If you’re looking for work, updating your social media profiles should be one of your top priorities. Your cover letter and resume will most likely be what employers see first, but most of them are probably also going to review your online presence before they give serious thought to making a job offer.
LinkedIn is a powerful resource because it allows you to share your qualifications and network with an almost unlimited pool of professionals. Follow these tips to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
Show Your Face
According to the LinkedIn Official Blog, members who post a headshot receive, on average, 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests than people without. Your photo doesn’t have to be taken by a professional, just follow these suggestions:
- Dress the part – In your photo, wear what’s common for people in your industry. Simple solids look better than busy textures. Keep jewelry to a minimum.
- Have someone else take the photo – Use the camera or smartphone you already have.
- Stand against a simple background – Avoid patterns or cluttered interiors.
- Opt for natural light – Stand in front of a window or take the photo outside.
- Turn slightly – Stand at a ¾ angle with arms and hands relaxed.
- Upper body only – Full body shots make the subject appear too small. Take your photo from the waist or chest up.
- Use LinkedIn tools – Play with provided filters to get a look you’re happy with.
Add a Professional Cover Photo
Your cover photo is the big banner at the top of the page. It contributes to the “feel” of your profile.
Use a meaningful quote, word art that details your skills, a landscape, a photo of you at work or other background that matches the type of work you’re looking for. If you need help, Canva has templates and free to use images for social media banners.
Choose Related Keywords
When employers have a job opening and they look for candidates on LinkedIn, they enter what they’re looking for into the platform’s search bar. Then LinkedIn suggests matches and allows them to further filter results.
The results they see depends on where they’re located, their search history and the words they use. When your profile contains matching words and phrases (keywords) they’re more likely to see it in their list of results.
Find relevant keywords by running your own searches and making notes. For example, if you’re looking for an Office Manager job and you type that into the search bar, you’ll notice LinkedIn immediately suggests additional options like “Office Manager Executive Assistant” and “Office Manager Bookkeeper.”
Look at other peoples’ profiles and note the words they use to describe what they do. If you’re interested in specific companies or applying for posted job openings, use their online information to expand your keyword list. Any time they list a skill, certification or degree you have, add that to your list.
Use Keywords Where It Counts
Once you have your list of keywords, what should you do with them? Fill out your profile or review what you’ve already written. Then go back and add them where they fit.
Add them to your headline, your About/Summary section, and the Job Description section. You can also list up to 50 under Skills/Endorsements, but only do so if it makes sense in context. Then have someone you trust look over your profile to see if the phrasing sounds natural.
Complete Your Entire Profile
The goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of who you are and the value you bring to the table. Every section of your profile presents an opportunity to tell your story (and sprinkle in more of those keywords).
If you’re pressed for time, focus on your profile picture, cover photo, headline, summary and most recent job experience. But circle back later to make sure your Accomplishments and Licenses and Certifications sections tell the whole story, and that your Skills and Endorsements section doesn’t leave anything out.
Using LinkedIn For More Job Search Tips
Did you know Brelsford Personnel regularly posts jobs and job search resources on our LinkedIn page? Find us here, then click “Follow.”