If you’re already employed or not currently seeking employment, it’s easy to ignore your LinkedIn profile. Maybe you add people you meet at networking events as contacts or accept requests as they come in from friends, but everyone else? You’ll get to it when and if you need to later.
While I don’t recommend this approach, I understand that there are times you get behind, and end up needing a total LinkedIn profile makeover. And for those times, I’ve got you covered!
I have compiled everything you need to know about creating an attention worthy LinkedIn profile—from creating an eye-catching summary to selling your accomplishments, skills, and projects— all in one place. Read my tips below for professional ways to make your profile seriously attractive to recruiters—and start getting noticed right now!
1. Your Profile Should Mirror Your Resume
Your resume does not only include job duties (at least, it shouldn’t)—it’s a record of highlights with your best accomplishments! The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your experience section is ready-to-go with bullet points that define what you’ve done, how well you did it, and whom it influenced.
2. Write an Awesome Headline
Your headline doesn’t have to be your company or job title, especially if you’re looking for jobs. Instead, use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty, value proposition, or your “so what?” The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.
3. Use First-Person
On your resume you should not use first-person, but it’s actually fine to do so on LinkedIn. Personalize your accomplishments by using pronouns such as “I”, “me”, and “my”.
4. Create a Custom URL
It’s far easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL- Preferably use linkedin.com/your name, rather than the cluttered combination of numbers and words that LinkedIn will automatically assign you when you sign up. How to get one? Click the “Edit Profile” screen located at the bottom of the gray window, showing your basic information. There you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and create your unique URL. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.
5. Choose the Perfect Photo
Be sure to choose a welcoming, clear, and suitably professional image. Not sure what “suitably professional” means? Take a look around LinkedIn at what the people in your company, industry level, or business sector are wearing. Mirror that. Use a photo that can go a long way to convey passion, drive, friendliness, charisma, and other personable skills that can be difficult to write about.
6. Use Your Target Job Descriptions to Your Benefit
Take a look at the job descriptions of the positions you’re after, and drop them into a word tool like Wordle. Do you see the words that stand out? They’re likely what recruiters are looking for when they’re looking new hires, like yourself. Ensure the words and phrases that will grab their attention are sprinkled throughout your summary and experience.
7. Craft Your Knockout LinkedIn Summary
Your summary should be about 3–5 short paragraphs, ideally with a bulleted section in the middle. The paragraphs should lead your reader through your professional passions, central skills, and distinctive qualifications. It should also include a list of the various industries and experiences you’ve been exposed to over the years.
8.Pump up the Keyword Volume
LinkedIn SEO doesn’t have to be a mysterious concept. Basically to rank strong in searches for employees with your skills, you need to add more Connections and you’ll need to use better keywords. The keywords most important on LinkedIn are what employers use to find a candidate like you: job titles, skills, industry names, and other related terminology. This will bring your profile more traffic than you could ever imagine!
9. Use Figures Up Front
Like your resume, you’ll want to focus on past results in your summary. Whenever possible, include numbers and case studies to back up your success. You can quickly establish credibility with your audience by stating those figures early in your summary, often within the first few sentences.
10. Be Welcoming and Friendly
Use your summary section as your perfect opportunity to showcase all of the great things about you. Always keep your target audience in mind, but give them a chance to get to know who you are. Think of the first impression- how will it be received by job recruiters if you create your summary as a long, exaggerated speech? Or worse, craft it in the third person? You’re going to seem pretentious. And it’s going to be difficult for that reviewer to get past that to see your personality and unique style. Be yourself in your summary. Keep your approach in line with all of your other professional marketing resources, but never forget that LinkedIn is also platform intended for interaction and connection.
11. By All Means, Avoid Buzzwords
What do the words innovative, effective, responsible, creative, analytical, patient, expert, organizational, driven, and strategic all have in common? They’re the most overused buzzwords on all of LinkedIn. Skip those! You can be more creative than that!
12. Invest the Time to Make It Remarkable
To break it down, the more complete your profile is, the more likely it is that recruiters will find you from the get-go. Entirety is important from their perspective. It’s also important to consider that after a recruiter has found you and chosen to click on your profile, he or she is looking to see what your skills are, where you’ve worked, and what kind of reputation you have. Don’t get lazy—fill out every single section of your profile. LinkedIn will even measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer recommendations on how to make it stronger.
13. Be Personal
Your profile should be written as if you’re having a conversation with someone. It is not a resume or CV. Show off your personality. Let people know your values and passions. In your summary, talk about what you do outside of work. You want people to want to know you.
14. Show Off Your Accomplishments
Recruiters spend hour after hour searching LinkedIn for high performers. And when they discover them, they contact said high performers. With this knowledge, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a high performer in your summary and experience section (think action words, accomplishments, talking about times you’ve been promoted).
15. Request One Monthly LinkedIn Recommendation
When someone says, “You’ve done a great job on that project!” ask him or her to take a minute to write a recommendation on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to specify what you’d like the recommender to focus on. Avoid generic recommendations, and ask for specifics.
17. But Make Them Deliberate
Choose your recommendations carefully. You want to make sure they relate to your target audience.
