4 Tips to Help You Craft a Top-Notch LinkedIn Profile
It's no longer enough to have a LinkedIn profile. These days, just about everyone has a LinkedIn profile—it’s practically mandatory in the current employment landscape. To make your LinkedIn profile work for you, you must ensure it’s in tip-top shape so that you can attract the right employers and level up your job search.
A well-organized and thoughtfully designed LinkedIn profile can do wonders for your career, while a neglected one can have the opposite effect, so don’t underestimate the power of this online professional portrait.
Here are four ways to get your page on the right track to success. If you need additional help, check out our professional LinkedIn writing services.
1. Focus on your best features
Use your LinkedIn summary not only to highlight your unique skills and experience but also to share what you have to offer a potential employer. Give them a reason to want to hire you. Keep in mind that you’re competing against hundreds or even thousands of other well-qualified applicants, so you need something that distinguishes you from the crowd.
For example, write about how you led your team to double sales at your previous job and how you aim to do the same in your next position. Concrete examples that showcase your achievements and value are worth more than simply listing skills or qualifications because they offer the hiring manager a glimpse into what working with you actually looks like.
Craft a headline that highlights your talents and make sure to use relevant keywords throughout your profile. Recruiters use keywords to scan LinkedIn for candidates to fill their open positions. Keyword usage is crucial for two reasons: It signals to the hiring manager that you’re paying attention to the language in the job descriptions, and it helps you get past the applicant tracking system (ATS), which is a computer program that filters incoming resumes by relevance as determined largely by keyword usage.
2. Upload a suitable photo of yourself
Unlike your resume, your LinkedIn profile isn't complete without a picture of yourself. You want it to make a powerful first impression so that when a hiring manager finds you on LinkedIn, it shows you at your best. Neglecting to add a profile picture, on the other hand, could make you appear lazy and unprofessional, so it’s non-negotiable in the LinkedIn world.
Use a professional photo and dress as befits the industry you represent. For example, if you want a corporate career in finance, wear a suit. If you work in social media management, you can get away with something more casual, but make it professional nonetheless. If you really want to invest in a great profile picture, you can hire a professional photographer, but you can also make do with a tripod and the best camera you can get your hands on. Just don’t use a selfie.
3. Connect, connect, connect
With more than 830 million registered users, LinkedIn offers plenty of opportunities for networking and discovering job vacancies. Start by reaching out to people you know, whether they're friends or former co-workers. Tell them you're looking for a new job and what type of position you want. They may not be aware of any openings, but they might know someone else who does and can connect you with them. Even if these new connections don’t directly lead to a new job, they can still be valuable for your career development. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you unlock.
Another smart strategy is to ask for recommendations from a colleague, a supervisor, or a client. Not only does this validate your experience and boost your credibility, but the recommendations are also searchable text, so they can connect you with even more people who might be interested in what you have to offer. Hiring managers browsing your profile will put more stock in your skills if they’re backed up by third-party recommendations, which make your profile much more competitive.
LinkedIn suggests aiming for at least five recommendations and will display the two most recent ones. You can repay your connections by writing your own recommendations for them, if possible—LinkedIn runs on mutually beneficial relationships.
4. Stay active
Just as with other social media platforms, it's always a good idea to keep building relationships and making new connections on LinkedIn. Engage with other people's content, and if you like what someone is saying, share their post to help them gain more traction. Maybe someone will do the same for you when you need it. Essentially, do for others what you’d like them to do for you. Cultivating positive relationships and a good reputation will benefit your career.
If you're looking to network with new people, consider joining some groups that focus on your interests. This is also a great way to stay on top of the latest trends in your industry to keep advancing your career. Plus, you may even be discovered by hiring managers browsing industry groups to find enthusiastic new employees, so put yourself out there!
In summary, take advantage of everything LinkedIn has to offer to increase your chances of standing out and getting the attention of recruiters. Make it easy for someone looking at your profile to recognize your skills and experience, your unique attributes, and the value you can add to a company. Be sure to fill out your profile completely, garnish it with a sharp-looking picture, and keep it updated. Also, stay active, posting valuable content and interacting with others’ posts. If you want your LinkedIn profile to rank better in search engines, check out our professional LinkedIn writing services.