The world watched as LinkedIn grew from a networking platform to a one-stop solution for job seekers.
Networking is not about how many people you know; it is about how many people know you.
The LinkedIn profile has become a compulsory assumption rather than a preference. Employers do not ask whether you have a LinkedIn profile anymore; they assume that you do.
A large number of job vacancies don't even end up on standard job portals. In most cases, they are grabbed by people who are connected with the employer/recruiter on LinkedIn - regardless of first/second/third degree connection.
This shows that LinkedIn matters. It's here to stay.
This also shows that connecting and networking with the right people is important. More so after the pandemic, when the global workplace is switching to a remote model.
You are losing out on job opportunities if you don't have an active LinkedIn presence. In this blog, we will help you make an impeccable LinkedIn profile so you can advance your job search.
Read on to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for a successful job search on the platform.
Here is a list of the topics we will cover in this blog:
What is a LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals. It focuses on their educational qualifications, work history, and professional interests.
An average LinkedIn account offers a multitude of features including:
- Find and interact with professionals.
- Request and receive recommendations to validate your expertise.
- Post your resume online and manage your public information.
- Receive necessary updates about job vacancies, news of specific companies, and finding those companies on LinkedIn.
- Build connections: you can create and join professional online networking groups based on industry, age, location, and educational background.
- Discover inside connections to help unlock the hidden job market.
- Post public messages and status of a professional nature.
- Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files, and solve
- Check notifications for how many times people have seen your profile; you also have the option to check who has viewed your profile. A Premium plan will offer you additional advantages.
- Upload a digital portfolio.
- Ask your connections to introduce you to prominent professionals in your niche.
- Post and distribute job listings to find talent for your company.
The best feature that a LinkedIn profile provides is the ability to ask contacts in your network for solutions to professional challenges.
Why do you need a LinkedIn Profile?
When someone says they are not on Facebook (anymore), we can guess a million reasons for the same.
Privacy. Distraction. Just looking for a change.
Take your pick.
And in the post-privacy scandal era, there's an almost-magnetic borderline-hipster persona around not being on Facebook anymore.
But when it comes to LinkedIn, there is no excuse for not being on the professional platform.
You need LinkedIn to connect & network with people in your niche.
You need LinkedIn to look for jobs.
But most importantly, you need LinkedIn because it acts as an open resume.
You might not be actively looking for a job but just being on the platform can help you land jobs that you weren't even targeting.
It is not uncommon for LinkedIn users to get a job proposal.
This is why you need to be on LinkedIn.
Career-building and networking go hand in hand. All of this won't be possible without a LinkedIn presence.
Long story short, you need LinkedIn to build your career, regardless of whether you're looking for a job right now or not.
It can prove useful in the following ways:
- You can find new jobs and business opportunities.
- You can directly connect with key stakeholders of your target company.
- You can connect with recruiters and headhunters who are hiring for your target job. All you have to do is look them up!
Who uses LinkedIn?
According to LinkedInPedia, there are 6 types of people who use LinkedIn.
Of interest to us are three:
- Business professionals
LinkedIn is a hotbed for job seekers.
We all know that.
Here is a list of the two types of job seekers you will find on LinkedIn:
- Active: Professionals who are currently unemployed. This group is actively looking for new job opportunities.
- Passive: Professionals who are not actively looking for a job change or career switch, but are open to opportunities that may come their way.
This group consists of representatives of companies that seek out human capital or talented individuals for their companies.
In layman terms, recruiters and headhunters make up the second category of people you will find on LinkedIn.
Business professionals form the third category of people you will find on LinkedIn.
They are on the platform to further their business agenda.
If you are looking to connect with like-minded industry professionals who share your vision, this is the best place to look.
You can easily find a market for your service or product. You can also find the right audience and forge strategic business partnerships with relevant professionals on the platform.
All you have to do is look and connect.
Creating new partnerships or collaborating with organizations can become a walk in the park if you follow basic guidelines:
- When trying to increase the consumer base of your brand, post informative infographics to showcase industry knowledge.