18. Use Multimedia in Your Summary
A picture truly is worth a 1,000 words, which is especially true when showcasing your work. LinkedIn lets you add photos, videos, and slideshow presentations to your profile summary so use these tools to your advantage. Click ‘Edit profile,’ scroll down to your summary, then click on the box symbol, then ‘add file,’ to add photos and presentations.
19. And Add Them to Your Work Experiences
Do the same thing for each of your work experiences. You can use this to your advantage by adding your company websites, projects you’ve completed, articles you’ve written, or anything else that can provide a more multimedia look at your work.
20. Don’t Be Afraid to Ignore a Recommendation
You don’t have to consider every recommendation, especially when you didn’t ask for one, or it’s one that isn’t something you’d want to showcase on your LinkedIn profile. If you get a recommendation that’s unsolicited or poorly written and don’t feel comfortable reaching out to the writer, don’t worry. You can simply hide the recommendation instead. Select Profile > Edit Profile and go to the position with which the recommendation is associated. Click on Manage. Uncheck the box next to the endorsement that you want to hide, and click Save Changes.
21. Add Volunteer Experiences, Projects or Languages
Do you speak Spanish? Have a project management certification? Volunteer for Americorps every weekend? Add these “additional” profile features (listed on the left when you’re editing your profile). They are a great way to showcase your unique skills and capabilities and stand out from the crowd.
22. Unemployed? Still Include a Current Job Entry
Even if you’ve only listed wonderful past positions you’ve held in the experience section, showing nothing current will likely cause you to get overlooked in most searches. Why? Because most recruiting experts exclusively use the current title box to search for applicants; otherwise they’d have to sort through thousands of applicants who held a certain role (for example, interior designer) as far back as 10 or more years ago. The simple way around it, if you’re unemployed, is to create a dummy job listing in the up-to-date section that includes the job title(s) you’re targeting—‘Full-Time Student/Economic Analyst in Training’—followed by a expression like ‘In Transition’ or ‘Pursuing New Opportunity’ in the Company Name box.
23. Organize Your Endorsements
Endorsements can be a great way to show off your skills—as long as your profile isn’t congested with too many to send the right message to your intended audience. The secret to making them work for you is keeping your skills up to date. As you transition between careers, or take on new responsibilities, lose the outdated skills from your profile and add in the ones you really want to be recognized for. That way when connections come to your page, they’ll only see the most relevant skills.
24. Keep Your Status Up-to-Date
It’s a lot like Facebook. Check in and update your LinkedIn status as often as you wish. Ideally update it professionally and intentionally once a week. Your entire network will see your updates; both in their news feeds and in the weekly LinkedIn network updates emails they receive. Keep yourself in the spotlight.
25. Become a Writer and Author
Did you know that LinkedIn’s newest feature allows all users to write and publish their work on the platform? Share your viewpoint about what’s going on in your field, weigh in on a recent industry growth, or show off your skills as a writer. It’s a great way to get noticed.
26. Add Your Blog
If you have a blog in WordPress, I strongly recommend connecting your blog into your LinkedIn profile (unless the content isn’t suitable for a LinkedIn page.) To enable this setting, Select More in the main navigate bar and Select Applications. From there, choose the WordPress application and enter the link to your feed. The blog will then appear in your profile, updating every time a new post is added.
27. Make At Least 50 Connections
Having less than 50 connections on LinkedIn tells recruiters one of three things: 1) You avoid connecting with others 2) You are antisocial and know very few people or 3) Technology and social media are daunting to you. None of these are good impressions. I am absolutely not suggesting you need to be one of those show offs who wears your “strangely large number of connections” like a badge of honor, but you should really have at least 50-100 people with whom you’re connected as a starting point.
28. Join Groups
LinkedIn Groups are an unbelievable resource—and they can do wonders for your job search. By joining groups relevant to your profession or industry, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your field. But more importantly, you’ll directly be connected to people and part of applicable discussions in your field—kind of like an ongoing, online networking event.
29. Don’t Add People You Don’t Know
If enough people reject your request and say they don’t know you, LinkedIn can shut down your account.
30. Keep Your Job Search Private
LinkedIn has have privacy settings for a reason. When you’re seeking a new job, and are actively engaged in your current job, be discreet. Privacy settings are easy to find: Just sign in, and then select ‘settings’ from the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner.
31. Don’t Be Over The Top
With all the bells and whistles LinkedIn has to offer, it can be tempting to go overboard. But while details are good, there’s certainly a thing as too much. Step back, take a look at your profile, and see how it looks to an outside person. Is it attractive—or overwhelming? Edit accordingly.
32. Ensure People Can Find You
Don’t forget to add your email address to the contact information section of your resume. Feel free to add your blog, Twitter handle, or anywhere else you’d like to be found. You’d be shocked how many people leave this off!
31. Be Enthusiastic
At the end of the day, the most thrilling people to hire are the people who are the most trilled about what they do. Always make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects your enthusiasm. Join and participate in groups that relate to your field of expertise. Use your status line to announce things you’re doing related to your field. Share remarkable articles or news. Connect with the leaders in your industry. Be excited!
Want to see how other intelligent jobs seekers are getting more connections and interviews and finding a job sooner by playing on LinkedIn? Click here to sign up for my FREE webinar event.