Job hunting tips from Calgary's 'LinkedIn Wizard'

With more than 500 million users, the employment-oriented, social-networking website has never been more useful for job hunters and businesses, says a Calgary marketing and franchising consultant.

Marketing and franchising consultant shares advice to make your profile stand out from the online crowd

A Calgary-based marketing and franchising consultant says LinkedIn has never been more useful for job hunters and businesses. (Maxx Satori/Shutterstock)

Thinking of a career change in 2018? Still looking for work after being laid off? Looking to grow your client base?

Building a stand-out profile on LinkedIn could help you get ahead, says Allan Fine, a Calgary-based marketing and franchising consultant with Executive Edge.

Some might think of LinkedIn as just another social network or that pesky website that keeps sending them invites. But Fine says LinkedIn has never been more useful for job hunters and businesses.

"[LinkedIn] now has over 550 million users worldwide, so for anybody who is looking to either get a job or get a business and create connections, LinkedIn is the No. 1 social media site in the world they should be using," says Fine.

The self-proclaimed "LinkedIn Wizard" offered up some tips on tweaking your LinkedIn profile for success. 

Get a professional headshot

"A great profile has different components," Fine told the Calgary Eyeopener. "The first thing I can tell you is your headshot should make you feel 'real', it should be really professional looking."

Fine compares having a unprofessional photo with showing up to a networking event in torn and dirty clothes.

"Does that give you confidence in hiring them or working with them? Probably not," he said.

Allan Fine says your profile should show what you can do for potential employers. He says getting a professional photographer to take your profile picture is a sound investment. (Flazingo Photos/Flickr/Creative Commons)

He recommends paying a professional photographer to take your photo because "the money you [invest] in the headshot will pay off afterwards."

Custom background

Fine says adding a custom background photo to your profile is another visual component of your profile that gives potential employers and customers insights into what you can offer them.

He says a good background photograph should highlight your unique "features and benefits" and should be specific to your skills and defining qualities.

"The mistakes I see with individuals and people in business are having a profile background that doesn't convey exactly what you can do for them," he said. "It's very, very important that your profile background coveys the benefits of either who you or what you can do."

Custom headline and summary

Fine says your headline and summary should expand on what you do, what you can do, and what you have done.

For job hunters, a well-written headline should portray your skills and also what training you've done "as far as … the degrees you have or the things that you've done in the past beforehand."

Looking for work? Fine says your headline and summary on LinkedIn should showcase three things: what you do, what you can do, and what you have done. (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

Companies using LinkedIn to drive business should have a headline and summary that shows "what you can do for somebody if they work with you," he said.

Video clips and multimedia

One of LinkedIn's newer features is the ability to add video and multimedia content to your profile. 

Fine says social media platforms for business "have gone 360 [degrees]" and employers aren't blindly hiring off LinkedIn anymore. He says they want to see examples of what you bring to the table, and video is a "very, very powerful tool" for business professionals to showcase their skills or their personal brand.

"People want to work with people and it's so important that your headshot, your custom headline, your summary really makes a difference in conveying that message to people, as far as who you are."

Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is using LinkedIn to give a video update on trade talks with China, Fine said.

"LinkedIn can really deliver hundreds and thousands of leads to any potential business so people should be on LinkedIn that way also for getting lead generation."


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener