Your LinkedIn profile is a golden opportunity. In essence, it’s a free personal marketing channel. Employers and recruiters can go to your profile to learn about your qualifications, passions, and current goals. In many cases, it’s where they start figuring out whether or not you’ll be a great fit for their teams.
But if you want to attract their attention, you have to put some time and effort into your LinkedIn profile. The platform helps you showcase your skills with a wide variety of features—and it’s important that you take advantage of them all.
Read on to discover 10 LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers.
Choose Your Profile Picture Wisely
First impressions last forever. Choose a high-quality profile picture that clearly shows your face. It should also reflect the level of professionalism expected in your industry. For example, if you’re in the legal industry, wear a suit in your photo. If you’re in the graphic design industry, a colorful, funky outfit may be more appropriate.
Consider Adding a Background Photo
You don’t have to include a background photo, but we recommend it. It’s an additional visual marker that adds context to your profile picture. Choose a high-quality photo. You’ll find plenty of free photos on websites like Pexels or Unsplash. Ideally, yours will reflect your industry. For example, if you’re in the tech industry, consider a photo of a computer or software code. If you’re in the education industry, consider a photo of a pile of books.
Create a Clear Headline
Your headline doesn’t have to be a job title. (Though it can be if you’d like.) Set yourself apart by using your headline to showcase your skills on a big-picture level. For example, instead of an “HR Lead,” you might be an “HR Specialist with a Focus on Team Building.” Instead of a “Copywriter,” you might be a “B2C Startup and SME Copywriter.”
Write a Personal Summary Section
The summary section (i.e., the “About” section) is your chance to tell your story. Don’t list your experience or skills, since you’ll have a place to do that below. Instead, share your personal passions and goals, explaining how you got where you are and what your goals are. Make it personal—this section is where you’ll sell who you are!
Don’t Skimp on Your Experience
In the experience section, list all of your past roles and jobs. Even if they don’t seem relevant to the positions you’re applying for, recruiters and hiring managers like to see your career journey. Today, businesses are looking for flexible employees who can learn quickly; if you can show that you’ve excelled in multiple roles, you will stand out.
List Relevant Skills
Before you start listing every skill you think you have, consider your current career focus. Then, select your most relevant skills to showcase. Recruiters and hiring managers will have a much easier time reviewing those skills, and they’ll clearly reflect your current goals.
Consider Skills Assessments
Skills assessments are online tests that empower you to certify your skills. They’ll allow you to display a Verified Skills badge on your LinkedIn profile. Showing off proof of your abilities will make you stand out from the crowd—and show that you’re serious about the skills you’ve claimed you have.
Ask for Recommendations
A public recommendation will allow hiring managers to get a good idea of what it’s like to work with you. It’s easy to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn. Use the drop-down menu in the “Recommendations” section of your profile to reach out to a contact or your network and make a request. Be sure to choose recommenders who will personalize their requests.
Share the Love
There’s no better way to get skill endorsements and recommendations than giving them yourself. Consider professionals you’ve worked with within the past (or currently). Give those who you feel stand out either some skills endorsements or a recommendation. Some of the people you respect are likely to endorse or recommend you in turn.
Interact with Others
The more you share relevant content, the more attention you’ll attract to your network. It’s also a good way to establish yourself as a thought leader. On the other hand, it’s important that you comment on and like others’ content. Showing that you’re a community member can lead to more networking opportunities. If there are recruiters in your distant network, they’ll take note.
Conclusion: Standing Apart from the Pack on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great tool for helping you stand out from other job applicants. However, you’ve got to take the time to ensure your profile reflects the best version of your professional self. By following these LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers, you should be able to catch a hiring team’s attention and secure a role you love.