According to Forbes, LinkedIn is the most advantageous professional networking platform. Among its 750+ million users are recruiters looking to fill open roles. In fact, according to Kinsta, 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn. Regardless of whether you’re actively seeking a new role, keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date benefits your career development. Here are the top ten ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
The Basics of your LinkedIn Profile
1. Professional Headshot
According to Meero, LinkedIn profiles with a professional headshot receive 14 times more visits and 36 times more messages. Inexpensive professional headshots are taken at local department stores, camera shops, and photographer studios. Additionally, some universities offer this service to students. When preparing for your headshot, consider the role you currently hold. Also, consider the role you aim to hold in the future. Ensure that your appearance and apparel in your headshot appropriately reflect this.
Your LinkedIn headline is the first thing people read. A powerful headline generates clicks to your profile. Your headline is automatically generated when you post your job title, so it will likely be similar to others in your field. Change your headline to contain keywords describing what your job entails. In less than 120 characters, write a concise overview of what you bring to the table. In place of a vague headline such as “Digital Marketing Manager”, share your skills. “Senior Digital Marketing Manager | SaaS Product Marketing | Digital Transformation CRM | B2B & B2C Customer Experience” is an example of a great LinkedIn headline. Access more examples here.
3. Contact Methods
Include your URL, email address, and phone number. Your URL is the easiest way to be found when someone searches your name. Ensure that your email address is up-to-date. Additionally, check your inbox regularly. Add your phone number if you feel comfortable doing so. Typically, only first connections are able to view your contact information. Find out how to edit those settings here.
Customize your LinkedIn Profile
4. About Section
Use the About section as a summary. Support your LinkedIn headline and elaborate on your experience. Talk about your professional mission and motivations. Then, consider sharing examples of how you have been successful. Be compelling and make visitors feel connected to you. Check out examples of great summaries here.
5. Work History
Adjust your LinkedIn profile so it remains consistent with your resume. Your LI profile should be more general than a resume you would submit for a specific role. However, clarify job titles and descriptions, the dates you were employed, your responsibilities and accomplishments in each role. Additionally, consider reporting specific details such as relevant numbers and percentages.
6. Featured Section
The Featured section was just added to LinkedIn in the beginning of 2020. This new section allows you to showcase your latest work. Use the Featured section to impress potential hiring managers. Share recent posts or articles you’ve written. Include links to web content. Also, consider uploading media. Regularly update this section to keep it relevant to securing your next role.
7. Work Samples/Media
Demonstrate your expertise by including samples of your work. This is different than the Featured section. Share more and be more specific. Add samples of your work pertaining to your education and each job you’ve held. Importantly, remove any client-identifying information. In some cases, candidates create sample deliverables or mock projects. This section is another chance to show the value you could bring to your next role.
Friends and Co-Workers
8. Get Endorsements/ Recommendations
Ask bosses and colleagues for endorsements on your skills. These people know your work skills best. Their endorsements validate the information provided in your profile. Also, trustworthy sources on your LinkedIn profile appeal to recruiters and hiring managers. Importantly, give endorsements to colleagues. Often, they’ll return the favor. Additionally, recommendations prove your experience. Recommendations prove to readers that you’re capable of doing great work for them. Including recommendations on your LI profile is another way to demonstrate your expertise and value.
9. Build Out Your Network
Expand your professional network. Use LinkedIn as a tool to start conversations and connect virtually. Then, take those conversations offline. Networking is the key in finding your next job. Network well, and you will increase your chances of receiving your next great job offer.
10. Search Engine Optimization
Recruiters and hiring managers search for potential candidates on LinkedIn in the same way they use search engines. They perform searches based on keywords and criteria such as geographic location and past experience. Insert keywords into your LinkedIn headline and throughout your LI profile. Importantly, ensure that your headline and profile contain this vital information. This greatly improves your chances of showing up in recruiter searches.
There are many other things you can do to optimize your profile, but the above ten tips are the most important for professional development. Importantly, don’t forget to proofread your LinkedIn profile.