How do you optimize your LinkedIn profile?

One of the most repeated questions that I get during my coaching sessions is: “how is my LinkedIn profile looking?”

Many people think of LinkedIn as a hybrid in between a virtual resume and a facebook account, and tend to ignore it when they are happy at their jobs. The truth is that LinkedIn is much more than that; it is an inbound marketing tool that will help you introduce yourself to the companies that you wish to work for. LinkedIn is the place where companies do active recruitment, public relations, community-building, sales, social media marketing and employer branding.

You read well. Companies do active recruitment on LinkedIn. Have you ever gotten a message from a recruiter? If not, it may well be because you have an incomplete profile that is pushing you down the LinkedIn search rankings, which will never help you to find the job that you are searching for. Thus, here is the guide on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile:

  • Choose the right profile picture, since it’s how people are introduced to you. You need to be loyal to yourself when it comes to aesthetics, but here are some tips that LinkedIn gives when it comes to profile picture: make sure the picture is recent and looks like you, make up your face takes up around 60% of it (long-distance shots don’t stand out), wear what you would like to wear to work, and smile with your eyes!
  • Add a background photo. The blue banner with connected dots has a beautiful blues scale but is really boring. Try to find something that inspires and represents you.
  • Use your headline wisely. You really don’t need to write your job title and the company you work for on your headline. Use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty, value proposition or what defines you the best as a professional.
  • Your summary is more than that. Use this space on your personal site to write a about you. It should showcase your “work passions, key skills, unique qualifications, and a list of the various industries you’ve had exposure to over the years.” Career Horizons.
  • Avoid words that bring no value and occupy space, such as ‘specialized’, ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’, ‘experienced’, ‘passionate’, ‘expert’, ‘creative’, ‘innovative’ and ‘certified’, as mentioned by LinkedIn itself.
  • Avoid using the third person to talk about yourself. It sounds really weird.
  • Write down your no-job. “If you’ve only listed the past positions you’ve held in the experience section but show nothing current, you’ll probably get missed in most searches. Why? Because most recruiting professionals exclusively use the current title box to search for candidates (source: University of Washington). Here some ideas:
    • Desired Title (job title) at Currently Seeking New Opportunities (company).
    • Desired next role (job title) at your industry (company).
  • Request recommendations for your profile, but ask for different type of recommendations focused on different skills of yourself.
  • Manage your endorsements. Those are the words that will help recruiters find you. Rookie mistake: I realized very advanced in my career that I still had my endorsements from my years at the university, very different to the ones I have nowadays. I updated the endorsements, and shortly after I started receiving messages from recruiters aligned with what I wanted.
  • Follow relevant influencers for your industry and your interests.
  • Make sure to share information that is relevant for your job. Leave the very personal stuff for other social media.
  • Stay active and share the news that you consider interesting; that will all help you build an identity.
  • Be a brand ambassador of your company and also make sure to share things that come from you.
  • Stay active although your job is going well; that will increase brand awareness of your company and people will be familiar with you by the time you become active in a job search – should that happen.
  • Wait! Not that active. Don’t spam people or they will start unfollowing you.

Take care,

Anabel

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