21+ Essential LinkedIn Profile Tips For Job-Seekers [For 2020]
LinkedIn is the hottest place for job search in 2020:
- Recruiters and hiring managers come to YOU, rather than vice versa. You can sit back and wait for all job offers to fill without lifting your finger, which saves you LOTS of time and effort.
- You receive ONE TON of offers, LinkedIn is full of employers who spend their entire day searching for candidates like you on the platform.
- Job offers you receive are always related to your experience and preferences.
If potential employers haven’t contacted you personally, you might be wondering what the problem is …
This is because you haven’t optimized your LinkedIn profile correctly.
Do you want to know how?
Read and follow our basic tips to turn your LinkedIn profile into a lean, average, job-generating machine!
21+ Essential LinkedIn Profile Tips
#1 Fill Out Your Profile Thoroughly
Okay, there’s a reason we put this tip at number one – it is essential that you fill out your LinkedIn profile completely.
Why is that?
Because the most populated profiles on LinkedIn rank first in a recruiter’s search.
You may be the country’s leading professional in your field, but you may never be approached for it because your profile may not be fully populated. While this is not the ONLY factor that affects your place in hiring managers, it is perhaps the most important.
So be sure to check out all of the profile sections LinkedIn allows you to add, add and fill as many of them as possible. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through exactly how to do this for each essential part now.
#2 Make a Custom Profile URL
When you first create your LinkedIn profile, you’ll get an automatically generated URL – a rather cumbersome URL with a string of random numbers.
A more professional, cleaner, name-only URL is much easier to find, read, and share.
To change your URL, do the following:
- Go to your profile
- Click “Edit public profile and URL” on the top right of your profile page
- Again click on the edit pencil image button on the top right of the page
- Fill in “[First Name] + [Last Name]” as in the example above
#3 Pick the Right Profile Photo
First of all, yes, it’s important to have one. Members with a profile photo get up to 21 times more views!
What is the correct profile picture? The key here is: aim professional but friendly.
You don’t want to be seen as a stock photo for the “smiling office guy”, but it also shouldn’t be anything too mundane (like your profile photo on Facebook).
Here are some of our tips on how to get your profile picture right:
- You don’t have to wear your best suit, but don’t just wear your favorite worn shirt either. Look at what other people in your profession are wearing and do something similar
- Make sure it looks neat and clean
- Go for a friendly look, not too harsh, not too stupid
- Profile picture highlights your face. So do close-up, not a full body picture
- Your profile picture must be new, no matter how beautiful you look, don’t rely on that single high school photo
- Quality is key, low resolution photos are essential
- Do you want to stand out? You can. If you have a high quality photo that shows you doing something unique like an interesting hobby or other professional
- interest, go for it! As long as nothing very strange happens, it will attract positive attention. Remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform!
Finally, if possible, it is best to have a professional passport photo and use that. For example:
#4 Get Your Headline Right
Your title is very important as it is the first thing recruiters see when looking at your profile.
It should convey who you are and what you are about in a short, clear and concise way.
Having the right title ensures that you are found by recruiters for the right and relevant job, as most will only search by title.
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- Scrum Master, CSM
- Project Manager, PMP
- Coding Ninja
- Marketing Samurai
- Developer Unicorn
Make sure your title includes a keyword that can be used to easily find you and pinpoint exactly what you’re doing. If you are a developer and work mostly with Java, it is best to put “Java Developer” as your name instead of “Software Engineer”.
At the same time, avoid less descriptive headlines as much as possible.
#5 Create a Summary That Stands Out
Your LinkedIn summary is the first thing a recruiter reads after your title, so it’s essential that you get it right.
See, recruiters don’t have time to read your entire profile top-down – they read your headline, then read the summary and quickly decide if you are relevant to the position they’re hiring.
Therefore, it is important that your LinkedIn summary is correct.
A good LinkedIn summary section includes the following information:
- Years of experience in your current field
- List of your most relevant skills. This often involves hard skills, tools you use, programming frameworks, etc. Contains.
