The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers
“Active participation on LinkedIn is the best way to say, ‘Look at me!’ without saying ‘Look at me!” ― Bobby Darnell
LinkedIn is your savior when you are struggling to find your dream job. It is a revolutionary and indeed the best professional networking platform.
It has helped literally millions of professionals around the world to build their own personal brands and achieve amazing success.
There are people who have managed to use LinkedIn to its full potential and make a name for themselves in their respective industries.
Why not take advantage of a platform that allows you to search companies, look for jobs and connect with thousands of professionals while also giving you an opportunity to portray your accomplishments.
Most people have been using LinkedIn for years but haven’t even bothered to further refine or polish their profiles. You need to understand that LinkedIn is much more than an online resume to get a job.
It is a consolidated place to connect with other professionals, showcase your talents, display your accomplishments and build your own brand in the process.
The best way to fully leverage LinkedIn and all the possibilities it offers is to have an awesome profile. It is also imperative to have a great profile on LinkedIn if you want to stand out from the 450 million LinkedIn users worldwide.
Here are some really great LinkedIn profile tips from Josh Gwin.
If you are willing to impart some life to your LinkedIn profile, here are the 31 tips from some of the topnotch career experts to help you get started.
1. SPEND SOME TIME TO MAKE IT TOPNOTCH
Companies and recruiters will mostly contact candidates with a complete and attractive profile.
Your profile must exhibit all your skills and achievements both in academics and professional life, your current and previous employers and what other people think of you.
A complete profile also means recruiters have a better chance of finding you as compared to people with inactive and incomplete profiles.
Therefore, you should spend some time to fill out every detail possible on your profile. Good news is that LinkedIn will give valuable suggestions on how to strengthen your profile as well.
2. GET A CUSTOM LINKEDIN URL
When you signup, your LinkedIn profile URL has a clumsy combination of numbers by default which doesn’t look professional. Recruiters actually prefer profiles with custom URL such as linkedin.com/your-name.
It is also not very difficult to get one either.
All you have to do is to open Edit Profile Tab and then click Public Profile URL. Now, customize the URL and specify your address. Finally, set Custom URL when you are done.
3. HAVE AN EYE CATCHING AND PROFESSIONAL PROFILE PHOTO
Surprisingly, most people have really awkward and thoroughly unprofessional profile photos on LinkedIn.
It is simply unacceptable and often it showcases very bad taste. You need to have a friendly, clear, eye-catching and most of all, appropriately professional image on your profile. Take a look at what others in your target industry, business level or companies are wearing and trying to copy them.
It is even better if you can portray yourself in action. Your photo should display everything from your charisma to your passion, energy and enthusiasm.
If you want to real good in your LinkedIn photos, watch this video.
4. YOUR HEADLINE SHOULD NOT BE YOUR JOB TITLE
It is a grave mistake to just write your technical job title in your headline. It is already present in the Experience Section.
You should take full advantage of the headline and use it to describe who you actually are.
It should give a glimpse of your skills, experience and background to the recruiter or whosoever is reading your profile.
The headline should also inform the reader what you currently are and what you want to achieve in future.
Watch Ian Lamont’s video about how to write a great LinkedIn headline for your profile.
5. USE SUMMARY SECTION TO PERFECTION
Some people totally ignore the extremely powerful and valuable Summary Section on their LinkedIn profiles.
It is actually in the Summary Section where you can impress the readers.
The section makes readers see what you want them to see.
This is your chance to narrate your story and control the narrative.
Always tell the story in the first person and highlight some of your personal interests in the end.
Explaining what kind of professional you are isn’t going to hurt either.
6. ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
If you have managed to please someone with your work, request him or her to spare some time and write a nice recommendation for you on LinkedIn.
You can even ask him to keep recommendation focused on certain things.
On the other hand, avoid having generic recommendations such as “David was great to work with” because they are not going to produce the desired results.
Recommendations need to be specific and honest, highlighting what you actually did for them.
7. GET ENDORSEMENTS FROM RELEVANT PROFESSIONALS
One of the best methods to showcase your skills on LinkedIn is to get endorsements.
However, unwanted endorsements from people not even relevant to your field can also put the recruiter off.
Therefore, always strive to get endorsements from professionals working in your own field.
Such endorsements carry much more weight and can become a quick visual impression of what you are actually worth.
8. MANAGE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS AND ENDORSEMENTS
You will constantly receive recommendations which don’t truly express your personality and professionalism.
Such recommendations are not worthwhile to appear on your profile. It is also difficult and sometimes inconvenient to reach out the individual recommender and ask him to make necessary revisions.
The best solution is to hide the unwanted recommendations from the Edit Profile section as explained in this really informational YouTube Video.
9. MAKE AS MANY CONNECTIONS AS POSSIBLE
More connections you have better are your chances to find a job. You will make a good first impression if you have more than at least 50 connections.
