In your job search, apart from your resume, one thing that can significantly improve your chances of getting shortlisted is your LinkedIn profile.
Recruiters check online presence to see the kind of impression the candidate has made, especially on LinkedIn.
Further, some companies look for professionals who have a solid network base; as some profiles may require it. For example, most marketing professionals would benefit from a good network base on LinkedIn.
Hence, for you to have a successful job application, you must optimize your LinkedIn profile. And here is how you can achieve it:
Update your headline
Your LinkedIn headline should not just be about your job title. Sure, LinkedIn as default will set your headline as the last held work profile. But, to be seen as a noteworthy candidate, you need to optimize your headline.
However, it does not mean that you should include instances like “hard worker” or “looking for a job change”.
Your headline should be about the expertise you possess. If you are a marketing associate then think in terms of what you bring to the table.
For example, here is what a headline should look like for a marketing professional:
“I leverage my marketing skills to foster brands on digital platforms.”
“Aspiring marketing professional with a marketing certification”
Update your profile and cover photo
While updating the profile and cover photo, make sure that you abide by the ethical code on LinkedIn and make it look professional.
You can leverage this part of your profile to showcase your skills via a stellar cover photo. You can use the job functions that are part of your expertise in the cover photo.
Tools readily available online, such as Canva allow you to create a banner that is professional and customizable. So, go through a few profiles and see the type of banners professionals use on LinkedIn. Use them as an inspiration to update your cover photo accordingly.
Further, to ensure that your profile receives more clicks, you need to have a professional-looking profile picture which improves your chances of getting viewed.
For instance, here is what it should look like:
Write a solid summary
To make sure your profile is a hit that resonates with what you are about and your skills, write a solid summary.
It is an important step in revamping your profile. With a limit of 1983 characters, you should be vigilant of what you are writing.
However, you need to make sure that the readability of your summary does not suffer. Hence, we advise you to create bulleted points.
Additionally, you need to divide your summary into 3 categories: career highlights, certifications, and skills.
- Career highlights: Here pick out your key accomplishment throughout your professional journey. Curate one-liner statements and use symbols to keep the indent intact.
- Certifications: If you have any certifications, make a list and include it here. Further, if you have any relevant certifications that can help you with the target profile, include the covered modules.
- Skills: Include skills that showcase your proficiency areas. Further, add your technical skills as well.
Personalize your profile URL
Having an easy-to-find profile URL can do wonders for you. For instance, the default URL may be full of numbers and symbols that just doesn’t cut it.
Let’s say your name is Jessica Jones. You can update your profile URL as:
Further, you can even add a job function that can help you showcase your expertise. For example:
After making the changes, click on the Save button and you are good to go.
Expand your network
Before devising a strategy to expand your network, make sure you keep the following things in check:
- Sync your email address with LinkedIn, this will help you connect with people you may already know.
- Update your industry. Let’s say you are a marketing professional so your industry should be “marketing & advertising”.
Expanding your network is essential for your profile but it is important to connect with people who are relevant to your profile.
Further, you should “add a note” before sending a request. It is a great tool to personalize your request and has shown to significantly improve the response rate.
Write your professional experience
Think of this in terms of a professional experience section on a resume. However, make sure that the points in your profile are not the same as on your resume. You cannot change your job responsibilities but try to rephrase each point so that they do not look similar.
It is an important step in revamping your LinkedIn profile, as it will showcase your work-related points.
There are three ways you can showcase your professional achievements:
- Experience: In the experience section, under each profile, add a few achievements based statements. Focus on the points that have numbers. Further, avoid writing long paragraphs. Make sure each statement does not exceed more than one line.
- Projects: Add all the projects you have worked on. LinkedIn allows you to add projects in a separate section.
- Awards: These awards can be anything. For instance, you may have received an “employee of the year” award. Include all the awards you have won.
Before you add any information on your profile, you should use keywords, not buzzwords. It is not ideal to include “experienced”, “passionate”, “analytical thinking”, etc.
Sure, these skills are a requirement for most profiles but there is no way you can substantiate this information.
Instead, you should be using profile-specific keywords in your profile. For instance, a marketing professional should have “brand presence”, ”copywriting”, “search engine optimization”, etc. in his profile.
The idea of keywords is to improve your presence on LinkedIn. Let’s say someone searches for “copywriting” on the search bar. If your profile has “copywriting” then it might be shown in the search results.
However, how would you know what keywords your profile should have? Apart from choosing expertise related to your domain, optimize the keywords with respect to your target profile.
Go through a few job posts and see the pattern of keywords that is present in most posts. Accordingly, you can incorporate those keywords into your profile.
Make a credible profile
Improve the credibility of your profile by asking for validation from a third-party source.
You can achieve this by asking for recommendations and endorsements. However, when asking for recommendations, do not simply announce to your connections that you are seeking a recommendation. Or even indulge in a mutual exchange of one, as it does not create the right impression.
Ask from the people who work in the same domain as you. You can ask your mentor or your co-workers. The idea is to be selective in your approach.
Further, create a concrete impact on the skills you add by asking for endorsements. However, even though LinkedIn allows you to add 50 skills, make sure there are not more than 5-6 skills that showcase endorsements.
Connect with professionals outside of your network
Apart from using the basic practice of sending connection requests to professionals. Visit profiles on LinkedIn. When you click on a profile, it notifies that professional whose profile you checked. This is a great tool to improve your visibility.
You can use this strategy when you have a good number of pending requests. So, instead of sending more requests, you can do this to make sure that your visibility does not suffer.
Further, you can use InMail, a premium feature on LinkedIn that allows you to send requests to professionals you are not connected to.
42% of LinkedIn users update their statuses regularly. Your profile optimization efforts will go in vain if you stay inactive on LinkedIn
.The LinkedIn algorithm works in a way that helps professionals stay active.
So, here are a few pointers that can get you going:
- Updates: Share updates regarding some professional developments. This feature is similar to a “status update” on social media platforms. The idea of updating your status is to improve your profile visibility so keep engaging with other professionals.
- Comment: Comment on valuable posts you come across. This is a great method to improve your visibility.
- Trending News: A new feature of LinkedIn that displays recent developments in the business world. Share trending news and engage with professionals.
To end, the above tips exhaustively cover each aspect of how you can revamp your LinkedIn profile. However, make sure that you include only legitimate points. Do not diminish the professional standards followed and adhere to the best practices while engaging with professionals.
In all, let’s take a quick glance at what we covered in the above article:
- Make sure you update the headline correctly while keeping it professional.
- Use a professional profile picture and a cover photo.
- Avoid long paragraphs while writing the summary.
- Personalize the URL and share the URL of your profile on other social media platforms.
- Keep your network restricted to professionals who are from your industry.
- Don’t overstuff your profile with irrelevant keywords.
- Use recommendations and endorsements to make a credible profile.