- Your current job title
- What you are great about, all relevant achievements
- What you are passionate about
- What kind of role are you looking for (if you are openly looking for a new job)
Or to turn this into an example:
I am a Level 2 Customer Service Representative with 5 years of experience in this field including chat, email and telephone technical support. I have worked with many CRM systems, most familiar with Drift and Intercom.
I made up to 200 different customer calls a day and was named “Employee of the Month” twice:
- Once on, to be the fastest and most efficient in resolving tickets.
- And for the second time it has the highest customer rating.
Now, let’s look at the Dos and Don’ts of the LinkedIn profile summary section:
- Make it 3 to 5 paragraphs long
- Use clear, short sentences
- Separate information in structured paragraphs
- Use bullets when relevant
- Managed people? Add this here too – how many, in what context
- Be specific, use numbers – the number of people you are managing / the main field of the budget you are dealing with, etc.
- Make it too short – one sentence won’t be enough
- Let it be too long – don’t take the summary as an opportunity to tell your whole life story. Employers won’t take time to read it and your point will be overlooked
- Copy and paste an overview you see somewhere, even if it sounds good. You want attention, not adapt!
#6 Optimize Your Experience Section
Your experience section is probably the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. After all, your experience is the # 1 factor in whether you are qualified for any job.
Here are some of our tips on how to highlight your work experience …
- Include responsibilities and achievements for each position
- Whenever possible, use Laszlo Bock’s formula to explain your achievements: [x] measured by [y] by doing [z] complete.
- Skip all irrelevant work experience. If you are a sales professional with more than 10 years of experience, you really don’t need to add the time you worked as a cashier at K-mart 15 years ago.
#7 Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Would you like your profile to be discovered by employers on LinkedIn?
You need to add the right keywords to your entire profile – the title, summary, work experience and skills section.
This tells the LinkedIn algorithm that your profile is VERY relevant to the specific keywords used.
For example, if you are doing digital marketing, you can add the following keywords throughout your profile:
- Content marketing
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
So when a recruiter calls “Google Ads Specialist”, your profile STILL open if your job title is unrelated (eg “Digital Marketing Specialist”).
Not sure which keywords to include?
The best advice we can give you is to find the job post closest to the job you want and “scan” it for keywords.
What stands out? What is repeated in the list of responsibilities and desired experience and knowledge? Get away from it. How do I change my LinkedIn profile to job seeker?,#How do I make my LinkedIn profile stand out 2020?,#What should I put on my LinkedIn profile if I am unemployed?,#How do I improve my appearance on LinkedIn?,#What is a good number of LinkedIn views?,#What skills should I add to my LinkedIn profile?,#Is LinkedIn premium worth it for job seekers?,#What is the best headline for LinkedIn?,#What should a LinkedIn headline say when looking for a job?,#How should a beginner use LinkedIn?,#How do I put my resume on LinkedIn 2020?,#What do employers look for on LinkedIn?,#How do you get recruiters to notice you on LinkedIn?,#Should you put seeking new opportunities on LinkedIn?,#Should I message a recruiter on LinkedIn?,#What is a catchy headline?,#What is LinkedIn headline example?,#What’s a good headline for a resume?,#What are the best skills to learn in 2020?,#What are your top 5 skills?,#How many skills should you put on LinkedIn?
- Try not to overdo it on the keywords, though. Mentioning each keyword 1-3 times is usually more than enough!
#8 Show Off Your Work
Do you have any great projects you are working on? Did you organize any important events? Written articles or books?
Great! Show them on your LinkedIn profile.
These are particularly useful if you don’t have much work experience. For example. If you are a recent Software Engineering graduate, you can mention your GitHub profile about the projects you are working on at school.
The way to showcase your projects on LinkedIn is to add a “Featured” section.
To do this, go to your profile ➜ Click the “Add profile section” button ➜ Select “Featured” ➜ Select what you want to add.
