Whether it’s been five minutes or five months since you’ve last looked at your LinkedIn profile, it could probably benefit from a little tune up – especially if you are currently searching for a new job.
That’s because recruiters use LinkedIn to search for potential candidates and determine whether someone is a fit based on their previous work experience and the skills they choose to highlight.
And by following just a few simple steps, you can improve your profile and make recruiters come to you.
The best part? It doesn’t take much effort to create a profile that stands out!
Here are 5 simple things you can do to to improve your LinkedIn profile:
- Choose a professional profile picture.
- Don’t neglect the ‘Experience’ section.
- Utilize the ‘Open To’ section to your advantage.
- Highlight the ‘About Me’ section.
- Tailor your ‘Accomplishments’ to the job you want.
Now, let’s dive into the specific actions you can take to create a profile that attracts recruiters.
Tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile
1. Choose a professional profile picture.
Your profile picture is what employers will see first. And it’s a great opportunity to make a strong first impression.
This doesn’t mean you’ll need to hire a professional photographer. A simple, clear photo that frames your face is enough. Think passport photo.
- Choose a backdrop that isn’t busy. The less distractions there are in the background, the better.
- Wear solid-colors instead of prints – and be mindful of your background color, to avoid blending in.
- Choose an outfit that you are comfortable with your future employer seeing.
- Avoid selfies. And avoid any group photos, otherwise recruiters won’t be able to determine which person in the group photo is you.
Equally as important are photos to avoid. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional social platform. Photos that are suitable for other social media platforms, such as Instagram or Facebook, may not be suitable.
2. Don’t neglect the ‘Experience’ section.
This ‘Experience’ section of your LinkedIn profile showcases your work history. This is a great way to highlight specific skills that make you stand out as a unique and desirable candidate.
Often, job seekers will provide their previous employer’s company name, job title and work history timeline – and that’s all.
Instead, share clear descriptions of your key responsibilities for each role. This will give recruiters a better understanding of your previous jobs and paint a picture of the skills you bring to the table.
Remember – recruiters want to match your specific work experience to skill sets employers are looking for.
3. Utilize the ‘Open To’ section to your advantage.
Beneath your profile picture is a section that shows recruiters specific job titles that you’re interested in. This “Open To” section tells recruiters what job titles you’re open to hearing about.
It’s extremely useful if you’re aiming for a position that is a step above your current role. It’s also useful if you’re hoping to completely transition your career into a different field.
Say, for example, you have an extensive background as an Administrative Assistant and you want to dive into a manufacturing job because this has always been your secret-passion.
By utilizing the “Open To” portion of your LinkedIn profile, recruiters will know that you are interested in hearing about “Manufacturing Associate” positions instead of “Administrative Assistant” openings.
While it might not seem like the most important aspect of your LinkedIn profile, the “Open To” portion will help recruiters contact you about positions you’re really excited about!
4. Highlight the ‘About Me’ section.
The ‘About Me’ section is where you can provide a summary about yourself and describe what you’re looking for professionally in your own words.
Think of it as your elevator pitch to your future employer. What do you want to highlight about yourself?
And don’t worry. You don’t need to write a novel. In fact, you don’t need more than a few sentences.
Here are a few examples of what you can include :
- The kinds of roles you’re looking for and why you’d be successful.
- Personal or professional accomplishments that you are particularly proud of (certifications, awards, etc.)
- Hobbies or skills that make you stand out or tie into the kind of job you’re looking for.
5. Tailor your ‘Accomplishments’ to the job you want.
Listing your accomplishments is a great way to showcase specific skills that might otherwise be overlooked in your profile.
Achievements aren’t limited to certifications or “Employee of the Month” awards.
This section of your profile can include classes you’ve taken to advance your career, a project that you’ve worked on or any other languages you speak fluently.
Describing your accomplishments might feel unnatural, but there is no better place to brag about yourself. If you’ve accomplished something, employers want to see it! It shows what you can do and what you’re proud of.
Your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to be perfect – there is no “perfect” LinkedIn profile.
But the more effort you put into highlighting your experience and what you’re looking for, the better your chances are of getting in front of a recruiter and landing a job you’re really excited about.
How TERRA Can Be a Resource
If you’re looking for extra help in finding your next opportunity, consider reaching out to TERRA.
TERRA Staffing is a leading staffing agency with many resources available for job seekers. We partner with companies large and small, across a variety of industries and we can help open the door to new career opportunities.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us! Our expert recruiters are waiting to speak with you.