Linkedin for Accountants – Optimising your profile

It’s becoming more and more commonplace for Internal Recruiters and Managers to source, research, and interview and eventually hire new employees without having ever seen a CV.

Your Profile
We are going to start today in the first of our series by looking at LinkedIn profiles, as this is the first building block to using LinkedIn effectively. Your LinkedIn profile is your shop window, and will be your professional online image.

It’s likely to be the first thing that potential employers, recruiters, intermediaries and clients will see about you long before they meet you in person.

It’s important to take time to think carefully about how you want to portray yourself before you start creating or amending your profile. It may help to write a list of key points using the following as a guide;

  • What makes you unique?
  • What will attract potential employees/clients to you?
  • What do your friends/colleagues say about you?
  • What are your personal/professional achievements to date?
  • What are your values and beliefs (in relation to your work)?

Your photo
Choose a photo which is:

  •  Professional
  • Approachable
  • With personality (it’s ok to smile)
  • Not a group shot
  • Simple in background with no distractions (ideally against a plain backdrop)

*People buy from people so do try to look at ease and friendly

LinkedIn statistics show that people are twice as likely to connect with another user who has a photo, and three times as likely to engage with them.

Headline
The Headline is your first opportunity to grab the attention of other LinkedIn users. When a potential client/recruiter/employer completes a search on LinkedIn you will want to ensure that you are first of all found, but then also make sure that you stand out from the crowd.

It is tempting to just enter your job title in this space, but given that many people search on a phone so they will only see your photo and this headline, making an impact is vital.

Your Headline is arguably the most important bit of your profile (along with your photo), it’s the first (and potentially the only) piece of information displayed in a search list.

  • Cater your headline accordingly, depending on who you are trying to attract. The statement should be ‘consumer-centric’ depending on who your ideal end consumer is (client/employer)
  •  Think about the keywords that they may use to search for you and include as many you can, as it will help you appear towards the top of more searches. Inside Linked in’s algorithm Headline ranks second only to name in searches.
  • Think about the perception your headline creates. Does it make the reader want to find out more?

Summary
The Summary is the biggest missed opportunity for many people who choose to leave it blank and merely list their experience. The summary receives the most prominent position on the screen in LinkedIn, so it’s the ideal place to tell your story.

It’s worth including:

  • Synopsis of your skillset/ major achievements (including some quantifiable facts if possible)
  • What makes you unique?
  •  Sell yourself – why would someone want to connect with you?
  • Goals/objectives/ethos (think of this as your mission statement)
  • A CTA (call to action) at the end
  • A section called Specialties. This gives you the opportunity to add those all-important keywords you want to be associated with all over again

HINT – Have a look at a few other profiles first to get an idea of what other users have written

Skills and Experience

  • Maintaining a relevant list of skills on your profile will help others understand your strengths and match you with the right opportunities
  • Type the name of a skill and then choose it from the dropdown list that appears. If your skill doesn’t appear, completely type in the skill name
  • You can add up to 50 skills to your profile – use as many as you can
  • Skills can be reordered to ensure that the most relevant appear prominently in the visual display (or you may choose to place the ones with the most endorsements first)
  • Think about which skills potential clients may look for and which words they may use when searching for a possible ‘expert’

Recommendations

  •  A recommendation is a short statement written by a LinkedIn member to endorse a colleague, business partner, student, or service provider
  • Clients interested in doing business with someone often consider recommendations in making their decisions (as do recruiters and potential employers). Users with recommendations are three times more likely to get enquiries through LinkedIn searches as those without
  • People usually like to help others, and will almost always be happy to help if you have genuinely done an excellent job for them. They just may not have thought to recommend you. … So, ask!
  • Ex employers, ex colleagues, current colleagues and professional contacts all make viable options for recommendations. The most powerful recommendations of all often come from clients, as they are ‘proof of the pudding’ that you are effective in your

Asking for recommendations

  •  Consider who to ask carefully – will you get a professional reply?
  •  Personalise your request
  • Do not feel you have to reciprocate
  •  Read and review before you accept the result
  •  Is the contact appropriate/relevant to your current role?

Why optimise your profile?

By having an optimised profile, you will:

  • Be more likely to be found by ideal contacts searching LinkedIn
  •  Be more likely to have your invitations to connect accepted
  • Demonstrate your specialism’s and expertise without needing to be present
  • Ensure that prospective employees or clients are able to research you in their own time, thus gain confidence in your abilities • Appear nearer the top of LinkedIn search results
  • Take control of your online identity
  • Be more likely to be found in Google (or other search engine) results

Still need more help?

If you are looking to find a new role and would like help which is specific to your circumstances please send your CV to info@publicpracticerecruitment.co.uk

Follow our company page on LinkedIn for regular tips on LinkedIn, Personal Branding and how to get ahead within your accountancy career follow our Company page here

Remember Public Practice Recruitment Ltd recruit only for Accountancy Practice making us the specialists in our field. Contact our dedicated consultants via info@publicpracticerecruitment.co.uk or call 0333 577 7787.

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