- You can opt for LinkedIn's Advanced Search Features and filter your target audience to connect with quality people, potential clients or business partners. To do this, click on the search bar and then click on Search For People option.
How to make a LinkedIn profile
The LinkedIn profile section resembles a traditional resume in more ways than one. Most of its sections correspond to the fields of a resume. You just have to fill the given sections as asked and your LinkedIn profile is ready to go.
Here are some basic steps to making a LinkedIn profile:
Are you new to LinkedIn?
Need help signing up?
Here are some tips to signing up on LinkedIn:
- If you are not on LinkedIn, sign up using your email ID.
- Use your real name — the one you use in professional settings.
- Further, while personalizing your LinkedIn URL, try to remove the alpha-numeric string present by default after your name.
Hiration PRO TIP: Your LinkedIn reflects your professional career trajectory. Make sure you choose a strong password and limit the number of your log-in devices. Update your password regularly.
Choosing between a Basic & Premium account
If you're just another professional or job seeker, go for a “Basic” LinkedIn account. You will find that it meets all of your basic job-searching needs.
On the contrary, we advise a “Premium” plan for hiring managers because it provides extra tools to help you find qualified candidates.
Job-seekers can also go for Premium plans which can elevate their job-search and improve their visibility before the recruiters.
Modifying your profile for LinkedIn jobs
To optimize your LinkedIn profile for LinkedIn jobs, follow the given steps:
- Include a professional header
- Introduce keywords in your job position or title.
- Link to your company’s blog under “websites”.
- Add a Twitter handle, if applicable.
- Claim a unique URL to use for email signatures.
- Include keywords in a well-written summary.
- List specialties and skills above the fold.
- Moving recommendations closer to the top of the page.
What is the best way to look for a job on LinkedIn?
Hiration PRO TIP: Switching on the job alert notification for your target job or job type is one of the best ways to look for a Linkedin job. Secondly, if you are not actively looking for new opportunities but are open to job proposals from potential employers, you can categorically show recruiters that "you are open to job opportunities".
This is not all there is to LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn job search is incomplete without profile optimization.
Applying to new jobs and showcasing your receptiveness to job offers won't help you get the job. But optimizing your LinkedIn account will.
Read on to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
How to optimize your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile should demonstrate the sort of job you are seeking and why you are the ideal candidate for that profile.
It should also effectively answer the following questions:
- How do you want the world to see you professionally?
- What kind of work do you enjoy doing?
- Why are you on LinkedIn?
Once you successfully answer these questions, you will be able to optimize your LinkedIn profile and align it with your personal brand.
But this is not enough.
You need to focus on your key profile sections to make an optimized LinkedIn profile.
Perfect sections make an overall perfect LinkedIn profile.
Here's a list of the top sections you should optimize to make an overall effective LinkedIn profile:
- LinkedIn Summary
- Work Experience
- Profile Photo
- Cover Picture
- Skills & Endorsements
Melanie Pinola in her book 'LinkedIn In 30 Minutes' encourages users to curate a targeted headline.
Long story short: Your LinkedIn profile headline is important.
It is your identity marker. It communicates key information like your professional identity.
A LinkedIn visitor should be able to identify your profession and industry/niche in the first instance. If you can successfully communicate your key skills in the first go - even better.
So here are the key tips to curating an effective LinkedIn headline:
- Communicate your professional details such as your official job designation and the organization you are currently affiliated with.
- Add 3-5 relevant skills in your functional niche in the profile headline.
- Your profile headline is a strategic place to include keywords. This influences how you appear in search results. As such, you can research the top keyword or key skills if your current industry and put them here (as long as you can substantiate those skills).
Here's an example of an effective profile headline for Data Analysts:
Data Analyst @Company XYZ | Data Manipulation & Visualization | Business Analysis | Statistics & Machine Learning
Since your LinkedIn profile acts as your digital portfolio, how you curate each section of your LinkedIn profile matters.
At the center of it lies your LinkedIn summary.