Anything less than that is just not acceptable.
Recruiters in particular will take you as a paranoid who don’t want to connect with others.
Similarly, it will also tell them that your network is pretty limited or you don’t know how to use social media and technology.
All these things can ago against you when you apply for a particular job.
You don’t need to have hundreds of connections but try to start with at least 50-100.
10. ONLY TRY TO ADD PEOPLE YOU KNOW
Don’t go berserk while trying to make connections. This is one of the worst but most common mistakes committed by people on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn will close your account if a certain number of people refuse to recognize you and reject your request.
11. INCLUDE PERSONAL INTERESTS AND OUTSIDE THE JOB LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Your profile should not only be about your job and career accomplishments.
It is also a good idea to add some personal details about you such as your hobbies, favorite travel destinations and foods.
Similarly, also include, if you have any, leadership experience in projects and organizations outside your place of work.
However, personal interests should not overwhelm the profile because LinkedIn is a professional network after all.
For instance, details of your girlfriend or schoolmates don’t need to appear on your profile.
12. CHOOSE A GREAT BACKGROUND COVER PHOTO
If you want to grab people’s attentions, include a great background cover photo. The background photo is the second visual tool on your profile you can use to mesmerize readers.
It sets the context of your profile and explains what you are all about and what you want people to know about you.
An attractive background photo also lasts longer in the memories, engage people’s attention and help your page stand out from the crowd.
13. USE RICH MEDIA IN YOUR PROFILE
One of the coolest methods to showcase your work is to include multimedia such as pictures and videos in your profile.
You can actually add slideshow presentations, videos and pictures to your LinkedIn profile with utmost ease. It is always better to present examples instead of just talking about your work.
The multimedia also allows you to show yourself in harness. Simple Click Edit Profile, go all the way down to your Summary Section and then click Add File. It is as simple as that.
14. UPDATE YOUR PROFILE REGULARLY
By all means, LinkedIn is just another social media platform like Facebook and Twitter. You also need to update your status on LinkedIn regularly.
However, you need to do it strategically and professionally.
For instance, it is better to share your experience of a business meeting rather than what you are going to eat in dinner.
The frequency of the updates should ideally be an update once a week.
Remember, all of your connections see your updates and therefore, you should use them carefully.
15. REGULARLY SHARE FRESH CONTENT
If you are a member of a large network on LinkedIn, it is better to be an active one.
You can add value to your network by sharing fresh and relevant content regularly. You can find out what your connections like to read or share by regular checking your news feed.
Subsequently, start sharing content you feel is relevant to your field and genuinely interesting. This will enable you to establish yourself as an authority on your respective subject and increase your chances of getting viewed as well.
16. RESHUFFLE YOUR SECTIONS
LinkedIn generously allows you to reorder your profile sections. You can put the most important sections which emphasize certain aspects of your personality, experience and background on top and relegate others to bottom.
Always put those sections on top which highlight your achievements and expertise.
For instance, you can move your Experience Section directly above the Summary. You can considerably improve your profile and create a brand for yourself which recruiters simply cannot ignore.
17. NEVER FORGET TO ADD CONTACT INFORMATION
You must always add your contact information in your profile. It is a basic thing but many people forget to add contact details on their profiles.
How do you think employers will contact you if there are no contact details on your profile? Employers like those people who are easier to be found and contacted.
You don’t need to add your home address for safety reasons but there is no harm in sharing your email address, phone number, and website or Twitter name.
18. DON’T USE BUZZWORDS EXCESSIVELY
You seriously don’t want to include resume buzzwords like effective, experienced, focused, specialized, leadership, strategic, effective, responsible and expert etc. in your profile.
They are the most commonly used buzzwords on LinkedIn and have “effectively” lost their value. You can do something better, more creative and fun to attract employers.
19. HIGHLIGHT ALL THE SKILLS YOU HAVE MASTERED
One of the easiest methods to impress employers is to list as many skills as possible on your profile.
However, relevancy is the key to success here.
A bulky list of skills that are not relevant to you area of expertise will start to look awkward and weird.
On the other hand, explore the list of skills available on LinkedIn and select only those that are relevant to you.
This will further authenticate your summary and description, making it easier for others to endorse you as well.
20. CAREFULLY USE THE PUBLICATION SECTION
The Publication Section is your greatest friend when it comes to drawing attention to your profile. It is one of the most underrated and underused sections on LinkedIn.
Therefore, if you manage to effectively use it in your advantage, your profile will easily stand out from the rest. You can link your profile to any type of content you have published be it is a blog, a white paper or an Ebook etc.
The following YouTube video explains in detail how you can effectively use and manage your Publication Section.
21. FOLLOW RELEVANT INFLUENCERS
Needless to say, it is always a good practice to follow relevant influencers from your industry and LinkedIn is no different.