Another way to showcase your work is to add multimedia to your experience inputs – the same rule applies, they pop up, they look beautiful and stand out for recruiters.
#9 Include Most if Not All of Your Licenses and Certifications
If you have certificates that are highly relevant to your role (or the position you want), you should add them to your LinkedIn profile.
To do this, go to your profile, click “add profile section” and select “licenses and certificates”.
Have one or two (or more) language certificates? You can include them too!
Whether you use the language in your business or not, knowing a foreign language is always a plus.
#10 Fill in that Skills Section (And Get Some Endorsements)
The “Skills and Endorsements” section is also an important part of your LinkedIn profile puzzle.
You’re free to go crazy with this – LinkedIn gives you a limit of 50 skills you can add and you know what it is? Add 50!
Include any skills you have and their synonyms (eg Java, Java Programming, Java Development) or derivatives (eg Digital Marketing, Content Creation, Online Advertising).
If you have over 50 skills to list, make sure you stick with the most relevant ones.
Can’t you think 50? No problem, add whatever comes to mind and LinkedIn will suggest similar ones.
Once you’ve finished this, it’s time to get some confirmation.
Contact your colleagues and former colleagues on LinkedIn and ask them to support your skills. To reciprocate the good, you can offer to affirm them in return.
Why is this important? Because affirmations are social proof. While the recruiter won’t decide whether or not they should hire you, they will make you a more “demonstrable” candidate.
Skip the soft skills and focus on hard skills.
“Good listener”, “team player”, “critical thinking skills” etc. Have lost all meaning for the recruiter. They are overused and reasonably applicable to most people.
At this stage, recruiters aren’t looking for your soft skills – they’re evaluating them in an interview. They just need to know what your difficult skills are and whether they are relevant to the role they are sourcing from.
#11 Get Some Recommendations
Think of all the people in your professional crowd that you are close to and have positive interactions with. Contact them and ask for a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile.
The recommendations add social proof to your profile – they show that your colleagues and colleagues consider your skills very well.
The best, most meaningful recommendations you can get are taken directly from your management. Was there a boss who was fond of you? Ask them to help you.
The second is from the customers / customers you work with. Someone who is very happy and grateful for what you do for him.
Third, you can ask your horizontally linked colleagues to leave you a suggestion, best if you work directly in a team – their views will be more valuable as they spend the most time with you.
#12 Hack the Accomplishments Section
LinkedIn offers a fairly long list of possible successes that you can add to your profile and we recommend you take advantage of it. Everything you do, be proud of, and show off – awards, languages learned, projects, publications, etc. – add!
For the achievements section, we recommend that you provide as much information as possible about the projects you are working on. Include what the project is about, what you are doing and what results you have achieved.
As for the languages part, just add the languages you know with your knowledge level (eg Beginner, Intermediate, Fluent, etc.) and you’re good to go.
Speaking of languages on LinkedIn can always work because there are a lot of multilingual job opportunities for most fields.
#13 Add Some Interests
Yes, LinkedIn has an interest section.
And no – this is NOT what will earn you your next job.
But what will help you is to show some personality on your profile.
Let’s say you are a senior hardware engineer who is really interested in working in a space travel company. You can include Nasa, SpaceX, Blue Ocean and other space companies in your interests.
So if a recruiter from such a company looks at your profile, they’ll be more likely to contact you.
To add an interest – search for the company, group or school you’re interested in, click on their LinkedIn page and click the blue Watch button below their name, for example:
#14 Disclose That You’re Open to New Opportunities
LinkedIn allows you to show on your profile whether you are open to new opportunities.
This helps recruiters understand if you are open to approach.
Just click “Get Started” and fill in the information.
And don’t worry, the people at your company (ie your boss) won’t be able to see your situation, just make sure you have the option to “Share only with recruiters”
#15 Write in The First Person
For some reason, some people on LinkedIn use the third party to write about themselves on their profiles. And we’re not talking about famous people who have a page and someone wrote for them, we’re talking about ordinary people who have normal jobs.