Also known as a LinkedIn bio or 'About' section, the LinkedIn profile summary is the heart and soul of your LinkedIn profile.
It works like a resume summary, only without the limitations of one.
Your goal here is to optimize your LinkedIn summary to make the right impact and attract the right recruiters.
The best LinkedIn summaries have got the fundamentals right.
If you don't know how to write a LinkedIn summary, just follow the tips we have mentioned below:
- To optimize the profile summary for LinkedIn, include a list of your top key skills and achievements.
- Make a list of the top career achievements and mention them in this section.
- Do not go into the details of your day-to-day job responsibilities. That's what the experience section is for. Instead, mention your key career highlights to outline your achievements.
- Use numbers wherever possible. Doing this will help you show the extent of your professional contributions.
- Keep it short. Excessively long LinkedIn summaries tend to backfire and bore a potential employer.
- Make a list of your areas of expertise to communicate your key skills in one go.
Here's an example of a good LinkedIn summary for job seekers:
The above image is an example of a good LinkedIn summary for job seekers and normal professionals because:
- It communicates the profession of the job seeker. In this case, we see that the LinkedIn summary belongs to a professional writer.
- The LinkedIn summary shows that the writer has diverse experience in different industries such as education, e-commerce, and insurance.
- We can also call it an effective summary for LinkedIn because it shows that the writer has both freelancing and full-time writing experience.
- This shows that the writer will need minimal supervision when hired by a company or a client for freelancing.
- The LinkedIn summary goes on to show the writer's ability to curate different types of content such as resume writing, web content writing, SEO writing, copywriting, etc.
- Additionally, this LinkedIn summary also shows the writer's skills in using various relevant tools.
Overall, this is an instance of an indeal LinkedIn summary because it effectively communicates some key information about the writer and his/her expertise.
A LinkedIn summary for job seekers should be as effective as the summary we have attached above.
LinkedIn Experience Section
The experience section on LinkedIn acts as a work experience section in a resume.
Just like a resume's work experience section, LinkedIn also follows a reverse-chronological order for presenting your work experience.
In other words, LinkedIn shows your current or most recent work of place first, followed by the rest.
The experience section is important as it presents the following information:
- Name of the organizations you have worked
- Job designations held
- The duration of your professional engagement with each organization
- The details of your everyday work activity
Of interest to us is the last point. The details of your everyday work responsibilities are telling of the nature of work you are capable of.
It also shows the specialization of your work and the work you can be delegated if you are hired by a different organization.
Great LinkedIn profiles almost always have great LinkedIn summaries and an even better LinkedIn experience section.
Here's what you can do to optimize the LinkedIn experience section:
- To optimize the LinkedIn experience section, write 5-10 bullet points communicating your key work responsibilities.
- Grop similar points under unique headings.
- Talk about your top skills and achievements in each point.
- Summarize your career highlights in those points.
- Add achievement figures to demonstrate the value of your professional contributions.
- Highlight important awards & recognition that you may have achieved in the past.
While a resume is often tailored for a single opportunity, a LinkedIn profile speaks to all potential employers.
Thus, we advise you to get as detailed as possible. Get specific with each position on your profile and include power add-ons like accomplishments, awards, skills, or special presentations within each work profile.
Here's an example of a a good LinkedIn experience section:
One of the first things that anyone notices when they visit your LinkedIn profile is your photo. It should be effective + visually appealing.
You can ensure a strong first impression by optimizing something as basic as your LinkedIn profile picture.
Read on to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile photo:
- We recommend you to go for a mugshot or a clean front-facing headshot image.
- According to a survey, users with a professional profile picture get 14 times more profile views as compared to those with a casual profile picture. Thus, we advise you to wear formal clothing.
- In addition to wearing formal clothes, smile in your photo - doing this helps you strike the perfect balance between professional and approachable.
- Click the picture against a bright and solid background. See to it that the picture you upload is of high resolution - it will make you stand out.
- Make your public photo visible to everyone on LinkedIn (not just your connections). This is helpful as people tend to be more receptive to professionals with a visible photo vis-a-vis someone who does not have a profile photo.
