Did you know that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn? It sounds like the odds of being found are in your favor – until you realize you’re one of 740 million other users.
Long gone are the days of just setting up a generic LinkedIn profile. If you want to be scouted by your top-choice companies, then you need to be strategic in the way you build your page. Here’s how to create a LinkedIn profile that actually gets results.
Start With a Strong Headline
Many people will tell you to think of your LinkedIn profile as a longer resume. But because the average recruiter only spends about 6 seconds on any resume, you want to use every bit of your LinkedIn profile wisely – beginning with a strong headline.
Edit your headline to be more than just your job title. You want to give the reader as much information as possible right off the bat, so be specific about what it is you do and why you do it. For example, if you’re the Director of Strategic Initiatives at a non-profit, say that it’s your mission to make sure that as many people as possible have access to clean water.
This is the place where you can – and should – go into detail. It might be helpful to think of your summary as a cover letter: it should include your key accomplishments, current responsibilities, and personal goals. But remember, you don’t have to sound like a robot to come off as professional. Writing in your own “voice” will give the reader a sense of who you are as a person and will keep them scrolling for longer. And if you’re an expert in your field or are particularly passionate about your area of interest, having an opinion is perfectly fine. Don’t be radical (it never makes you friends or gets you job offers), but people will likely be more interested if you have a real point of view.
There’s a reason why we recommend adding a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume if you can’t quit fit everything you want to share onto one page. This is where you’ll want to focus on what you’ve done and just how well you’ve done it. But even though you have unlimited space, don’t go overboard with the descriptions. Even if you list all 10 jobs you’ve had, don’t add a bullet point for every task. Aim for two or three descriptions that sum up your responsibilities.
The important thing to consider here is highlighting the responsibilities that align with your brand. For example, if you’re an editorial assistant, but picked up some design work for your publisher and realized that’s the direction you want to move in, you’ll want to focus on that design experience throughout this section.
Endorsements and Recommendations
Think about it: would you be more likely to buy a product that no one has heard of, or its competitor that has over 1,000 5-star reviews? Endorsements and recommendations matter – and one of LinkedIn’s most famous features is how easy it is to get them.
For endorsements, add five to 10 skills that you want to be known for. In other words, only add the skills you’d want to practice in future roles, too. And the quickest way to get recommendations? Give them! You can also request recommendations by sending simple notes letting a few key contacts know that you’re job searching or trying to build up your expertise, and ask if they would highlight a specific part of your background.
Creating a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile will make your account easier to find and remember. Also, be sure to follow relevant companies, influencers, and channels to stay on-top of what’s happening. By regularly sharing interesting articles about current events, you’ll position yourself as an expert in your industry. Follow our LinkedIn account here!
You can also reorder most of your profile sections depending on what makes sense for your personal brand. Your summary will always be at the top of your account, but you could, for example, move your publications section above your experiences if that better represents your work.
It’s time to make the world’s largest networking platform work for you. At Post Up, we’ll help you optimize your LinkedIn profile so it gets noticed by recruiters. Learn more about our LinkedIn optimization services here.