Want to step up your job-hunting game? If you do then it might be time to give your LinkedIn profile a facelift.
According to Forbes Magazine, 90 per cent of recruiters use LinkedIn – this means making sure your profile is up-to-date and well populated is important.
For a budding insurance professional, a desirable profile should highlight the skills sought after by insurance recruiters everywhere: customer service, analytical skills, good organization, solid problem solving abilities and efficient technical work.
From the top of your profile to the bottom, your LinkedIn profile should read like a resume that is full of information about you, your best qualities and your experience.
Like many social media profiles, a LinkedIn profile has a space for a photo of yourself to help put a face to your name. It’s important to choose a simple, headshot-style photo where you are looking straight ahead into the camera. You want your profile to look professional, so start by having a professional-looking photo.
This part of your profile gives you 120 characters (less than a tweet!) to summarize what you do, or what you’re looking for. Be straightforward but also make yourself stand out. For example, if you’re currently looking to hatch your career, you could say something like: “Young insurance professional with strong analytical and communication skills seeks challenging underwriting opportunity”
Think of your summary as your “elevator pitch” – your 1-minute chance to get the most important information about you across. Since you don’t have long to attract the attention of an insurance recruiter, include your insurance-relevant skills up front to let the reader know where you want to work (The Career Connections web site offers a ton of examples of how your skills can relate to the insurance sector). In further sentences, you can go into greater detail and list your best qualities or greatest professional successes. Don’t forget to sign off on your summary by offering up a way to contact you to discuss possible opportunities.
If you already have an up-to-date resume, then you should be able to copy and paste this part directly into your profile. Make sure you’re including any insurance-relevant experience near the top. If you don’t yet have any insurance-relevant experience yet, then be sure to make a connection between each piece of experience and how that could relate to an insurance job.
5. Keywords and Search Engine Optimization
When recruiters are looking for potential employees, they search using keywords. These words are the ones you need to include everywhere in your profile in order to make it as searchable as possible. Some keywords that could be used by insurance recruiters include:
- Risk Management or Risk Analysis
- Customer Service
- Business Analysis
- Communication Skills
- Relationship Builder
Business Insider recommends looking at the Careers pages of some of the employers you are interested in being recruited by and picking out a few key words and phrases and adding them into your profile.
A positive recommendation from a previous colleague or employer will prove a recruiter that they weren’t wrong in selecting your profile to view. Ask anyone who has had a positive experience with you to provide a short recommendation. If you are familiar enough with them, then feel free to request that they focus on a specific skill or aspect that would appeal to insurance professionals.
For example, if you had a particular professor in school who could attest to your technical, writing, or analysis skills then ask them for a recommendation talking about your talents. Or, if you have worked with a customer or client more than once and feel comfortable, you could ask them to write about why they continued working with you.
7. Groups and Associations
By joining and contributing to an online community, you’re expanding the reach of your profile and will likely be able to make and develop new connections. A good place to start is to join the alumni group of where you went to school. There are also a number of insurance related groups you could join (run by professional associations, companies themselves, etc.) – these are a great place to engage industry professionals!
How do I know when my profile is finished?
- Industry and location
- An up-to-date position/description of your current status
- Two previous experiences
- Educational background
- Three+ skills
- A profile picture
- At least 50 connections