The LinkedIn cover picture section is a lot like the profile photo with one key difference:
It should not have a personal photograph of you.
It is not needed.
That's what the profile picture is for.
Instead, you can think of this space as a business communication space.
Does this seem interesting?
Read on to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn cover picture:
- Do not use your photographs as your LinkedIn cover picture.
- Put a cover picture that best represents what you do professionally. Example: The services you provide, business information, your key skills, etc.
- If you are an Artist, a Photographer, or a Model; we encourage you to post images that communicate your professional roles effectively. For example, models can have their modeling images, photographers can feature their photography work as their LinkedIn cover photo, etc. Similarly, Artists can also put photos of their artistry in the cover picture section.
Here's what Neil Patel's profile photo & cover picture on LinkedIn looks like:
Skills & Endorsements
LinkedIn helps you present your skills to potential recruiters on the platform.
It also allows you to show your expertise in a particular skill (or list of skills) in the form of skill endorsements.
Highlighting your skills on LinkedIn and getting endorsed for those skills helps you establish that your skill is recognized by people who matter.
It helps you show your skills matter.
When you get a skill endorsement from employers or reporting managers, it helps you show that you are acknowledged by your superiors.
And that matters.
So make sure that you present all your skills on your LinkedIn profile. Moreover, feel free to ask for skill endorsements from current & past employers and managers.
Here is a snapshot of LinkedIn's Skills & Endorsements Section:
The image shows a broad list of the professional's skills + endorsements received against those skills.
As shown in the above snapshot, we see that the writer has gotten endorsements for these three key areas namely:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Web Content Writing
- Keyword Research
Getting endorsed on these skills increases the authenticity and brand value of the writer. It also goes a long way in impressing a recruiter and winning their favors.
Believe it or not, you can receive recommendations from people on LinkedIn.
They serve as a testament to your professionalism and work ethics. They also help you communicate your work expertise and skill expertise.
We advise you to ask for recommendations from co-workers, managers, employers, etc. You can also ask your direct supervisors to write your recommendations.
Hiration Pro Tip: Don't exchange recommendations. If someone has written a recommendation for you, we suggest waiting for a whole one month before you write back a recommendation.
Your LinkedIn profile should be littered with third-party references.
Recommendations allow employers to quickly assess the reliability and accuracy of your profile.
The more the recommendations, the better your LinkedIn account performance.
But while you're at it, make sure that you don't randomly ask for recommendations from just about anyone.
Make sure that the recommendations you receive are from people you had a chance to work with in the past.
According to The 2016 Job Search Guide, these are the following steps in which you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to turn your future role into more than just a LinkedIn job:
- STEP 1: Specialize & Evolve: Make a list of all of your skills and know where they can take you. Uncover what you’re best at and continue to hone those skills throughout your career.
- STEP 2: Plot your Progress: Use your specialized skills as a compass for the future. Write a six month, twelve-month, and two-year plan describing how you want your career to progress and hold yourself accountable.
- STEP 3: Define “Balance”: There’s no magic formula for work-life balance. Everyone’s different. Make a highly specific list with your top priorities in life and rank them honestly. How much time should you spend on personal versus professional pursuits? Only you can decide.
- STEP 4: Combine Passion & Problem-Solving: Having a passion for your work is wonderful. But you can apply that passion to your organization’s most pressing problems that will ultimately allow you to grow with the business.
- STEP 5: Create Lasting Relationships: Your network is your net worth. Surround yourself with individuals you admire to ensure learning, growth, and potential references down the line.
While expert Jodi Glickman suggests breaking out of your comfort zone as the initial criteria to build strong relationships, Chester Elton advocates that our skills, motivations, and personality play an equal role in finding jobs and being satisfied with them.
Features & Possibilities
The LinkedIn Job search features
- Possible Connections: LinkedIn checks your network and automatically shows suggestions of people who you can connect with. These connection suggestions can include any new or even old people you know or were in contact with.
