How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile When Job Hunting

Did you know that truthfully six people are hired through LinkedIn every minute? Today LinkedIn is more important than ever. One reason is that working remotely with a distributed team has quickly become the norm. You are probably open to roles outside of your local area. And when hiring managers are not able to meet you in person, it increases the relevance and importance of the first impression your LinkedIn page makes. At McKinley, we don’t go a day without logging on to this social network. It’s one of the tools we use to connect with talent and our community. 

Every job seeker should have a strategy that you use to find your next role. And one component of that strategy should be optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Here are six steps to take to make sure your LinkedIn profile will help you while job hunting. 

  1. Update your headline. Your name, photo, and headline are what LinkedIn users see first. Your headline should be an eye-catching differentiator that stands out in a sea of sameness. Make it clear and compelling. Use it to get the attention of a potential employer or recruiter.
  2. You need a professional looking headshot–but don’t panic. We all carry around legitimately impressive cameras in our pockets now (on your smartphone, of course) so there’s no excuse not to have a professional looking headshot. Here is a quick video tutorial on how to get a friend to take a professional looking headshot using your phone right now. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t updated your photo in the last seven years, it’s time to update it now.
  3. Make sure every role on your profile has a “so what” element. You can include as many or as few of your past roles on your LinkedIn profile that you would like to. The important thing is to make sure the story of your career comes through clearly. For every role on your LinkedIn profile, think “so what”? What is the takeaway you want someone checking out your LinkedIn to see? What are the key points you accomplished in the role? What difference did you make at that organization? Around three bullet points is perfect.
  4. Include keywords and think like a “searcher.” From a search perspective, remember that when people are searching on LinkedIn, they are looking for people. For example they might search for “copywriter” not necessarily “copywriting.” So make sure the skills you want to appear in search results for are plugged into your profile. While a resume uses keywords tailored to a specific job posting, a LinkedIn profile uses keywords that will help you turn up in a search.
  5. Double check and proofread all your dates, titles, and descriptions. Make sure they all read well, are accurate, and contain no spelling or grammatical errors. Also, make sure your LinkedIn profile tells a consistent story with your resume.
  6. Thoughtfully post status updates that relate to your industry, your approach to work, or even show your values. Posts show that you are active on LinkedIn, engaged with the LinkedIn community, and it gives those who view your profile a glimpse into who you are beyond your job experience. This helps when a hiring team is poring over profile after profile.
  7. Utilize built-in opportunities to market yourself as a job seeker on LinkedIn. You can add a border to your profile photo that says #OpenToWork. If you want to be more discreet you can simply display on your profile that you are open to finding a new job.

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is one component of an effective job search. In order to create a LinkedIn profile that will help you reach your goal of getting a job offer, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the person who is hiring. Make it easy for them to find you in search, understand who you are and what makes you unique, and understand the kind of roles you would be a great match for. Remember, you are the solution to someone’s problem. Be proactive, make your LinkedIn profile clearly show how you can help, and you will find doors opening in no time. 

by McKinley Marketing Partners