LinkedIn is one of the most important tools for the modern recruiter. It acts as a huge data resource that allows recruiters to find and contact thousands of active and passive job seekers. In this blog, we’ll tell you 10 easy tips to improve your chances of being discovered.
There is no one right rule for optimizing your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is constantly changing its algorithm, and features are being added and old ones are being changed at a regular pace. The purpose of this blog is not to cover all the features of a LinkedIn profile, but to highlight the basic, but important, factors of a good LinkedIn profile that are often overlooked.
General rules for a good LinkedIn profile
Before you start creating or polishing your LinkedIn profile, there are three things to keep in mind. These guidelines apply to LinkedIn on a general level and should be kept in mind whenever you update your profile.
Write your profile in English
If your goal is to be found, we encourage you to write your profile in English. The main language of LinkedIn is English and all the search tools used by recruiters work best in English. Write in the language that’s being used to search you.
Use keywords that describe your skills
Keywords are terms or combinations of terms that people use to search for information online. In LinkedIn’s case, keywords are mainly terms in the professional sphere that are used by LinkedIn users to search for professionals in a particular area of expertise.
Before you start writing your profile, make a list of keywords or combinations of keywords that describe your skills or the company you represent. When choosing keywords, you should avoid generic terms that are very common in your industry. The more generic a keyword, the more profiles will appear as a result of the search, and the harder it’ll be for that keyword to be found.
Adding media gives context for your expertise
It is possible to upload files such as documents, images, links or videos to a LinkedIn profile. Adding media files will make your profile more visual and it will give more context for your skills.
You should use the media in connection to your work. Not everyone who views your profile may know your employer or their services. By adding a link to an employer’s website or product brochure, you make getting to know your company easier.
It is also a good idea to add media to the summary. For example, you can upload your portfolio, thesis, or links to your social media channels to your profile. All of these will give the recruiter or the person interested in your services a better picture of your skills.
LinkedIn profile content
LinkedIn profile pictures are a great way to stand out from the crowd
When your profile is opened, the first thing people will see is the cover photo. This image is a very important, but largely underused part of the LinkedIn profile. A good cover image visually tells who you are and what you do. By adding text to your cover image, you can market your business services or invite those interested in your services to stay in touch.
Unlike a CV, for example, it is absolutely important to add a profile picture to LinkedIn, although recruitment decisions are never made on the basis of appearance. However, LinkedIn is not just a tool used by recruiters and therefore you should always have a profile picture.
While it's a good idea to invest in a profile picture, you don't have to pay for a professional picture. The image quality of smartphones is completely enough for LinkedIn. For example, you can ask your friend to take your picture. When taking a picture, you should make sure that the picture is bright and that you’re dressed according to the expectations of your industry. If you’re looking for marketing jobs in the gaming industry, you’re definitely not expected to suit up. However, a neat suit can be a good choice for a person looking to work in the banking industry.
The headline is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile
The headline is the most important part of a LinkedIn profile. Its purpose is to express your current work situation and skills, or alternatively about the services provided by your company in a few words (max. 120 characters).
The headline along with your profile picture is the only part of the profile that appears in the news feed to other LinkedIn members. The headline is also a very important part of LinkedIn's search function, so you should make sure that the headline includes your most important keywords.
A summary of your LinkedIn profile is a summary of your skills
The maximum length of the summary is 2,000 characters and it is your opportunity to tell more about your expertise or the company you represent. It is a good idea to write a summary about your own work situation, training and special skills. A good summary gives a quick but comprehensive picture of your professionalism without the reader having to read your profile further.
You should also list your own or your company's contact information in the summary to make it as easy as possible for us to contact you.
If you’re actively looking for a job, this should be clearly mentioned in the summary. Tell the recruiter what the job you’re looking for is, when you can start in a new position and how to reach you.
List the tools and technologies you know in the skills section
The skills section makes it easy to gather a large amount of generic skills that say little about your specific skills. Classic examples include teamwork, strategy, sales, accounting or management. Instead of general skills, choose a set of concrete tools, techniques, and technologies that give an accurate picture of your skills. Here are a few examples:
- Sales Professional: Mention which CRM system you have used (e.g. Hubspot, Pipedrive, ActiveCampaign).
- Graphic Designer: list the most important softwares and tools. Do you use Adobe or Autodesk software in your work and are you an experienced user of Wacom drawing boards?
- Accounting Expert: Tell us what accounting or auditing tools you can use. Also tell the recruiter if you specialize in internal or external accounting.
- Software Developer: Lists the technologies and tools you use in your work that you want to work with in the future.
By listing concrete tools and technologies, you’re clear about the specific skills you master. When you’re happy with your list, ask your friends and colleagues to recommend you (endorse skill).
LinkedIn titles say nothing about your skills
When writing about your work experience, don’t just list job titles. Generic titles like Account Manager, Software Engineer or Designer say little about your skills or experience. Instead, write at least the following in the description section of each task:
- What your main tasks and responsibilities were
- Your greatest achievements
- The most important things you learned during work
- The tools, techniques, or technologies you used
Write down what your degree includes and what you learned
You can’t assume that a recruiter looking at your profile or a person interested in your services knows all schools or education programs. It is not enough to simply write the name of your degree or school. In the education description section, write about the content of your degree and the skills you learned. For example, you can write briefly about the structure of your degree, your area of specialization, your dissertation, and your accomplishments.
Add completed certificates at the end of the profile
If you have taken official certifications or proficiency tests during your studies or career, report them in the accomplishments section of your LinkedIn profile. Official certifications such as language tests are a great way to demonstrate your proficiency with generally accepted metrics.
Tip: Did you take the official language test during the student exchange? Add its result to LinkedIn.