How often are you checking and updating your Linkedin profile? If the answer is not that much, then you should keep reading.
Whether you’re using Linkedin to apply for jobs or using it to network, you can be sure that recruiters or potential employers are looking at your profile. If your profile isn’t optimized, this will impact your chances of getting the job dramatically! Not only that, but recruiters are actively searching for potential candidates just like you – you’ll want to make sure that your profile is getting found!
There are so many ways you can optimize your Linkedin profile, let’s focus on the first few things a recruiter would see.
Your Profile Photo
Your profile picture is an important opportunity to express your personal brand. For example, if your brand and career are more creative in nature, a blazer isn’t necessarily the way to go. If you aren’t sure, review other people’s profiles that are in similar industries and see which styles catch your eye. The safest bet is to always stay on the more professional side.
It’s important to use a headshot where your face is visible so that you’re easily recognizable in person. With that being said, consider using a professional photographer! There are lots of freelancers looking to expand their portfolios who will offer headshots for a significantly cheaper cost. Trust me, it will be worth the investment. Lastly, I’m sure you know this one already but… no selfies!
With your background photo, you can keep it simple. For example a solid background with a quote, or maybe a skyline! It can be something creative depending on the roles/industries you are targeting. This will also show that you put some extra thought into building your profile and not just leaving it as the plain default background that Linkedin automatically gives you. There are plenty of resources online where you can find royalty free stock photos such as Pixabay, FreeImages and Photocrops. Not sure how to upload/change your background photo? See the steps below:
- Click on your profile
- Click the ‘edit’ icon on the intro portion of your profile
- Click the ‘edit’ icon on the background photo
- Select an image from your computer
- Click ‘Save’ and you’re DONE!
Your Name + Name Pronunciation Voice Recording
You’ll want to ensure that your name is exactly the same as the name on your resume. Too many people use variations, middle names, etc. Keep it consistent so you can easily be found.
Linkedin now allows you to voice record your name so that others can click on it and know exactly how to say your name. How cool is that? You will only be able to record from the phone app but can listen to the recording on any device. With this feature you can record a 10-second audio clip that users can click on to hear your name. You can optimize this feature and even include a 10-second elevator pitch about yourself! If you want to set it up simply go to View Profile, then Edit and then “Record name pronunciation.”
Your Linkedin headline allows for a quick and easy introduction that will entice the reader to learn more about you. It’s almost like a mini elevator pitch. It’s one of the first things that gets seen and will encourage someone to click on your profile and learn more. You want to make sure you are using all 120 characters to highlight your skills and specialties. If you don’t actively change your current headline, it will default to your current job title and company name. Your headline is one of the first things someone sees when browsing your profile, and a default headline isn’t the most eye-catching.
When thinking about creating your headline, ask yourself these questions:
- What job title is recognized industry wide? (eg. Project Manager versus Engagement Manager)
- Which technical skill is highly sought after for my targeted role (eg. HTML5, JQuery, PHP, CSS3, Bootstrap)
- Which accomplishment is the most impressive?
- What statement describes my career purpose?
Here are some examples of impactful headlines to get your creative juices flowing.
- Senior Financial Analyst | CPA Candidate | 15 + years working in the CPG & Retail industries
- Recent English graduate | Editor of The Varsity | Avid Storyteller
- Project Manager | Knack for Streamlining Processes | Pursuing PMP Designation
- Senior Sales Leader | Track record of exceeding sales targets by 150%
- Career Coach | Helping YOU Find Career Clarity | Need help with your job search? Let’s talk!
Not only is it important to make sure that your headline relates directly to the industry you’re applying for but also placing an emphasis on keywords will help you show up in more recruitment searches. Helpful resources like LinkedIn Optimization tool analyzes your headline to see whether or not it contains the right keywords for your industry or not.
There is so much more that you can do to optimize your Linkedin profile, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information. If you want some other quick and easy tips, check out this blog here:
Good luck, you’ve got this!
Jen Narayan, Career Coach + Job Search Strategist