10 Tips to Improve A LinkedIn Profile and Land a Job
A LinkedIn profile can be your best friend for getting a job and advancing your career. But like any friendship, this one also needs to be nurtured.
It’s not rocket science, but rather understanding which profile elements you need to work on. Recruiters are people, and just like most of us, they judge the book by its cover. Here are 10 easy and actionable tips to make your profile stand out with professionalism.
1. Take a Professional Profile Photo
This one should be a no-brainer. Your profile photo is the first thing people see when they land on your profile. According to LinkedIn itself, the presence of the profile’s picture results in 21 times more profile views, 36 times more messages, and up to 9 times more connection requests.
But it’s not enough. The quality of your profile picture matters. Remember that recruiters are humans, and like most of us, they judge the book by its cover. It’s not just an empty slogan. Although recruiters value competence more than good-looking profiles (fortunately!), 71% of them admitted to turning a candidate down because of their poor LinkedIn profile picture.
So, make sure to have a professional headshot. It will show that you’re taking this platform seriously and that you care about the impression you’re making.
If you don’t have a professional photo – take it. You can go to a professional photographer, ask your friend, or even do it yourself. The important thing is that your picture should:
- Be a close-up – your face should occupy at least 60% of the frame
- Be well-lit – use natural light whenever possible
- Be in focus – make sure the image is clear and not blurry
- Convey confidence – look into the camera and smile!`
- Showcase your personality – dress appropriately.
2. Customize your URL
By default, your LinkedIn URL is a string of random numbers. Not very memorable or professional, right?
Fortunately, you can change it to something more attractive and easier to remember. To do that, go to your profile settings and click on the edit button next to your current URL. Then, simply type in the desired name and hit save.
Make sure to:
- Keep it short – long URLs look messy and unprofessional;
- Use keywords – try to include relevant keywords related to your industry or profession;
- Avoid symbols and special characters – stick with letters and dashes only;
- Include your name – if possible, use your first and last name or initials;
- Write a summary that sells you.
3. Have Actual Contact Information
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you want recruiters to be able to contact you, make sure your profile includes actual contact information.
Most importantly – include your email address! Many LinkedIn users don’t do that for privacy reasons, but if you’re looking for a job, it’s essential.
If you’re not comfortable sharing your primary email address, create a new one only for professional purposes. You can use Gmail, Outlook, or any other email service, provider.
Include other relevant information as well, such as:
- Your phone number;
- Your current location;
- A link to your website or blog (if you have one).
4. Add an Interesting Background Photo
Your profile’s background photo is like a business card. It should give people an idea of who you are and what you do.
Unfortunately, many LinkedIn users don’t use this feature at all or upload unprofessional pictures.
To make your profile more attractive, add an interesting background photo that:
- Represents your industry;
- Conveys your personality;
- Shows you in a professional light.
You can use a picture of yourself (if it’s appropriate for your industry), a landscape related to your work, or anything else that comes to mind. Just make sure it looks good and is relevant to what you do.
5. Ask for Recommendations
A recommendation is like a testimonial from someone who knows your work. And you should never underestimate the power of social proof.
When it comes to job hunting, recommendations can be a great way to show your value to recruiters. They provide an outside perspective on your skills and abilities and can help you stand out from the competition.
Fortunately, getting recommendations on LinkedIn is relatively easy. All you have to do is go to the “Recommendations” section of your profile and click “Ask to be recommended.”
Then, simply choose the person you want to ask and write a personalized message.
Make sure to:
- Keep it relevant – only ask for recommendations related to your current industry or profession;
- Personalize each request – don’t send a generic message;
- Be specific – tell the person what kind of recommendation you.
6. Write an Interesting Summary Story
Your summary is one of the most important parts of your profile. And just like you shouldn’t underrate social proof, you shouldn’t also underestimate creativity and storytelling.
Think of it as your elevator pitch – a chance to sell yourself in a few short sentences.
To write an interesting and effective summary, try to:
- Keep it short – ideally, it should be around 200-300 words;
- Include relevant keywords related to your industry or profession;
- Tell a story – you don’t have a space to write another “Lord of the Rings”, but try to showcase your creativity and paint a picture of who you are and what you do in an attractive way;
- Make it visually appealing – use bullet points, bold font, and short paragraphs.`
7. Build a Strong Headline
A headline is the first thing people will see when they land on your profile. And just like with your summary, you want to make sure it’s interesting and catches people’s attention.
To write a strong headline, try to:
- Include relevant keywords – remember, your headline is also a search engine optimization tool;
- Keep it short – ideally, it should be around 50-60 characters long;
- Make it interesting and attention-grabbing – avoid generic phrases like “hard worker” or “self-motivated individual”;
- Use numbers and statistics – if you have any impressive accomplishments, make sure to mention them in your headline. For example: “Increased sales by 25% in one year.”
8. Include Media in Your Profile
One of the best ways to make your profile more interesting is to add media. This can be anything from photos and videos to infographics and presentations.
When it comes to LinkedIn, you should use media that:
- Highlights your professional achievements;
- Shows your personality;
- Makes you more relatable;
- Conveys your message in an attention-grabbing way.
For example, if you’re a web designer, you could include a portfolio of your work. Or, if you’re in sales, you could add a video testimonial from one of your satisfied customers.
Including media in your profile is a great way to stand out from the competition and show recruiters that you’re not just another boring resume.
9. Include Career History Relevant to Your Current Goals
When updating your LinkedIn profile, it’s important to only include information that is relevant to your current goals.
For example, if you’re a recent graduate looking for an entry-level job in marketing, there’s no need to include your experience as a barista from three years ago.
Remember, recruiters are busy people, and they don’t have time to read through your entire career history. So, make sure to only include the most accurate information.
Last but not least, make sure to proofread your profile before you publish it. This includes checking for grammar and spelling errors, as well as ensuring that all the information is up-to-date.
After you proofread your profile, ask someone to take a look at it as well. They may be able to catch errors that you missed.