How important is it to keep your LinkedIn profile in tip-top shape? Perhaps it’s best to let the stats do the talking…
- There are around 740 million LinkedIn users across more than 200 countries.
- Every day, 44,000 job applications are submitted via LinkedIn.
- Almost 90 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to identify job candidates.
- More than 90 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet job candidates.
Ultimately, if you’re not using the site to its full potential, you’re likely missing out on opportunities to market your personal brand, land your next dream role, and expand your professional network with peers, recruiters, or prospective employers.
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Here are 24 LinkedIn profile tips to help get your account up to scratch so you can stand out from the crowd.
Stage one – Updating your LinkedIn profile
1. Complete your profile
Nothing says “I couldn’t be bothered” like a half-completed LinkedIn profile. Make sure you’ve filled out every section, including your:
- Current role
- Previous two roles
- Education history
- Top skills
- Profile picture
To achieve an “All-Star” status on LinkedIn, you’ll also need to connect with at least 50 people.
2. Upload a suitable profile picture
What constitutes an appropriate or professional picture will depend on your industry and likely boil down to using common sense. If you work in finance, for example, a corporate headshot and formal business attire are probably the way to go.
You can’t go too far wrong if you avoid selfies, holiday snaps, pets, or photos where you’ve had to crop out another person or the glass of wine you’re holding in one hand.
Soft lighting and neutral backgrounds work well, but it’s also ok to showcase a bit of personality.
In terms of image size, 400 x 400 pixels for your profile picture and 1500 x 500 pixels for your cover image is optimal.
3. Add your key skills
Listing your key skills is a chance to highlight your qualifications and unique skillset. LinkedIn members who list more than five skills are approached up to 33x more by recruiters and receive up to 17x more profile views.
You can add as many as 50 skills but aim to be a little discerning and focus on quality over quantity. Start by deleting any meaningless or redundant skills and then reorder your list so the most important ones feature at the top.
Your connections can validate your claims by endorsing you for specific skills. The more endorsements you receive, the more likely you are to appear in the search results when a recruiter is on the lookout for someone with a particular skillset.
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4. Include your location
You don’t want to miss out on an amazing job opportunity simply because a recruiter filtered their candidate search by location. You’re more likely to be approached with suitable roles if you include this kind of personal information.
5. Incorporate images, videos, and documents
An easy way to make your LinkedIn profile instantly more appealing is to upload different kinds of media. Incorporating imagery, videos, or documents into your summary or education sections makes for a bit of variety and sets your profile apart from the rest.
6. Perfect your summary section
The “summary” or “about” section is an opportunity to tell your story and showcase your experience and personality. Play around to find a style and voice that works well for you.
Focus on keeping the reader engaged and entertained, while highlighting your biggest achievements. Remove any information that is irrelevant or outdated, write short and concise paragraphs, and include bullet points for easy reading.
7. Ask customers, clients, colleagues, and employers to write recommendations
A LinkedIn recommendation is much like providing someone with a reference. It recognizes your contributions and achievements in a particular role and adds a level of credibility to your profile.
To request a recommendation from someone, they must be a 1st-degree connection and have worked with you at the same company in the past or present.
8. Include your email address
If you’re comfortable providing additional personal information, consider adding your email address and phone number to your profile. This will make it easier for recruiters and employers to contact you directly.
9. Write in the first person
Writing in the first person tends to create a more conversational and welcoming tone. This could encourage more people to approach and connect with you.
Grammatical or spelling errors in your LinkedIn profile will be perceived as highly unprofessional, much like they would be in a resume or cover letter. Make sure you carefully proofread any updates you make and ask a friend or colleague to do a quick review too.
11. Update work experience
When it comes to updating your work experience, less is most definitely more. Recruiters and employers don’t need to know every tiny detail of your career history.
Think about the jobs you are most interested in now. Which of your former experiences and achievements best demonstrate your suitability for these roles?
12. Ensure that your profile is public
It’s certainly not worth going to all of this effort perfecting your LinkedIn profile if your security settings mean that no one can find you.
Visit this page to find out how to make your account public, which will ensure your profile appears in other people’s searches.
13. Include relevant qualifications
If you’ve completed a relevant certification, attended a training course, learned a new language, or earned a qualification, you’ll want recruiters and employers to know about it.
