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We're living in changing times, and if you've been thinking about making big career moves this year, now is a good time to be proactive. How can you create new opportunities for yourself over the coming weeks?

LinkedIn is a great place to start. The platform allows you to find opportunities and show the world your skills – but to do that, you need a well-crafted profile. With more time for self-reflection, this could be the chance to refresh your page – or even start a new profile if you haven’t had one before. 

Tip #1: Make the most of your headline 

Employers can be looking at hundreds of profiles, without time to delve into the details. To put yourself firmly on their radar, provide a memorable headline that summarises key facts about you, your skills, and your ambitions. What sentence would sum up the impact you can make?

Tip #2: Craft your biography to tell a story

Your biography should tell a clear story that builds up to the role you want, using short paragraphs that pull out the most relevant skills. If you’re looking to change careers or secure a first job, what’s applicable from what you’ve done so far? If you’re looking for a promotion, how are you ready for it? Show that the role you want is the logical next step.

Tip #3: Be accessible

Recruiters and employers might not always be an expert in your field, so try to explain your work simply, the way you would if you were telling a friend about what you do. As much as you can, avoid jargon, acronyms, and phrases only your team would know. 

Tip #4: Shape your image

It goes without saying that a friendly and professional profile picture is a must, but picking a cover image can be trickier. You could use a brand image from your current employer or a recent image from a particularly proud moment, like an award ceremony. 

Tip #5: Pin key skills

Whether they’re skills you’re still developing or ones you’re already proud of, list what you’re good at on your profile. This will show employers that you can make the contribution they need.

Tip #6: Connect with those you know

Once you’re happy with your profile, reach out widely. Send out connection requests to colleagues and classmates, past and present, as well as to any contacts within your industry. If you can, add a personal note – especially if it’s been a while since you spoke to the person. 

Tip #7: Engage with your community

Once you’ve connected widely, try engaging with and sharing posts, projects and initiatives you’re interested in. By contributing, you’re helping other people form a picture of your interests and passions. 

Tip #8: Ask for recommendations

If appropriate, ask your colleagues, past or present, for recommendations to add credibility to your profile. People can endorse you for skills you’ve listed – hopefully even the skills you’ve pinned - or write recommendations based on their experience of working with you.

Stay up to date

Now you’re ready to craft a LinkedIn profile that helps you achieve your goals. Don’t stop here: keep adding new skills and experiences and continue to stay active and engaged with your following. Our tips will get you started, but now it’s in your hands to keep up your online presence. Good luck!