7 Ways To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

There’s no doubt about it. LinkedIn is the top social media platform for jobseekers and hiring managers looking to connect. If you’re job searching and you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on job listings, relationships with employers at your dream company, and more. But just having a LinkedIn account isn’t enough. Your profile has to stand out from the 590 million other users to catch the eyes of hiring managers. We’ll show you how in today’s blog.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 94% of hiring managers used LinkedIn for recruitment purposes in 2013. In 2019, Omnicore reported that the number of senior level influencers who use LinkedIn is 61 million, and 40 million LinkedIn users hold decision-making positions. Clearly, LinkedIn is the go-to recruitment and employee scanning tool for many industries. The time for you to utilize this platform for your job search is now.

Our tips below will help you ensure that your LinkedIn profile attracts recruiters from your desired company and industry, job listing that suits your skillset, and more.

  1. Use a professional headshot photo. Remember our blog about resume mistakes? At TAI, we’ve seen job candidates include photos of themselves in bathing suits, sunglasses, and more. That’s a big no-no for your LinkedIn profile, too. We highly recommend that you use a professional headshot, as that makes you look responsible and credible to future employers and colleagues. Headshots don’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, you can take your own headshot using this guide from Hubspot. If hiring managers are scrolling through hundreds of LinkedIn profiles, who are they going to call for an interview? The person with a professionally curated headshot or the person with a photo of him/herself in the car, with sunglasses, making a peace sign?
  2. Include recommendations. One of the best ways to make your profile stand out to hiring managers is to have colleagues, and past and current employers write recommendations for you via LinkedIn’s recommendation function. Not sure how to request one? Go to the Me icon at the top-right of your LinkedIn page. Scroll down to the Recommendations section (under the Skills & Endorsements section). Click on the Ask for a recommendation link and type in the names of people who you’d like to recommend you. You can also give recommendations by clicking on someone else’s profile, scrolling down to the Recommendations section, and clicking on “Recommend [NAME].” How do you get people to recommend you? Just ask them. Or write a recommendation for someone and ask that they write you one in return.
  3. Revise your profile summary. Your profile summary is one of the first things that hiring managers read on your LinkedIn profile. This is the short paragraph (3-5 lines) under your photo, name, and location that allows you to describe your skills, experience, goals, and desired positions. In order to attract recruiters from companies and jobs you want, you need to include relevant keywords in your profile. Not sure how to do that? Find job listings that appeal to you, identify keywords, i.e. those that are repeated, marked as required, or seem important, then integrate those words into your profile.
  4. Make sure recruiters can see your profile. LinkedIn protects your privacy by hiding your career interests from recruiters (those who sign up for LinkedIn under Recruiter accounts) at your current company or related companies. To get recruiters to notice your profile, you have to manually go into your settings and share your interests. Follow these steps here.
  5. Join and contribute to Groups. LinkedIn created designated spaces called Groups to allow users interested in specific topics and career fields to connect with one another, ask questions, network, and more. Groups are a useful way to stay updated on what’s happening in your industry and make yourself stand out by making comments and asking questions. We recommend that you contribute to your Group’s conversation 1-2 times per week. You might even increase the frequency while you’re job searching. Joining Groups also helps you walk into job interviews armed with knowledge about what’s happening in the industry. So if a hiring manager asks you what you think are the biggest challenges facing the industry today, you’ll have a great answer. There are Groups for almost any professional topic and industry, so you should have no problem finding one or more that suit you. Learn how to find and join a Group here.
  6. Search for recruiters at your dream company. Make a list of the top 5-10 companies you’d absolutely love to join. Search their websites and LinkedIn pages to find their recruiters and connect with them on LinkedIn so that they view your profile. If you meet a recruiter in person, connect with them on LinkedIn immediately so that they view your profile while your in-person meeting is at the top of their mind.
  7. Additional tips. We’ve covered the most important ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile, and we want to wrap up by covering some minor, yet important ways you can continue to professionalize yourself and stand out to hiring managers.
    • If you have higher education, remove high school information.
    • Make at least 501 connections. This is the number that you need to hit in order to show LinkedIn that your profile is up to date.
    • List at least 40 skills in the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile. Ask friends and colleagues to endorse you on the skills that you list. Be sure to return the endorsement.
    • Send a note when connecting with someone. This will make others view you as a serious and thoughtful jobseeker. A quick, “Hi, [NAME], we met at x, and I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Or, “Hi [NAME], I saw that you listed a job for x. I look forward to applying.”
    • Make sure your Experience section is up to date. Have you changed jobs? Taken on more duties? Won an award? Completed a certification program? All of that needs to be on your profile and described using strategic keywords so that recruiters from your desired companies or fields notice.