LinkedIn is about as synonymous with job searching in the 21st century as peanut butter and jelly. Making a good impression online isn’t rocket science, but it does involve you being intentional about what you include on your profile. Below are five tried and true methods to help you make your LinkedIn stand out as you apply for roles.
Good quality profile picture
Did you know that a profile with a headshot gets 21 times the views and 9 times the requests to connect than a profile without one? Even if you don’t have access to a professional photographer, you can still create the conditions to take a great picture. Quick tips:
|Dress appropriately for the role you’re applying to||Stand under direct sun|
|Look at the camera||Wear busy patterns, textures, or logos|
|Find a background that’s not distracting||Use a full-body photo – it’ll get cut off|
|Use a photo from the waist- or chest-up|
|For best results, use a square photo (400 x 400 px)|
Remember, your header or background image should not clash with your profile photo. Try to use a design or theme that doesn’t use a lot of text or complicated background. LinkedIn asks for a 1584 x 396 px JPG or PNG (tools like Canva make it easy to meet these requirements).
2. Include more than your job title in the headline
Your headline is shown at the top of your profile, in “People You May Know,” search results – everywhere! LinkedIn will by default use your most recent job title and company name. However, this is the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager sees – maybe even before your resume, so your headline should give a quick summary of what you excel at and/or what you are looking for. Consider using keywords for your industry, certifications, and skills specific to a role. Make the most of the 220 character limit!
Jobscan offers several good examples and prompts in their blog.
3. A clear About section
This is a key part of your personal branding, and LinkedIn gives you up to 2600 characters to tell your story. Who are you professionally and what do you have to offer to your audience? Contributor Manca Korelc describes it as attending a networking event or delivering an elevator pitch. Talk about your skills and use relevant examples (e.g. “I accomplished X as measured by Y by doing Z”). Don’t forget a call to action – what next step do you want the recruiter, hiring manager, or connection to take?
The general consensus is to use the entire 2600 character limit (helps search engines find you), but make it easy to read by crafting a strong first sentence, using short headlines to break up the text, and even a few emojis as appropriate.
4. Highlight achievements in the Experience section
Still keeping in mind your audience, Experience is the part of your profile that should showcase the results you’ve achieved in previous positions. Use active verbs – for example, “direct” would be a stronger word choice than “supervise.” Like you did for your About section, call out any data or metrics that prove how you can apply your expertise to future roles. Be specific and use bullet points to help readers find the most relevant information at a glance.
5. Give and ask for endorsements
Leverage your LinkedIn community with this feature by first recognizing others’ skills; you can considerately ask them to also endorse your key skills. As you receive endorsements from your connections, you may wish to show certain ones on your profile and hide less relevant ones. Similarly, you can reach out to colleagues and ask for a brief testimonial about what it’s like to work with you. Think of this like you would your professional references when you submit an application.
Give these tips a try and let us know how they impacted your job search. Stay connected with Another Source as we continue sharing more advice for job seekers – you can find us at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Written by Evelyn Kwong 2023