If you are thinking about using LinkedIn to actively search for a job, make sure that your entire profile represents you in the best way possible.
By learning these 19 essential LinkedIn profile tips, you are guaranteed to get noticed by recruiters and increase your profile views to land an interview!
1. Start With a Catchy Headline
Your headline is the most visible piece of information to recruiters and hiring managers, which is why this is LinkedIn Profile tip #1.
Instead of writing your current job title and company, make sure that you mention the type of job you are looking for.
Also, mention what you bring to the table with keywords recruiters will be looking for.
Here are a few LinkedIn headline examples:
Senior sales professional who has literally sold ice to an Eskimo.
Organized executive assistant specializing in making your life easier.
Author/Writer specializing in LinkedIn tips for job seekers.
Customer Success Manager / Increased customer satisfaction ratings by 10%
Digital Marketer / Google Ads & Analytics Certified / PPC, SEM, Facebook Ads
What should your LinkedIn headline look like if you are unemployed?
You should still just mention the type of job you are looking for. There is no need to add things like "seeking employment" or "available for new opportunities." You have 220 characters, make them count.
Instead of blasting your unemployed status across LinkedIn in your headline, you can choose to share that you are open to finding a new job with recruiters only.
(Need more ideas? Check out LinkedIn Headline Ideas That Don’t Suck.)
2. Broaden Your Location
Do you live in a smaller town next to a large city that you are willing to work in?
If so, make sure that you put the closest large city in your location.
This will make it easier for job recruiters and hiring managers to find you.
3. Add a Relevant Industry
Having a relevant industry will help recruiters find your LinkedIn profile.
4. Customize Your URL
This LinkedIn profile tip is oftentimes overlooked for years.
Who wants a URL with a bunch of random numbers next to your name?
Customizing your URL will give your profile a cleaner look.
It will also help you stand out from the pack.
If you haven’t already, select “Profile” and click the little gear/cog next to your profile URL under your picture (do this on a desktop).
This will take you to a page where you can customize your URL on the upper right-hand side.
Edit your URL so that it is (linkedin.com/yourname).
5. Select a Professional Photo
Make sure that your profile photo represents you in a professional manner. This doesn't mean you need to hire a professional photographer.
Smile, face the camera, and try to dress nicely.
Take a look at profile photos of others in your industry.
Note exactly how they are presenting themselves.
6. Add a Background Photo
A background photo is always a nice touch for a profile that looks complete.
It adds personality and character to your professional LinkedIn profile.
Recruiters and hiring managers will appreciate you making an effort in your online presence.
7. Spice Up Your Summary
This is your opportunity to show who you really are.
It also happens to be one of the most important LinkedIn profile tips of all.
The best LinkedIn summary is one that shows off your achievements.
Add any relevant, industry-specific work experiences you have.
This is also a great section for you to add some personality.
Do not be afraid to speak in the first person and speak directly to the hiring manager/recruiter reading your summary.
Your summary should be tailored towards your target audience while telling a story about yourself, your experiences, skills, and achievements.
An ideal summary is 3-5 short paragraphs.
The summary is a good place to include your contact info.
8. Use Relevant Experience
A common mistake that job seekers make is adding too much information.
If you are applying for an engineering position, remove your babysitting experience from your LinkedIn profile.
If you have no relevant work experience, some things you can consider including are:
- Relevant projects
- Volunteer work
- Experiences that relate to whatever field you are trying to get into
A recruiter should be able to skim your LinkedIn and know what you are looking for.
They should not get confused by unrelated work experience.
9. Add a Current Job Even When Unemployed
If you’re unemployed and your LinkedIn is showing that you have no “current” job, it will be a lot harder for a recruiter to find you.
LinkedIn offers a filter when searching for people with the option to look for “current,” “past,” or “current and past” professionals in a given industry.
In order to save a ton of time, recruiters typically look for “current” employees.
A LinkedIn profile tip to help you get noticed is to add your desired job title such as “Executive Assistant” or “Sales Professional.”
Follow this by “Seeking Opportunities” or “In Transition” in the Company Name box so it doesn't remain blank.
10. School, Work, or Projects
Some of you might have little to no work experience.
In this case, it is extremely important to make up for it with any school or personal projects that relate to your desired job.
No work experience doesn’t mean you have no experience to show.
11. Utilize Volunteer Experience
Some studies show that people who have volunteer experience on their LinkedIn profile are 20% more likely to get hired than those who don’t.
I can’t speak to the validity of that statistic, but it definitely can’t hurt to add volunteer work if you have it.
Volunteer work adds experience and shows a willingness to work with others in order to contribute to the community.
12. Add Multimedia
This LinkedIn profile tip is sure to add some color and style to your profile, making it more enjoyable to look at.
Many people fail to utilize the multimedia feature on the LinkedIn profile.
Take a look at the profile of someone with multimedia under his or her summary and work experiences and compare it to someone who doesn’t.
Multimedia can spice up your profile by showcasing your work.
Add photos, videos, links, and slideshows to your profile.
If you don’t have any work to show off, just try adding the URL to your company website.
13. Strategic Skills Only
A common mistake job seekers make on LinkedIn is adding too many skills.
Do you really expect a recruiter to believe you have all of those skills?
And are ALL of them relevant to the job you are looking for?
Make sure to be strategic with the skills you add.
The more skills you add, the fewer endorsements you will get on each skill.
Start with 10-20 relevant skills and work your way up.
14. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The skills you add to your profile also play a factor in SEO.
But they are not the only things playing a factor.
Make sure to review your LinkedIn profile when you finish this article.
Add any relevant keywords that you think an employer will be using to find someone for the job.
This particular Linkedin profile tip is also very useful for your resume.
15. Add Contact Info
This seems obvious but surprisingly is overlooked a lot.
Add your contact info to your profile (and make sure it's correct) so that the recruiter can get a hold of you!
16. Join Relevant Groups
By joining groups you will increase your chances of finding someone, or someone finding you, for a job.
Of course, you will want to be strategic about the groups you join.
Join industry-specific groups and begin networking with other professionals in your desired role.
You might even run into someone that can offer you some additional LinkedIn profile tips that we haven't mentioned.
17. Add Interests
Adding interests to your LinkedIn profile allows your viewer to learn a little bit more about you.
Who knows, maybe a common interest that you have with the hiring manager will be the little extra push they need to give you a call.
18. Network Within Your Desired Industry
Groups aren’t the only way to meet industry-specific people.
Once your profile is completed, don’t be afraid to search LinkedIn for people in your desired industry.
Use the search bar at the top to type in your desired job title or industry and then add a filter to view only your second-degree connections.
These people have the best chance of accepting your invite.
After all, you already have a mutual friend in common.
19. Ask for Recommendations
So you've created a great profile and talked a lot about yourself.
What about what others have to say about you?
Think of LinkedIn recommendations as a way for potential employers to get confirmation from people that you've worked with that you are as great as you claim to be.
Don't be afraid to ask for recommendations to complete your profile.
Bonus Tip: Get Help!
At the end of the day, creating an effective, high-value LinkedIn profile is not easy.
There are professionals out there who do this for a living.
If you are interested in finding a company to do the work for you, check out our list of the Best LinkedIn Profile Writing Services in America.