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How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search

Published on 06.07.2023 by Sofia N

LinkedIn is a great place to network with other professionals, but if your profile looks unprofessional or incomplete, it will make you look bad. Recruiters use the platform to find perfect candidates for the open positions at their workplace, so it's a valuable resource for professionals of all ages. A well-crafted LinkedIn profile will help you establish your professional identity, increase online visibility, and career prospects. This is because it serves as a kind of "online resume" but with more personality. To help you reach your professional goals, here are some tips for improving your LinkedIn experience.

Top 10 Best Ways To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Search

If you're on a job hunt, your LinkedIn profile is probably as important as your CV or a cover letter. Firstly, most employers put up the job announcements on here. And before responding to selected candidates or scheduling an interview, they check out the person's personal page on the platform. To help you stand out from the competitors, we summed up the top 10 ways you can use LinkedIn to boost your chances of getting hired.

1. Put Up A Professional Headshot

Make your profile photo look professional, and be sure that it's visible to the public. While taking a headshot is the most optimal option, you don't necessarily have to do it. It depends on the type of industry you work in too. Graphic designers for instance, don't need a headshot. Generally, it's recommended to take a picture of yourself in business attire against a mostly neutral background. 

2. Use the Proper Keywords

Once you change it to public viewing, anyone can find your profile and view it in its entirety. In your headline, include the keywords that potential employers search for when they're looking to fill a position similar to what you have an experience in. If you don't know which ones those are, look at job listings that seem perfect matches for what you do and copy their language when describing yourself in "About Me" sections or blogs. Keywords should describe what you do. "Web developer" is a good keyword for someone who develops websites. Similarly, "expertise" would be more suitable for someone with years of experience applying for a senior position.

  • Make a professional-looking headline: People's first impression depends on your profile. A headline should accurately describe who you are and what you do. Keep it short and sweet. Try not using too many words.
  • Add relevant skills: You don't want to include everything you can do. Instead, concentrate on outlining the precise competencies pertinent to your field and the job descriptions you are applying for.
  • Include: Your title, what you do, an additional heading or message (this can be personal).

3. Optimize Your Introductory

If you've ever talked to a certified professional resume writer (CPRW) or a career counselor, you already know you must begin optimizing your LinkedIn profile by emphasizing the first few lines of the introduction. While viewing your profile, hiring managers and recruiters will focus on that before anything else.

  • A recruiter will be more likely to find your résumé if it includes a keyword-rich headline, relevant to the position or market you are pursuing.
  • Look at the "open to" feature (located in the introduction section of your profile).
  • Another excellent place to add keywords to your profile is in the "about" section, found immediately after the introduction.
  • In the “Experience” part of your profile, use mostly first-person language to discuss your main responsibilities. Try not to repeat the contents of your resume.

4. Choose a Compelling Cover Image

When you create a LinkedIn profile, remember that it's the first thing potential employers will see. Your cover image should not be blurry or of poor quality. Use a clear, high quality image to establish credibility and maintain the professional image. A well-designed cover should match the tone and quality of the textual information so that a recruiter or hiring manager can get a cohesive picture of who you are.

5. Upload Your Portfolio

Either provide a link to your portfolio or manually upload your best work on your page. This will again depend on the type of industry you are working in. Copywriters will most likely have a separate portfolio with a link listed somewhere in their introductory section. Graphic designers or artists can upload few images of the work they are most proud of. Sometimes even create albums dedicated to the different types of projects they have worked on. Sometimes, the portfolio can make a better impression on the potential employer than your CV. Especially if you have no years of experience to back you up; if they like what they see, chances are they will hire you over more experienced candidates.

6. Make Connections and Join Groups

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, so it's no surprise you should use it to connect with people in your field. You can also use LinkedIn message options to connect with new people. Search for groups based on your industry or job function, or browse by location and the area of interest. When aiming at working for a particular company, having a strong connection with someone at the company will give you an edge over your competitors. If you don't know anyone, reach out to the recruiter who has viewed to your application. Or use LinkedIn navigation to join groups and build your network and befriend people who can help you achieve your goals. You can find groups on the navigation bar. Any available ones will be highlighted in blue under Groups You May Like.

7. Set Your Profile Public

If you're not a celebrity or a part of the witness protection program, make your profile viewable by everybody. Your LinkedIn profile is visible to everyone, whether they are logged in or not. However, your full information will only be shown when someone views you with the "full-view" option. When potential employers are browsing your profile they will want to get the full picture of who you are, so it's a good idea to ensure they see the best possible version of you before extending an offer.

8. Plan Out Your Content

When posting or sharing anything on LinkedIn, use caution. Employers can learn a lot about you from the kind of things you share or post, so optimize your posts for search engines. Tailor your profile to the kinds of jobs you’re interested in, sharing postings from organizations similar to the ones you want to be a part of or sharing the latest articles about events and activities relevant to your field.

9. Create a vanity URL for LinkedIn

Vanity URLs look more appealing, and search engines prefer them to a bunch of random letters. To create your vanity URL, click Profile in the top menu and select Edit Profile. Then, edit the messy link below the image. Your existing URL is mentioned on the right side of the page beneath the Public Profile options.

10. Display Your Academic or Award Success

You should list your educational background, academic or non academic classes and internship you have taken in the Education section on your profile. To add a school, find the Add a School link and then fill in all the necessary information. All honors and accolades should be detailed in your resume's Honors and Awards section. This part can be found further down the page, under Education, on the left side. Honors and awards are added to the Further Information section by clicking +Add, completing the form that pops up, then clicking Save Changes.

Final Words

A strong LinkedIn profile can be crucial when recruiters or employers look for prospecting new candidates online. According to Forbes, this particular social media platform is the key to job search and employment on both sides.  Like your résumé, you should aim to update your LinkedIn profile at least on a yearly basis. Because LinkedIn is so popular among professionals, optimizing your profile is kind of a necessary step in the process of getting hired. Use the tips given above and add your own things to make your page even more customized.