Numbers don’t lie. Studies show that 40 million job seekers use LinkedIn to search for jobs every week and 87% of recruiters consider it the most effective place to look for job candidates.
To make the most out of the largest professional network in the world, you should optimize your LinkedIn profile and leverage it to its fullest potential to land your dream job.
Up your job search game by following these LinkedIn profile tips and strategies we carefully curated just for you.
Table of Contents
- What is an optimized LinkedIn profile?
- Benefits of an optimized LinkedIn profile
- How to optimize your LinkedIn profile
- LinkedIn profile tips
- LinkedIn optimization do’s and dont’s
- Key Takeaways
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What is an optimized LinkedIn profile?
Having an optimized LinkedIn profile means you have a complete and updated profile with the right and relevant industry-specific keywords recruiters look for and a strong professional online brand that ranks high in LinkedIn searches.
Why you should optimize your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn has revealed that having a complete and optimized LinkedIn profile alone makes you 40 times more likely to receive opportunities and be found.
Additionally, having an optimized LinkedIn profile helps you:
- Appear in more LinkedIn search results and become more visible on LinkedIn.
- Build and strengthen your professional brand.
- Get more opportunities, from jobs to connections and networks.
- Position yourself as an expert in your field or industry.
- Establish your credibility.
- Stand out if you apply for a job via LinkedIn.
- Build relationships with other professionals and even with recruiters
How do you optimize your LinkedIn profile?
To optimize your LinkedIn profile, you need to:
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile sections are complete and regularly updated.
- Ensure that you appear on LinkedIn searches when recruiters look for people like you by adding relevant keywords to your profile.
- Make the recruiter want to click and view your profile once you appear in LinkedIn search results.
- Hook the recruiter’s attention so when they view your LinkedIn profile, they’ll want to read more about you.
24 of the best LinkedIn profile tips that work
Jobscan has compiled a list of 24 LinkedIn profile optimization tips to guide you as you leverage the largest and most powerful networking platform in the world.
1. Know what you want to get out of your LinkedIn profile
Before anything else, you have to define your goals for joining LinkedIn.
- Do you want to expand your network and reach?
- Do you want to get a job offer and land your dream job?
- Do you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field and industry?
- Do you want to show recruiters that you are open to work opportunities?
Whatever your goals are, these should guide you as you intentionally and strategically build your LinkedIn profile.
2. Think like a recruiter
Now that you have pinned down your LinkedIn goals, you need to switch hats and think like a recruiter. Because ultimately, it is the recruiters and hiring managers who call the shots.
So you must be strategic about what you include in your profile to solidify your professional brand and impress recruiters.
Here are some questions you need to ponder:
- What type of job candidate would the recruiter like to hire for the position you are interested in?
- What skills would the recruiter or prospective employer want you to have to succeed in the job?
- What problems would the recruiter want you to solve?
- What information on your profile would the recruiter love to see?
- What keywords or skills would the recruiter most likely search for?
You may also go so far as to seek help from real recruiters and ask them what they would search for to find the candidate for the specific role. Like your goals, you can use this information to guide you as you build and optimize your profile.
Want to know more about how recruiters use LinkedIn to search for the best candidates? Check our resources:
- Job Seeker’s Guide to LinkedIn Recruiter Search
- How to Get Recruited on LinkedIn + Tips from Recruiters
3. Incorporate relevant keywords into your profile
To increase your chances of appearing in searches and grabbing the attention of recruiters, you need to intentionally incorporate relevant keywords into your profile.
Why? Because recruiters type job-specific keywords on LinkedIn to look for potential candidates. These keywords can be:
- Hard skills
- Soft skills
- Job titles
- Industry-specific words
Without these keywords in your profile, your chances of appearing in recruiter searches in a sea of more than 900 million members is very slim.
How do you find which keywords to include? Study the job description of the jobs you are interested in and take note of the keywords that appear frequently. Then weave these keywords into different sections of your LinkedIn profile.
4. Customize your LinkedIn URL
Your LinkedIn URL takes people directly to your LinkedIn profile. When you create your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn assigns you a default URL with a string of your name and random numbers.
To make it shorter and easier to remember, you need to customize your LinkedIn URL. Doing so also makes it easier for recruiters and potential employers to find you on LinkedIn.
Read our full guide: How to Change Your LinkedIn URL
5. Add your location and industry
Updating your location and industry on LinkedIn brings in more opportunities and helps LinkedIn members and recruiters reach out to you.
If your target company is in a different location and you are willing to relocate, you can use that new location.
This way, when recruiters search for potential candidates within that specific geographic location, you will appear in the search results.
6. Use a great LinkedIn headshot
Having a professional LinkedIn profile picture gives you 21 times more profile views, 36 times more messages, and 9 times more connections.
Additionally, in less than 100 milliseconds after looking at your profile picture, a hiring manager or recruiter will form their impression of you.
So make sure you have a recent, decent, crisp, well-lit, and professional profile picture. Ideally, the size of your profile picture should be 400 x 400 pixels.
