With 332 million registered users worldwide, at least 2.1 million of whom currently working in the sports industry, there is no doubt that LinkedIn offers significant opportunities for establishing and progressing your career. But how can you stand out from the crowd and build a personal brand on the platform that represents you as a professional and reputable candidate that decision-makers at organisations in the industry should take seriously? Here at GlobalSportsJobs, we have collated our top tips on making an impact on LinkedIn and leaving a lasting impression on industry professionals in the network:
Be bold above the fold:
Like on any web property, the key real estate on your LinkedIn profile is the above-the-fold content i.e. the content that is visible without using the vertical scroll-bar when a visitor lands on your profile. Entice them to scroll by including an eye-catching professional headline (up to the 120 character limit) and a short professional summary (up to the 2,000 character limit) that introduces the compelling story of your past accomplishments, education and experience that is your full profile. Make it easy for the viewer to engage with you by concluding your summary with a clear call-to-action, inviting members relevant to your career vision to connect with you on LinkedIn, read your content or reach out to you directly.
Consistency is key:
Think about who will be viewing your profile? If you’re actively searching for a new job in the sports industry and have put out your feelers, be it through applying for vacancies on GlobalSportsJobs or sowing the seed with industry connections, it is vital to make sure your LinkedIn profile is consistent with CVs you have circulated. Your CV should always showcase your most relevant skills and experience for the particular role you are applying for, and prospective employers will understand that your profile will not be identical to a CV you may have sent them, however, as a minimum the job titles, dates and education journey should be consistent.
Following the leaders:
Be selective in the groups you join and influencers you follow. Don’t forget that the sports industry is vast so try to focus on groups and influencers in the most relevant sectors in the industry to you. The sector taxonomy on GlobalSportsJobs.com platform is a good guide to help you narrow your focus. Joining and participating in relevant groups will not just expand your network, but can improve your profile’s exposure, reach & SEO, with the major search engines recognising group names as keywords when crawling your profile. Joining local groups like “London Marketing Professionals” can further assist with geo-targeted SEO.
Don’t be shy to ask for recommendations and endorsements from your former colleagues and bosses. They are powerful tools to increase the strength of your profile and keep you engaged with your network. It is important, however, to make sure the displayed recommendations are the most relevant to your career path within the sports industry. Less is more, particularly if you have recommendations from leaders or influencers within sport. It is worth offering guidance to referees before they post their endorsement, asking them to focus on relevant skills and achievements, once again helping you build consistency within your personal brand.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it:
Finally, once you have completed your profile, include a direct link on your email signature, Facebook, Twitter & Google+ accounts and any websites you maintain to create inbound links. This will openly present your contacts with the opportunity to connect with you on LinkedIn and enable you to indirectly expose yourself to opportunities in the sports industry talent marketplace without spreading your CV too far and wide. Having a well-written and impactful LinkedIn profile demonstrates your motivation to drive your career forward in the industry.