After all, these achievements could be what set you apart from other candidates with a similar career history.
Click here for a step-by-step guide to adding qualifications, certifications, and other accomplishments to your profile.
Stage two – Optimizing your LinkedIn profile for search results
Recruiters often invest in search tools that leverage keywords or algorithms to identify suitable candidates. Here are some optimization tips for ranking higher in these searches and driving more traffic to your profile.
14. Create a personal URL
This URL (https://www.linkedin.com/in/hugobritt/) looks a lot better than this one (https://www.linkedin.com/in/hugobritt-4657ghm97d).
Customizing your URL to remove the jumble of letters and numbers at the end doesn’t just look cleaner. It will also make your profile rank higher in Google, which means recruiters will find you more easily. Click here to update your URL.
15. Incorporate keywords
You can incorporate keywords throughout your profile (including your job title, summary, experience, and personal interests). Consider the skills or words you want to be associated with and make sure they feature somewhere on your profile. Be careful to avoid meaningless buzzwords or jargon like hardworking, dedicated, or organized.
LinkedIn places particular importance on your profile’s headline so be sure to think carefully about how you position yourself here.
You’ll perhaps want to include your current job title, defining attribute(s), and location. Don’t use phrases like “seeking new opportunities” or “looking for a new role” – these can be off-putting for recruiters who want to target the most in-demand talent.
16. Activate your “#OpenToWork feature
LinkedIn’s “#OpenToWork feature informs recruiters in your network that you’re interested in new job opportunities.
You can even provide details about what you’re looking for and your preferred location, which will ensure your profile appears in the relevant candidate searches. Most importantly, your current employer won’t know that you’ve activated this feature.
17. Create backlinks to your profile
Look for opportunities to backlink to your LinkedIn profile, whether it’s on your own website and personal blog or a guest feature you’ve written on someone else’s. This will give you a higher ranking on Google search results and boost your LinkedIn profile score.
Stage three – Actively using your LinkedIn account
Being an active LinkedIn user will improve your score in algorithmic search results.
18. Join LinkedIn groups
You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn and it’s a great way to connect and communicate with like-minded people, demonstrate your expertise, and build influence within your industry. Some recruiters might take a look at the groups you’ve joined during the vetting process while others will search for potential candidates via a group’s membership base.
19. Grow your network
Try to dedicate a little time to grow your LinkedIn network every week/month. You never know when you might connect with someone in your industry who can recommend you for a role or introduce you to a key contact.
When your job hunt is in full swing, you’ll thank your former self for building a rich and diverse network. As with your skills section, focus on quality, not quantity, and try to include a personal note with each connection request.
20. Engage with other people’s posts
When you like, comment on, or share another’s post you boost your prominence within people’s LinkedIn feeds and have the opportunity to showcase your insights and expertise.
You can start trying this out on the GoSkills LinkedIn page.
21. Follow organizations and influencers
By following key players in your industry, whether that’s individual influencers or forward-thinking organizations, you’ll inject interesting and challenging content into your feed. You’ll be better informed and therefore more equipped to create your own content.
22. Be a thought leader
LinkedIn is a great place to publish original content or repurpose old posts from your blog or website. Don’t be afraid to get stuck into content creation, even if writing is not your strong suit.
You could produce listicles, post video content, or write commentaries on what’s new in your industry. This will position you as a passionate and well-informed professional.
23. Give out recommendations and endorsements
Perhaps the most effective way to earn recommendations and skills endorsements on LinkedIn is to hand them out generously yourself and then wait for people to return the favor. This is also a good way to keep in touch with your network, including your former colleagues.
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24. Become an employee advocate
LinkedIn Elevate is a platform that enables organizations to launch and manage employee advocacy programs.
If your employer already uses Elevate, consider becoming an employee advocate, which will involve promoting and sharing your organization’s content via LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, regularly sharing content can increase profile views by up to six times. You can learn more about Elevate here.
Even if your organization doesn’t use Elevate, it’s still a good idea to engage with and share the content it produces.
You don’t need to be in the midst of a focused job hunt to show your LinkedIn profile a bit of TLC. It makes sense to carry out routine maintenance and commit to being an active user on the site, no matter what stage you’re at in your career. Hopefully, these LinkedIn profile tips can help you do that.
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