You can then send them the request to connect with them. In this way, you can optimize your LinkedIn which will be of benefit to you when you'll be looking out for a job. The more recruiters you will have in your connections, the better it will be for you.
- Targeted Insights: LinkedIn's new jobs page feature gives exclusive insights in terms of information about our connections. It shows who - from our former company or school alumni - works at the company of your interest.
So, this is another way in which connections can be of great help. You can reach out to your connection working at the place of your interest to know about any vacancies of the position you are looking for.
Jobs You Might Be Interested In: The information that you provide as part of your profile and the companies and people you search will all influence the line-up that LinkedIn provides under "Jobs you might be interested in". For customizing these line-ups, click on the 'Jobs' tab at the center on top of your screen. Now on the two search bars that are there named 'Search Jobs' and 'Search Location', you can customize your searches on these search bars based on locations and industry to search from.
- Meet the team: This feature lets you know more about the type of people you will work with you go on pursuing that opportunity. It shows people with related roles including their career highlights and skills.
To make the most of Linkedin Jobs:
Advanced Filtering: You can use this filter to search jobs by locations, seniority level, companies, industries, and job functions.
Apply with Profile: This feature is essential for the recruiters. It enables employers to allow job seekers to submit their profiles directly via smartphones.
Job Alerts & Notifications: While searching for jobs, click on the star at the upper right corner to save your search. This will enable daily e-mail with new results that will be relevant to the saved search. Also, you can set up notifications to alert you whenever new jobs are posted which matches the kind of jobs you are looking for.
So, you came across this amazing company in which you don't have any connections with the employees. In such a situation, we've got your back. Follow the tips given below to personalize your LinkedIn request.
Finding Common Ground: Carry out research on the organization and its employees whom you want to connect to. This way you will find a common ground to talk about.
On Point Talk: Talk to them about your intention of getting employed and keep the conversation relevant to the profile you're targeting and on point with a soft approach.
Keep It Short: Keep the conversation short and don't try to extend it unnecessarily.
Two-way Networking: Tell him what you can offer in return for connecting and don't forget to say all your thank yous and pleases.
Connecting With Weak Ties: Connect with both personal and professional contacts. This includes all your family, friends, co-workers, and their contacts.
Follow the below strategies for increasing your LinkedIn network:
Connecting With The Fringe Friends: There are always these people who study in your class in college and school whom you never spoke to. These are called fringe friends. Connect with these people on LinkedIn and you never know who might be of help to you.
Prioritise your top-notch connections: You will always find people in your list who have an enormous amount of connections. Go through your list, find those connections, and then connect with their connections. They can open ways to an immense amount of future jobs.
Conversation contribution: Join professional groups of your interest and then indulge in conversations with people of that group to find more potential connections.
LinkedIn Newsfeed delivers news and industry updates based customized according to your professional interests in your selected categories.
Find Connections: The first thing you'll need to do is to sign up. Once you're signed up and have your account made, LinkedIn will ask your permission to find contacts for you by searching your e-mail inbox. By doing so it will show you the list of people in your contact who are already there on LinkedIn and with whom you can connect.
Also, LinkedIn will give you a suggestion list consisting of people you can connect with based on the information you filled while signing up on LinkedIn. This information includes your job, volunteer history, and education.
In addition to this, you have the option to use the search bar given at the top left corner to search for people to build connections. This connections list of LinkedIn acts as a digital address book which can be very useful when it comes to getting hired.
Connect To More People: Click on 'My Network' option in the center at the top of your screen to see more suggested connections for you. Scroll through that list and once you find someone with whom you want to connect, click on the 'Connect' button at the bottom of that particular person's suggestion page. As soon as you'll click on 'Connect' an automatic message will show up asking how you know that person.
Select whichever option is applicable and then click 'Send'. The person whom you send the request to connect also gets an automated e-mail in which you have the option to customize it if you feel like it.
Sort Your Connections: Once you've added all your contacts, you can access all your connections through categories and filters based on group members, company, industry, location, recently updated profiles, etc.