One of the biggest advantages of following such influencers is that you will be able to access a wide range of interesting and valuable content.
You can also share such valuable content with your network from time to time. This will allow you to express your passion for your job and make your profile more contextual and meaningful.
22. BECOME AN EMPLOYEE ADVOCATE
LinkedIn Elevate is yet another excellent feature you can leverage to enhance your profile. Businesses of all sizes can launch their own employee advocacy programs using this feature.
By using Elevate, you can have tremendously positive impact on your own profile and career. In simple words, if you really want to spread your message and brand content, then you need to become active on Elevate sooner than later.
23. IMPRESS WITH NUMBERS UPFRONT
You should be able to highlight your past achievements in almost all sections of your profile including summary. Moreover, try to impress readers with case studies and numbers which prove that you are a successful person.
For instance, you should write, “I have created more than a 1000 small and big websites”, if you are a web developer. You can even include names of your clients you haven’t signed No Disclosure Agreement with.
On the other hand, it is simply not enough to write, “I am an experienced web developer with more than xyz years of experience.” Nobody is going to buy that. Keep in mind that even a few and strategically displayed states can go a long way to create an excellent first impression.
24. KEEP SCOUTING JOBS
The best method to scout new jobs on LinkedIn is to follow as many companies as you can. Keep a constant eye on who is leaving and who is joining a company.
When you find out that some is leaving your dream company, you must quickly pounce the opportunity and write to their HR that you are available.
However, don’t forget to convince them that you are a worthy replacement.
25. ALWAYS INCLUDE YOUR CURRENT JOB
Even if you are unemployed, you must always include your current job in your profile. It is important because you will not appear in most searches if your Current Title box is empty.
Most employers don’t bother to flip through thousands of candidates to find the one they need. They mostly search candidates exclusively using the Current Title box.
If you are unemployed, simply create a dummy job title including the job you are targeting.
26. TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF LINKEDIN BLOGGING PLATFORM
LinkedIn allows you to publish blogs right from your profile home page. It is a great opportunity for you to share fresh and relevant content.
It also helps you show to the world that you are not a boring workhorse but a creative, vibrant and smart person who has full grasp of his craft.
Similarly, publishing an article on LinkedIn once or twice a month will help you attract more like-minded people to your profile.
Alternatively, you can also connect your own WordPress blog (if you have any) to your LinkedIn profile. Make sure the content you publish meets all the LinkedIn’s content guidelines.
In order to connect the blog, go to main navigation bar and click More. Now, click Applications and then WordPress Application. Enter the link of your blog and it will appear in your Profile.
27. JOIN LINKEDIN GROUPS
LinkedIn offers incredible resources and one such resource is LinkedIn Groups. You can considerably enhance your chances of finding a job by joining groups relevant to your industry and job.
It also shows that you are totally engaged to your profession and passionate about your work. LinkedIn Groups work like online networking events.
By joining groups, you can make many more connections which can help you find a better job in the long run.
28. MAKE FULL USE OF PRIVACY SETTINGS
There is a reason why LinkedIn has privacy settings. You want to be and should be discreet when you are actively looking for a new job on LinkedIn.
Your current employer will immediately understand that you want to leave as soon as you start overhauling your profile, connecting with more people and reaching out to recruiters.
You can use privacy settings to ensure that your boss does not get wind of your intentions. It is very easy to find privacy settings.
Click your name on the upper right hand corner and Privacy settings are right on the top of dropdown menu.
29. WRITE AN INTERESTING TARGET JOB DESCRIPTION
Go through as many relevant target job descriptions as possible and try to blend them. Now find out words or phrases which are not only interesting to read but quite effective as well. Following YouTube video can also help you greatly in this regard.
These are the words employers mostly go after when they are searching for new people for their company. Sprinkle these words and phrases throughout our profile and you are good to go.
30. YOU CAN USE YOUR PROFILE AS YOUR RESUME
Most people argue against using LinkedIn profile as a standby resume.
You should highlight your best accomplishments rather than just a list of your previous jobs on your resume; same is the case with LinkedIn.
Use your experience section to showcase your achievements, what have you done in the past, how did you do it and what was the impact on your organization.
31. MAKE YOUR PROFILE EXCITING
It makes sense. Doesn’t it? Constantly strive to make your profile really exciting showcasing your enthusiasm and love for your profession. Recruiters love to hire people who are most excited about their work.
As mentioned above, you can express your enthusiasm by actively participating in group discussions. You can also modify your tagline to announce what you are currently doing.
Try to connect with influencers and leaders in your industry. Share interesting news, case studies, white papers and articles.
There are people who advise against using LinkedIn for job search.
However, it is a powerful tool which opens a world of opportunities for you whether you are looking for a job or just to connecting with industry leaders.
All you need to have is a complete, strong and exciting profile with the ability to impress both recruiters and thought leaders.