Whether you like social media or not, LinkedIn is now firmly established as a major part of any recruitment process. Most employers check applicants’ profiles and many people secure jobs simply through their connections on the site. Whether you’ve already got an account or not, there’s a few simple ways to make your profile stand out, C&M Travel Recruitment sets out how:

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Set Up Your Account ASAP!

• This will obviously only apply to some people, but if you haven’t already got a LinkedIn profile, then get one.
• They’re free (unless you want a Premium account) and easy to set up, so there’s no need to put it off any longer.
• The sooner you set up an account, the sooner you’ll potentially appear on recruiters’ radars when they’re looking to fill their new jobs.
• And, of course, creating a profile immediately gives you a better chance of building up those all-important contacts – do you know someone who knows someone who’s looking for someone like you?

Sell Yourself

• Don’t hold back in selling yourself – you’re searching for a new role through no fault of your own, so update your LinkedIn headline to reflect your current employment status. Something like ‘an experienced Retail Travel Manager currently seeking a new role’ is fine – after all, finding a new job is the whole reason you’re updating your profile.
• Be professional at all times, but also keep it brief and engaging – basically, treat it as a mini CV.
• Recruiters are only likely to scan your LinkedIn profile, so give them details of your key experiences and attributes straight away.

Look Smart

• Unlike with your CV, a photo is a necessity on LinkedIn and could make or break your profile, so keep it professional.
• There’s no reason to put on a suit and iron your shirt, but use a photo that at least makes you look presentable.
• A simple photo of you looking relatively smart and smiling should do the trick.

Think About Keywords

• As mentioned above, recruiters will look through many, many candidates and are only likely to skim your profile, so to make it easier on them, try inserting a few keywords that show off your best skills.
• Recruiters will often search through the entire database of profiles on LinkedIn by using a location and a relevant keyword or two, so if you’ve neglected to use a couple of vital words on your personal description, then how do you expect to stand out among the millions of others?
• Think about which keywords might be relevant to you and the roles that you are looking for. Think about including a variety of relevant job titles (for instance, if you’re a Travel Consultant, then also include ‘Travel Sales Agent’ in your profile) and also any key skills that you may have such as a GDS.

Change Your URL

• This is a really easy and potentially very rewarding trick. By changing the URL of your profile from something like www.linkedin.com/pub/tomdavis/60/8c34/768 to www.linkedin.com/pub/tom_davis, you’ll make your LinkedIn address look much smarter and also demonstrate that you’ve shown attention to detail. And employers like that kind of thing.
• It’s free, easy to do (just click the ‘Me’ icon, then ‘View profile’ and ‘Edit public profile and URL’ and ‘Edit your custom URL’) and takes a matter of seconds.

Get Some Recommendations

• Possibly the best way to make yourself stand out from the many other job seekers on LinkedIn is to gain some recommendations. These are simple to get hold of – just ask your former boss or one of your colleagues for a sentence or so, and consider writing one back too if it’s appropriate.
• It’s worth remembering that one or two well-written recommendations from respected people within the travel industry can count for a lot more than a stream of single line reviews from your work mates.

MoreThomas Cook: Job search advice