Network Connection Statistics: You can also check out how many connections you have, how many connections they can connect you to, which connections are specific to your industry, and where they are located.
Discover job openings: You can find jobs by job title, location, industry, etc. LinkedIn will also suggest jobs to you based on the information you’ve shared. Recruiters may also contact you based on your online profile.
Learn about the job requirements and company: If you click on a job opening, you will usually find out when the job was posted, what skills and experiences are required, other details like benefits, and what company — and often who within the company posted the position. Plus, you can usually see how many people have clicked on and applied for the job through LinkedIn already. You can also see a link to the company’s LinkedIn profile, so you can follow the company to get notifications of news and job openings.
Apply for jobs: After you search for jobs, you can save them to the “Saved
Jobs” section of LinkedIn for future reference. You can usually also apply
to the job directly through LinkedIn or find out how to apply online.
The more complete your profile is, the more likely you are to find jobs that fit you — and the more likely recruiters and hiring managers are to find you when they search for candidates for their job openings.
Increase your visibility by having at least 75-100 connections. By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that your profile will be seen first when people are searching for talent.
- Enhance your connections by not only listing your current or last employer but all of them. Add your LinkedIn profile to your e-mail signature so people have a quick way of learning more about you.
- Improve your Google Page Rank. LinkedIn profiles receive a high PageRank in
Google, so it’s a good way to influence what people see when they search for you.
- Make your interview go smoother. When you have an interview, look up the people you’re meeting. Chances are high that they’re on LinkedIn, so you’ll know more about them before you meet them.
- Gage the health of a company. You can search companies on LinkedIn to see who’s been recently hired, the rate of turnover, and if key people are jumping ship.
- Track start-ups. You can see people in your network who are initiating new companies.
- Identify warm leads into companies that appeal to you. Some of your connections may be linked to people either in companies or jobs that appeal to you. Ask for introductions in your quest for information.
LinkedIn Profile vs. Resume
If you already have a nice, up-to-date resume, then it won't take long for you to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Nevertheless, there are big differences between the two. Address the following differences to ensure your LinkedIn profile shines:
Level of Specificity
Your traditional resume is tailored for a single opportunity, whereas your LinkedIn profile should speak to all potential employers. Get specific with each position on your profile, and include additional details, including accomplishments, awards, skills, or special presentations.
It’s a fair game to elaborate on LinkedIn. Include past positions, initiatives, skills, college projects, publications, and interests. But remember, it still needs to be concise and compelling. Most importantly, use the profile to tell your unique story.
There is no need to write recommendations in your resume, whereas your LinkedIn profile should be littered with third-party references. Recommendations allow employers to quickly assess the reliability and accuracy of your profile.
Profile as a Platform
Your LinkedIn profile is a platform where both job seekers and recruiters can interact, learn, and contact each other. It’s an interactive resume more than a statement of skills.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile to best utilize this platform.
Over the fold, you should include full credentials - name, location, current (or former) title, past positions, and educational credentials.
Your LinkedIn summary should focus on - your professional experience, background and interests. Use it to highlight who you are (your skills) and what you’re recognized for (your achievements).
The field for skills allows you to list your areas of expertise that will help potential employers to find you when they’re seeking talent.
The experience section should be sorted in chronological order. It must include the name of your past/present employer, your designation, your main responsibilities, and your accomplishments in a bulleted format.
You may add a description of your company or tell a story about how you added value.
Hiring managers seek individuals whose past performance had a positive impact on the viability of the organization.
The education section should be listed in chronological order. Include the name of the school, its location, and the degree you received. You may further with some associated activities and honors.
The additional information element gives you the chance to give users more insight into your professional qualifications by adding some websites, groups, and interests.
Make every effort to obtain at least 3-5 recommendations from former managers, peers, and direct reports. They help illustrate your achievements, project credibility, and reasons why people enjoy working with you.
Be sure that your profile is available for public viewing at all times – especially if you’re looking for a new job.
Got more queries around optimizing your LinkedIn profile? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our experts will get back to you.