LinkedIn provides a quick snapshot of both your professional skills and cultural fit;

  • It’s the best way to be found in the hidden job market;

  • It is like a virtual ‘coffee meeting’ that may get you an interview.


Be strategic and plan your professional profile and ask yourself the following:

  • What are your goals?

  • What’s ‘your brand’? Your profile is like a glossy brochure of your CV;

  • What are your keywords? This is very important – your keywords will drive potential employers to your profile;

  • How do you want to be found?

  • If your dream job was advertised, what would this look like? Write a list of what they are and work out the priority and list them as your keywords.


How can you ‘back it up’? For example, what are the attributes that make you stand out?

  • What are the reasons to believe in you?

  • Thinking around how you back up your ‘brand’ that you want out in the market.


What’s appropriate?

  • What are your ethics?

  • There is a big difference between your CV and LinkedIn profile. Keep in mind that less is more – before you fill out your profile, think about these elements and think about your brand story.


Another tip is to turn OFF notifications, and to remember to always keep your profile up to date.


The header section is critical for LinkedIn searches

  • A professional picture really does matter as this is 90% of whether someone wants to meet with you. You want to look warm and engaging;

  • Choose your headline style: What is going to give you the edge when potential employers are looking for you?

  • Current role/title, with a generic role description. It is a great idea to include a sales pitch or benefit statement – something catchy!

  • An engaging summary makes people want to meet you – be authentic – 80% of a hire is based on cultural fit;

  • RESEARCH – what are employers using in their job adverts?


Remember you are not defined by your current job!

  • LinkedIn is all about who you are and what you can offer potential employers;

  • People will see you as the potential of what you can bring, not the box you are in at the moment;

  • BE what you are promoting.


Career Summary and Experience – this is what matters most to people looking at your profile:

  • Remember that it is not a CV;

  • Keep dates and titles up to date;

  • Ensure company logos are visible;

  • Brief descriptions – the most detail needs to be on your current role;

  • Remember to include examples of what you enjoyed most about the role;

  • Don’t be afraid to combine roles – for example, where you have been promoted within an organisation;

  • Use media (where you can showcase products you have worked on);

  • Job titles – if your role is referred to as something else in another organisation, you should include this.


Recommendations speak volumes!

  • Give and receive recommendations;

  • Preferable to have 1 or 2 recommendations per role – adds credibility and increases search ranking;

  • Recommendations can be both peer or from manager, but peer reviews can be regarded as more trustworthy as peers have worked with you more closely.


Prioritise other search terms – eg Education, Qualifications, Certifications and Professional Associations:

  • Think about what matters most to you.


Contact details and URL

  • Ensure they are always correct and up to date;

  • Right click on the URL and edit to remove any numbers – have only your name.


How to ‘play the game’

  • Make connections! You require a minimum of 50 connections to be taken seriously on LinkedIn;

  • Plan who you follow. You should be following thought leaders and innovators in your area, and the most important thing is who you follow within your profession;

  • Endorse and recommend others – don’t just be a ‘taker’, give recommendations and endorsements as well. This also happens to be the best way to receive recommendations and endorsements for your own profile;

  • Interact – but keep it positive and keep it ‘on brand’;

  • Be positive and current – remember that this is your brand and LinkedIn is a professional social network.


If you have any questions or would like a confidential discussion, please connect with Lucy on LinkedIn.  At Your Spark, their mission is to help you stand out from the pack and be more effective in your job search. For more information please visit

If you enjoyed these workshop sessions, be sure to be following us on LinkedIn to hear about future Parity Plus events and news!