Read our full guide: 5 Tips for Taking a Professional LinkedIn Profile Picture (Without Paying for Headshots).
7. Upload a great background
Many LinkedIn users don’t bother choosing their LinkedIn background and just resort to the default background.
This is a missed opportunity since the background image on your profile reinforces your brand and supports what you showcase on your profile.
Your LinkedIn background photo should be 1584 x 396 pixels for best quality. It should capture the attention of recruiters in the right ways or build on your professional brand.
8. Create a strong LinkedIn headline
Your LinkedIn headline is one of the heavily weighted sections of your LinkedIn profile, so you have to put careful thought into crafting one that helps you appear in recruiter searches.
With 220 available characters, your LinkedIn headline is your one-liner resume that encapsulates your professional identity. Additionally, it’s the first section a recruiter or hiring manager sees after your name when they search LinkedIn or view your profile.
By default, your current job title becomes your LinkedIn headline. To increase the impact of your headline, you need to maximize the 220-character limit and make the headline powerful enough to grab the attention of the recruiter.
What to include in your LinkedIn headline
- Current job title and company
- Unique value proposition
- Tangible achievements and accomplishments
- Areas of expertise or any specialties
- Hard skills
- Key certifications
- Professional credentials
- Relevant industry-specific keywords
You may also include other things you are most proud of. Here is an example of a LinkedIn headline from a real job seeker.
In this example, the job seeker leads with “Senior Digital Marketing Manager,” which is her current job title. This is critical because the job title is actually the most important search keyword.
The job seeker then packs a ton of meaningful and frequently searched hard skills separated by vertical bars/pipes (|).
You can check this article for more examples of impactful LinkedIn headlines.
9. Craft a compelling and powerful LinkedIn summary or “About Me” section that tells your story
Your LinkedIn summary sits under your photo and gives you 2,600 characters to work with.
The summary is your elevator pitch that gives the reader a quick glimpse of who you are as a professional, what your relevant accomplishments are, and the value you bring to the table.
What to include in your LinkedIn summary:
- Greatest measurable achievements
- Your fields of expertise
- Your story
- Career anecdotes
- Summary of your key skills
- What makes you unique
- Your value proposition
Make sure that your LinkedIn summary section is compelling enough to hook the recruiter’s attention and make them want to continue reading your profile.
Check our complete guide for examples of robust LinkedIn summaries: How to Write a Powerful LinkedIn Summary: Examples and Tips
10. Complete your LinkedIn experience section
This is a crucial section of your LinkedIn profile that you should not underutilize.
Recruiters who view your profile will likely spend most of their time here as this gives them a picture of your career trajectory, previous roles, and the companies you’ve worked for.
Tips for filling out your LinkedIn experience section
- Use your professional job title, incorporating keywords such as your fields of expertise.
- Specify your employment type (whether full-time, part-time, self-employed, freelance, etc.)
- Specify the company name.
- Specify the location of the company you worked for.
- Include your start and end dates and specify your industry.
- Utilize the brief description field by adding your key measurable accomplishments for the company.
11. In your experience section, link to your previous company’s LinkedIn page
Doing this will increase your searchability and will pull up your profile once a recruiter or hiring manager decides to look up your company profile.
If you have your own company, create your own LinkedIn company page so that you can link directly to it.
12. Add your top measurable accomplishments in the description field in your LinkedIn experience section
The mistake most LinkedIn users make is that instead of zeroing in on their key achievements while in the role, they just explain what the company does or outline their job responsibilities.
Don’t make this mistake! Write your key accomplishments and achievements while in the role and prioritize those that are most relevant to your target job.
13. Maximize your LinkedIn skills section
The skills you put on your LinkedIn profile are factored into LinkedIn’s algorithm, which means that when a recruiter searches for a specific skill, your profile will appear in the search if it matches that skill.
So do not take this section for granted! Besides, LinkedIn users with 5 or more skills listed on their profile receive 33 times more messages from recruiters and other members and get 17 times more profile views.
14. Prioritize your top three skills in the LinkedIn skills section
Although you can add up to 50 skills in your skill section, LinkedIn only shows the top three skills you have. To see all your skills, the recruiter has to click on “show all skills.”
With this, you must be strategic about the top three skills you want to show. Make sure these skills are relevant to the job and industry you are targeting and give the recruiter a strong glimpse of yourself as a professional.
If you do not like the top three skills displayed on your page, you can just reorder them.
15. Get LinkedIn endorsements
Once you’ve added your skills, you get validations from your connections through skill endorsements.
These endorsements strengthen your profile and increase your chances of appearing on searches for skills that you have. You should note, though, that it is equally important to endorse others, especially those who endorsed you.
Check our full guide: How to Endorse and Get Endorsements on LinkedIn
16. Fill out your LinkedIn education section
Your education section is also an important section of your LinkedIn profile and should not be left blank.
Not only does it prove to recruiters your academic level and accomplishments, but it also increases your visibility when someone searches for your university or bachelor’s degree.
LinkedIn education section tips:
- Link to the school’s LinkedIn page.
- Include any key achievements and notable activities and affiliations while you were in school/university.
