10 LinkedIn Profile Tips You Need to Know
Simply throwing together a LinkedIn profile is like tossing a hook into the lake and hoping to catch a fish. Much as you would use bait to lure a fish, a successful jobseeker uses LinkedIn to attract employers. When you put time and effort into your job search, creating the best LinkedIn profile possible, you’re much more likely to reap the rewards.
If you need the help of a professional when it comes to polishing your LinkedIn profile, check out our LinkedIn profile writing and overhauling services. To get you started, though, here are ten tips to keep in mind when crafting a LinkedIn profile to catch the eye of a potential employer.
1. Start with a custom URL
A random URL for your LinkedIn profile is fine, but you’re likely to get much better results with a custom URL that you can use on other materials, such as your business cards and your resume. Start by going to the “Edit Profile” screen. Find “Public Profile,” and click “Edit” next to the URL. A good basic custom URL is linkedin.com/JohnSmith. Of course, don’t use that unless your name is actually John Smith!
2. Be prepared to invest some time
The time it takes to update your profile is well worth the effort. You’ll increase your chances of being seen by employers when every section of your profile is filled out. Remember that 87 percent of employment recruiters use LinkedIn. LinkedIn also has tools to measure how complete your profile is and provide tips for improvement.
3. Make the most of your headlines
An interesting headline is one that stands out among the rest. The more targeted and specific your LinkedIn headline, the more you’ll be noticed. As you pursue a new position, shape your headline to show off your special skills, your value to a company, or whatever you feel sets you apart from your competition.
4. A picture is worth a thousand words
Your photo is an opportunity to show potential employers that you’re a professional with a professional appearance. Start by noticing the appearance of others in your industry. Check out other LinkedIn profiles for inspiration. A professional photo is best, but if you take your own, make sure the shot includes your head and shoulders. Take the photo against a solid background that doesn’t cause you to disappear into the woodwork. The photo you upload should be 400 × 400 pixels.
5. Treat your profile like your resume
Your story is important to you, and it can be important to potential employers. Give a fair amount of time and thought to your profile’s experience section. Rather than just a bulleted list, you can tell something of your accomplishments for each position and how you made a positive impact. If you have a long career history, boil it down to some of the high points. If you’re new to the job market, include things like work study, internships, volunteer positions, etc. As you’re making your statements, feel free to use the first person. For example, you might write, “In my role as dispatcher, I created new routes that saved the company $500 per week.”
6. Include your contact information
Aside from calling your mother, make sure you include every possible way people can get in touch with you. That includes the obvious methods, such as your email address and cell number. If you have a professional Twitter account, include your handle.
7. Show your human side in the summary section
Make your summary about three to five brief paragraphs. You have 2,000 characters, but only three lines display by default, so make those impactful. One bulleted section will make it easier to read. Make it light and warm as you tell your reader what motivates you, what you find rewarding about your chosen profession, and your skills and experience. Mention significant accomplishments you’ve had on the job, and use verifiable facts and statistics if possible. Add verbatim testimonials from your peers or previous employers.
You could think of this section the same as when an interviewer says, “Tell me something about yourself.” Above all, be sincere and avoid pretentiousness.
8. Use key words that stand out for recruiters
Study the job descriptions of your desired positions. Pick out those key words that jump out at you. Include these in your headline, experience, and summary. Recruiters are tuned in to those key words when looking for candidates. To help you find those key words, use an online tool like Wordle or Jobscan, which will provide suggestions for improvements.
And, for heaven’s sake, avoid those tired old words like “responsible,” “driven,” “motivated,” and “strategic.” Those may have impressed people in the 1990s, but let’s move on!
9. Update, update, update
Setting up your LinkedIn profile is one thing, but keeping it fresh is quite another. While making updates requires some diligence and discipline on your part, it is well worth the effort. We can all but guarantee that many of your competitors aren’t keeping their profiles fresh and up to date, so doing so can set you apart. Regular updates can also expand your network and grow your number of connections, and more connections will make a better impression on recruiters. At least 50 is a good starting point.
10. Use multimedia to showcase your work
Digital images, graphics, and videos that demonstrate your skills can be great examples of the value you bring to a company. You can add these to the appropriate listings in your experience and summary sections.
This list of LinkedIn profile tips should give you a great starting point as you set out to optimize your online presence for a more successful job search. As well, consider working with a professional to overhaul your LinkedIn profile, better showcasing your experience and skills and setting you apart from other candidates.