“Josh is an A-class accountant with more than 15 years of experience in….”
This is a big no.
Stick to the first person. Your LinkedIn profile should appear personal and friendly. The third-person expression sounds more “fake” and self-righteous.
#16 Use Numbers & Data To Emphasize Accomplishments
Compare these two work experience entries:
“I sold at Company X”
“In 2019, I made a sales deal of over $ 200,000 at Company X”
Which one do you think is more attractive to the employer?
Throughout your profile, use numbers and data to highlight your achievements. This will allow you to stand out seriously from the rest of the candidates.
#17 Avoid Typos
It goes without saying, but it’s important enough to mention. Your LinkedIn profile is your “face of business” – you can’t avoid basic typos.
For this reason, we recommend that you double or even triple check the text on your LinkedIn profile. Isn’t it the best in editing? Try using Grammarly, a spell-checking software that catches 99% of the usual spelling errors.
Also, if you want to be 100% safe, you can ask a colleague or a friend to reread it for you.
#18 Be Relevant
Now, we’ve talked about this throughout this article, but we think it deserves its own input.
Your LinkedIn profile should be 100% relevant to the positions you want to work and your career.
- DON’T continue to describe your experience and skills like a novel
- Don’t include every little thing you know or work on, especially if it’s not in any way relevant to your current and future business goals.
- Make your profile “critical thinker, good communication skills, team player, etc.” DO NOT stuff it with such fashion words. Employers, however, became apathetic.
- DO NOT add soft skills – they just take up space and recruiters already evaluate them during interviews
When filling out your different LinkedIn profile sections, always take a second to stop and think, “This is what I write about the job I want to get.”
#19 Be Active
When looking for a job on LinkedIn, it’s also important to be active on the platform. So, in addition to posting professional content you love, interact with other people’s posts.
This allows you to stand out from other potential candidates and makes it more likely for recruiters to notice you.
So when a job posting pops up for your role, your chances of being the first candidate on the recruiter’s radar are good!
Still, that doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire day on LinkedIn. Take at most 10-20 minutes a day and you’re ready!
#20 Network, Network, Network
LinkedIn is essentially a professional networking platform.
So, it’s okay to add people you haven’t met in real life – that’s what the platform is for!
Don’t be afraid to add recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers at companies you want to work with to your network.
That way, you are always updated with the vacancies they may have, and when these recruiters look for someone with your skills, you stand above all other candidates.
However, keep in mind that when adding a link on LinkedIn, sending a link request in a short message is more polite. Here is an example of what a good link message looks like:
I am currently looking for a new job and expanding my network with HR professionals like you. We will be happy to discuss any opportunity at any point.
Want to be more specific, but the 300-character restriction for a link message doesn’t allow for this? After they accept your connection request, you can send them an introductory message like:
I came across your profile and saw that you are hiring for Company X. I am a huge fan of his work and am currently open to new job opportunities as [Your Role].
If you currently have any relevant open positions, I would be happy to discuss this further. If not, I would like to thank you for connecting anyway and would be happy to be considered for future opportunities.
#21 Use The Find Nearby Feature
LinkedIn has a very interesting feature for Mobile that not everyone knows about: “Find People Near”.
What it does is when you turn it on, the app will show you profiles of people who are physically nearby (within your Bluetooth range) and also have the feature turned on.
As given, you seem active to nearby users as well.
This can be extremely useful if you are going to physical networking events, conferences or professional meet-ups as a way to meet HR at specific companies.
Once you know who is at the conference or meeting, you can call them and say hello whenever you get the chance!
To turn on Find Nearby, you need to:
- Enable Bluetooth on your mobile device.
- Tap the My Network icon ➜ Connect button ➜ Find nearby button.
Well, check the list.
At this point, you should know everything you need to know to create a killer LinkedIn profile.
Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait for these job offers to start coming!
Want more job search advice for 2020?
Here are some of our best guides: