Profile Piece: Optimise your LinkedIn Now.

by Mark Ellwood

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Many of us in Southeast Asia are still working from home while the pandemic situation evolves, or operating on some hybrid model, depending on the nature of the business we work in. However, business goes on and so too does the eb and flow of jobs and recruitment needs.


With several company switchboards closed and so many people working from home, your ability to be ‘found’ by headhunters and recruiters is now, more than ever, determined by your online profile. For most people, unless you are lucky enough to be featured on the company website, that professional online profile will be LinkedIn. Never before has LinkedIn played such a critical role in determining whether you are approached for the exciting opportunities that arise as companies evolve and transform according to the current business landscape.


Not only that, LinkedIn has now limited the number of connection requests any person can make in one week. So, you’ll want to make your profile really stands out so that you are on the recruiter’s priority list of people to contact.


With this in mind, we’ve put together a Top-5 LinkedIn 2021 Checklist for you double check your profile against and to make sure it’s optimised for your career progression.


  1. Update your current employment details and passes.

Make sure your current company and job title are up to date, and check your previous employment dates. A mistake many people make is forgetting to put an end date on previous roles, making it look as though they have 3 or 4 jobs at the same time.


  1. Update your key words and skills.

Make sure you have all your skills and qualifications on your profile. For example, if you have financial reporting experience in IFRS, SOX and GAAP – make sure those are both in your profile write-up and also in your highlighted skills section at the end of your profile. The more prominent these are, the more likely you are to be picked up for roles that require these skills. Maybe you’ve acquired experience in business transformation? If so, that word ‘transformation’ needs to be on your profile somewhere. This ensures that when headhunters are using LinkedIn’s search filters to narrow down candidates with transformation experience, you will get picked up. Remember to continually update these with your latest skills acquisitions.


  1. Include an introductory paragraph.

This is the summary of your career and gives a general view of the path that led you to this point and the general direction you are going (or want to go) in. It’s also a chance to promote yourself – e.g.‘Seasoned general accounting professional, with strong experience in financial reporting and end of year closing’. This is also another place to include those key words to improve the search engine visibility of your profile. Also, currently some firms are under restrictions on the types of employment passes that they can apply for in certain jurisdictions. If you are foreigner in Singapore but have Permanent Residence for example, or if you are in Malaysia and have a Talentcorp pass, it’s advisable to highlight that as well.


  1. Update your education and qualifications.

Do you have a degree? Put it on your profile. Do you have a CPA or CMA? Put that on your profile. MBA? Make sure that it’s clear, and not confused with a post-graduate business study.Many job briefs these days come with the requirements for a degree. Many financial roles come with a chartership requirement. If there’s ambiguity or information lacking on the profile, you’ll fall down the priority list for recruiters. Don’t forget to include your language skills as well.Many searches require people who speak a certain language.


  1. Include explanations.

Treat LinkedIn like a CV. That means it’s not just a list of jobs and when you did them, you also need to include some context and detail for the role. So, extending our finance analogy, if you were a finance manager in a multinational corporation, what particular areas were you working in? FP&A, Business Partnering? Controllership?All your roles require this clarity, and it’s also a place to include these key words. Think about the questions recruiters might ask when looking at your profile. What were your key achievements? Did you manage a team? If your profile is comprehensive enough, you can use it as your CV, eliminating the need to update both online and offline profiles.


There’s also a few admin features you should check to make sure you’re getting messages and making the most out of the LinkedIn platform.


  1. Make more connections.

Connecting to more people not only improves the news and features you’ll get in LinkedIn, it also gives you greater visibility to 3rd degree connections in other firms, and a wider range of recruiters and headhunters. Having more connections also shows you are active on LinkedIn and a message to you is less likely to be a wasted one.


  1. Contact details and settings.

Is your email on the account still valid? Make sure it is, otherwise you won’t be picking up any Inmail messages.If you are open to opportunities, also consider allowing open profile messages, or adopting the ‘Open to Work’ banner, which allows recruiters to send you a message without connecting or using up one of their credits. Also check your security settings so that people can contact you without having to guess your email and so that Inmails aren’t getting blocked. However, it’s worth noting that putting an email address on your profile is usually sufficient as once you are connected to, or messaged by, someone, then you can exchange details.


  1. Put up with some spam.

Theses measure may inevitably mean that some people will contact you with irrelevant requests and also some jobs you won’t be interested in.While it can be mildly annoying, having to navigate these, it’s worth it to hear about those few opportunities that would otherwise pass you by for your career advancement.