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Optimizing your Linkedin Profile

We get it. Reviewing your LinkedIn profile is not at the top of your to-do list. You’re not sure what to improve. Your photo and headline make your profile complete enough. It does not seem like that big a deal since you are using the platform just fine. [Insert your own excuse here.]

However, while scrolling through your timeline, you see industry professionals who stand out and seem to always reach their target audience and clients. How do they do it? What makes their profile different from yours?

LinkedIn currently boasts a staggering 875 million professionals. That's a massive pool! With such a large number, having a standout profile has become more crucial than ever and can truly make or break your professional journey. Whether you're on the hunt for a job, scouting talent, expanding your network, or growing your business, your LinkedIn profile is your digital handshake. It's not just about showcasing your authentic brand; it's also about staying visible, keeping things fresh, and staying in sync with the latest trends and platform tweaks.

The benefits of a standout profile are endless, but here are some to really motivate you:

✔️You will get more search appearances and appear more frequently in front of potential customers.

✔️People will see you as an expert because your profile is professional-looking and relevant. (Plus, your cold messages will be backed by credibility.)

✔️For sales and businesspeople: You'll get more sales through LinkedIn and grow your business quickly.

✔️You get more contact requests.

✔️Recruiters with great opportunities will be able to find you faster.

✔️Visibility is good for your personal brand.

Now that we know the why, let's dive into the how. When revamping your profile, you need to prioritize branding, messaging, and visibility. The focus is on crafting a distinct brand identity for yourself or your business, conveying your skills, unique selling points, and capabilities clearly, and making sure you utilize keywords to boost visibility with search engines.

Here are the 6 key things to consider; some of them are very quick fixes, some of them may take a little bit of time – but all of them are very worthwhile.

  1. Do judge a book by it's cover:

The first thing people see when they view your profile goes a long way in determining whether to contact you or not.

Your profile photo: Always use a professional headshot, make sure the picture is recent and looks like you, your face should take up around 60% of it (long-distance shots don’t stand out), wear what you would like to wear to work, and smile with your eyes!

Be sure to add a background photo: Customize one if you can, It should be aesthetically pleasing, subtly grab people’s attention, set the context and show a little more about what matters to you.

Your headline is more than just a job title: The optimal LinkedIn headline is on point and shows what you do and what you can do for people. You have 220 characters to get very precise about who you are and what you offer. Avoid sentences,keep it simple and keyword rich.

Here's a good sample headline for a marketing professional:

Marketing Director | Social Media Expert | Customer Engagement & Retention | Passionate About Mission Focused Brands & Companies.

This headline is great because it showcases three things, a job title, an area of expertise and what to expect in terms of productivity.

2. Turn your summary into your story

One of the most underused sections of a LinkedIn profile is the summary AKA "About" section. The average LinkedIn user will just throw in a line or two and call it a day. This is a complete waste of one of the most important sections of a LinkedIn profile.

The "About" section of your profile has to be a hit. Consider this section of your profile as the product you want to sell to your potential employers. This is the first impression that will set the tone for the rest of your profile. If your LinkedIn summary is weak, a prospective recruiter/employer won’t bother to scroll down to check the rest of the profile.

In the detailed up to 2,000-character description, you can break your content into the following:

  • Start with a great hook: A sentence that makes the reader want to keep reading. Remember: only the first 3 lines are visible when a user enters your profile. With a good hook, you ensure they click ‘See more.’

  • Mission: Tell the reader why you do what you do.

  • Expertise and skills: Talk about what you are good at, highlight your areas of expertise.

  • Accomplishments: What have you delivered to other clients or what major career milestones have you reached.

  • Call to action: Tell the reader what you want them to do after viewing your summary, are you seeking clients, hiring or seeking to collaborate with other industry professionals? Be sure to include contact details.

3. Pay attention to your experience section

This one is simple. Include all the relevant work and jobs you have had in your current and/or target industry so far. Include what you did there, what you accomplished, major projects you worked on and what skills you developed in the process. These details can tell a lot about a person and definitely something that a good human resources officer or employer will take note of when going through your profile. If you are currently employed, keep your description detailed and updated. Recruiters are most interested in your current role. If you are a fresh graduate, state all your project works, volunteer work, and internships.

