Pop Quiz! What is the most important tool for job seekers in 2021?
You probably said your resume or your network. But what about a social platform that combines the two? LinkedIn.
If you don't already know, LinkedIn is a platform where you can showcase your professional experience and achievements to other members and future employers who view your profile.
Whether you're just entering the workforce or you're considering a career change, our advice is to make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized BEFORE starting your job search.
Want to learn how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out above the rest? Keep reading for 10 LinkedIn profile tips that will help you present your best professional face to potential employers.
10 LinkedIn Profile Tips
1. Put your best face forward. Think of your profile photo as a recruiter's first impression of you. Be sure to upload a professional, high quality photo to start. Plus, a good profile photo can increase your profile traffic by up to 40%! Here are our best tips to make sure your profile photo meets the mark:
Have a plain, non-distracting background
Make sure you're wearing appropriate clothing
Crop the photo from shoulders to the top of your head
2. Add a background photo. This is the second visual element at the top of your profile page. Choose a photo that grabs people's attention, sets the context, and highlights what is important to you. Some people choose to add a personalized message or their contact information on the background photo. More than anything, the right background image helps your profile stand out, attract attention, and stay memorable.
3. Write an attention-grabbing headline. You have 120 characters to convince visitors to click on your profile. It tells recruiters what your prime skill or job is and highlights your greatest strengths. If you are unemployed or looking for a new role, use this section to list hard skills and desired job titles. Here are six examples of really impactful LinkedIn headlines:
4. Write a compelling background summary. LinkedIn's 'About' section gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself, your passions, and your personality. It should include three to eight sentences that describe years of experience, area(s) of expertise, types of organizations you've worked with, hard and soft skills, and what you're most known for professionally. Click here for some examples of impactful background summaries.
5. Use keywords. Boost your chances of being seen by recruiters and hiring managers by using keywords in your headline and background summaries. Add keywords that represent job titles, locations, and skills relevant to the position you are seeking. While LinkedIn's indexing algorithm hasn't yet been fully cracked, our best advice is to be specific and disperse keywords throughout your profile. Here's a list of example keywords for you to get started!
6. Add your skills. One of the most important aspects of job matching is adding your skills everywhere possible. In your 'About' section, job description, and experience mention as many relevant quantifiable achievements as possible. You can also have current or former colleagues endorse a skill or two to boost credibility (make sure you endorse them right back—you scratch my back, I scratch yours). You can also request recommendations from close contacts that you've worked with in the past.
7. Complete your profile. While it can be a tedious process, completing your LinkedIn profile is crucial to greater visibility. Be sure to add your contact information, education and work experience, and your postal code. This will allow you to more easily connect with professionals in your industry that are closeby. If you don't want your contact information on display, you can adjust contact visibility in LinkedIn's privacy settings. Lastly, be sure to add a custom url to rank better in search results!
8. Add links and media to your work experience. Nothing screams "I'm good at what I do" more than a solid portfolio. LinkedIn has the option of including aspects of your portfolio, publications, web pages, and examples of your work under the work experience section.
9. Add licenses, certifications, projects, volunteer experiences, accomplishments, and languages. We already talked about the importance of having a complete profile sprinkled with keywords. Take your profile to the next level by adding as much relevant detail as possible. Add any certifications, courses, awards, and experience that can help you stand out as a candidate. Don't forget to include language certificates!
10. Connections, connections, connections! Put your complete profile to good use by connecting with leaders and contributors to your industry of interest. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to be seen!
Now that your LinkedIn profile is optimized and ready to be seen by potential employers, remember to add your customized URL to other job search and networking platforms. Take PowerToFly for instance (shameless plug!). Recruiters come here to look for diverse talent, and when they search for you on our platform, they love to see a link to your optimized LinkedIn profile! Click here to create your PowerToFly profile!