- Mention your key awards and honors you received.
- Attach media (photo, link, video) of your notable awards, certificates, and honors.
17. Use the LinkedIn volunteer section
Adding your volunteer experience to your LinkedIn page gives recruiters and hiring managers a new perspective on your passions, work ethic, and core values.
A LinkedIn survey showed that 41% of hiring managers in the US chose a job candidate because of their volunteer work. So don’t underestimate the power of this section!
When adding your volunteer experience, make sure you add measurable achievements and top accomplishments in the description box.
Check our full guide: How to Add Volunteer Experience to LinkedIn
18. Add licenses and certifications
This section speaks volumes about your dedication to your career and your commitment towards continuous improvement, which are hallmarks of an employee every company would want.
If you have a certificate as a Professional Project Manager or you have an MBA, make sure you add this to this section.
Check our full guide: Everything You Need to Know about LinkedIn Certifications
19. Get LinkedIn recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations are testimonials from other LinkedIn members that serve as verifiable evidence of your skills, character, and expertise.
Recommendations are social proof of who you are as a professional, and when these recommendations are peppered with relevant keywords, they will contribute to your searchability on LinkedIn.
You can ask other LinkedIn members you have worked with before for recommendations.
To help them craft a compelling recommendation, make sure that you brief them on your career goals, the specific skills or values you want them to showcase, and some keywords you want them to include.
More helpful guides on LinkedIn recommendations:
- Why LinkedIn Recommendations are Worth Your Time
- How to Recommend Someone on LinkedIn (and How to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation)
20. Expand your network and make new connections
If you want to expand your reach, cultivate influence, and establish your credibility within your field, having a great LinkedIn profile is not enough. You also need to network, engage, and build connections on LinkedIn.
These connections will play a key role in opening up more job opportunities for you, expanding your professional network, and helping you rank higher in LinkedIn recruiter search results.
Word of warning: LinkedIn only allows a maximum of 30,000 1st-degree connections for every member. Make sure you carefully think through who you want to connect with. At the end of the day, quality trumps quantity.
Check our full guide: How to Network on LinkedIn: 9 Experts Weigh In
21. Add your resume to LinkedIn
Adding your resume to LinkedIn signals to recruiters and hiring managers that you are looking for a job.
Additionally, when using LinkedIn Easy Apply, it will be much quicker for you to finish your application when you have a ready resume on LinkedIn.
Check out our article on how to upload your resume to LinkedIn.
22. Join LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are essential if you want to have a community of people in the same profession, field, or industry as you.
You can also use these groups to share your thoughts and ideas and grow your audience and engagement rate.
Check our full guide: How to Use LinkedIn Groups: A Comprehensive Guide
23. Stay active and post relevant content
To increase your engagement, you need to actively engage with your connections and post relevant content. You can also showcase samples of the professional work you are proud of in your LinkedIn Featured Section.
This way, your audience will continue to expand while you slowly build and solidify your professional brand and thought leadership.
24. Regularly update your LinkedIn profile
Nobody wants to see an outdated and dormant profile (certainly not your future employer!), so be sure to regularly update the different sections of your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn Optimization Do’s and Don’ts
Here are more LinkedIn profile tips and pointers to guide you as you build a robust and high-impact LinkedIn profile.
- Make an effort to get a high-quality, professional profile photo.
- Use all the characters available to you in key search fields, such as the headline, summary, and job titles.
- Expand on your default headline by adding industry keywords and relevant variations of your job title.
- Fill out every section of your LinkedIn profile.
- Build a large network of valuable LinkedIn connections.
- Add job and industry-specific keywords and hard skills to your headline, summary, and work experience LinkedIn sections.
- Back up your listed skills with accomplishments and quantifiable, measurable results.
- Label short-term gigs as “Contract” or “Temporary” within the job title.
- Engage your connections by posting quality content to the newsfeed and meaningfully commenting on others’ posts.
- Check new LinkedIn features like the Linkedin cover story video and update your LinkedIn profile accordingly.
- List skills you don’t actually have.
- Skip the profile summary section.
- Include jobs that you only held for a few months or don’t want to talk about in an interview.
- Leave off your college degree because it’s not relevant to your career.
- Overuse special characters, unicode symbols, and emojis.
- Set your search location to your current location if you’re trying to relocate.
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site in the world, and most recruiters and hiring managers use it to look for the best candidates.
You should spend time and careful thought on every section of your LinkedIn profile to increase your chances of getting job interviews and landing an offer.
Here are some things you need to remember:
- Keywords are everything! You need to read job descriptions of the roles you are targeting and see which skills, keywords, and industry jargon are frequently mentioned. Then work these into different sections of your LinkedIn profile.
- Don’t leave any section of your LinkedIn profile blank. Make sure you customize and update every section to maximize your impact.
- LinkedIn is a great platform to meet new professionals from across different industries, so be sure to build connections and expand your network. You can also do this by joining LinkedIn groups and engaging with helpful content.
- Regularly update your LinkedIn profile and continuously try to better improve and optimize your page.
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