Make sure to include metrics in your descriptions for each role. Metrics help build proof that you have those abilities. Try this simple formula for success when writing about your achievements for each role: success verb + noun + metric + outcome.

Be strategic with job titles in the “Experience” section

LinkedIn uses job titles as a way to help recruiters or hiring managers find you. Both your current and previous job titles are weighted heavily by LinkedIn's algorithm when a recruiter or hiring manager searches to find candidates.

The job title field allows up to 100 characters, so if your actual job title does not reflect the right keywords that a recruiter might search, you can include descriptive words next to the title.

4. Turn on creator mode to showcase projects.

LinkedIn introduced "Creator Mode" to help professionals who are creatives and are big on content creation to amplify their reach and post impressions.

You will get access to new features, including:

  • A "Featured" section that showcases your most popular and engaging content.

  • A "Follow" button that makes it easy for others to follow your content.

  • Creator-specific analytics and insights that allow you to track your engagement and reach.

  • Customizable headlines and a call-to-action button to drive traffic to your website or other social media profiles.

  • Hashtags describing the topics you frequently discuss.

5. Maximize the skills and endorsements section

LinkedIn allows you to include up to 50 skills on your profile. Pay attention to industry relevant skills; I.T skills, business skills, management skills, analytical skills, marketing skills etc. State all the top skills you possess. This is an easy way to build your personal brand and engage your network.

When you add skills to your profile, your first degree connections can “endorse” you for skills that will actually help the strength of your profile. It will allow you to be discovered for opportunities that are related to those skills. 

6. Post and share relevant content

Most LinkedIn users believe that their LinkedIn profile is not to be used as a social network sharing platform. In some cases, your profile may not greatly influence your appearance as not everyone is going to be viewed from searches. What you post increases your chances of being noticed online. 

Make sure to only search and share content that resonates with your profession. Some examples include:

  • Professional updates: Share updates about your work, such as new projects, promotions, product launches and feature enhancements, or company wins and milestones.

  • Industry insights: Share your knowledge and insights about your industry, including news articles, research, or opinion pieces.

  • Personal branding content: Share content that showcases your personality, interests, and values. This can include blog posts, videos, or infographics.

  • Thought leadership: Share your thoughts and ideas on current trends and topics in your industry.

  • Networking: Connect with other professionals in your industry and participate in groups and discussions to expand your network.

  • Career-related content: Share job postings, career-related articles, and tips on how to improve your job search.

  • Testimonials and Recommendations: Share testimonials and recommendations from colleagues, customers, or clients, to showcase your skills and experience.

6. Declare a "War" on buzzwords and mechanical language

To improve your search rank on LinkedIn and Google, you need to include keywords that highlight your top skills. This however does not mean you should rely on AI generated jargon and overused buzzwords.

Too many profiles read like:

“Strategic, results-oriented professional with proven track record of delivering results and a demonstrated history working in the XYZ industry.”

What does this even mean?

Tell a relatable story if possible: LinkedIn is a social network, businesses have faces and people want to connect with these faces. Be specific, relatable, be human.

Write how you speak: Think about how you would speak to new contact at a conference and write that way. Read out loud so you can check your voice. If you would not say it, do not write it. That also means using the first-person — “I have 20 years of experience,” not “A professional with 20 years pf experience.”

Give an example rather than state: People believe real life examples of real life results over adjectives. Saying you are " Results orientated" holds no weight. Rather give an example of a scenario where you achieved real results in a project.

Okay great! You stuck along this far, lets simplify what we have discussed:

  1. Perfect Your Presentation: Make a great first impression with a professional photo and an attention-grabbing headline.

  2. Craft Your Story: Use your summary to showcase your skills, accomplishments, and goals.

  3. Highlight Your Experience: Share details about your work history, projects, and achievements.

  4. Showcase Your Skills: Maximize the skills section and get endorsements from your connections.

  5. Share Relevant Content: Engage your network with industry insights, career tips, and personal updates.

  6. Stay Authentic: Avoid buzzwords and mechanical language—be relatable and human.

Still need help? Let Resume Guru be your guide. Our expert team can help you craft a standout profile that gets you noticed by the right people. Maximise your LinkedI profile and its network of millions of users.

Contact Resume Guru to learn more about our LinkedIn profile optimization services and start making your mark in the professional world.

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