If you’re looking for employment, chances are you’ve created a LinkedIn profile. More than any other social media profile, this one helps you to establish your personal brand. Thus, it’s crucial that you make your LinkedIn presence as effective as can be. In this post, we’ll present five LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers like you who want to make the right impression on potential employers.
1. Upload a Professional Profile Picture
A LinkedIn profile picture needs to look professional. Here are some dos and don’ts that will ensure you’re putting your best face forward.
- Use a headshot that occupies 60% of the frame.
- Select a recent photo, so interviewers will easily recognize you.
- Ensure your hair, make-up, jewelry, and any clothing that is in-frame represents your normal work attire.
- Check that the photo’s background isn’t distracting. It’s best to use a picture with a solid, neutral backdrop.
- Avoid using a photo of anything that isn’t you. LinkedIn prohibits the use of certain images as profile photos.
- Refrain from uploading poor quality photos (e.g. pictures that are out of focus, too dark, etc.).
- Skip Photoshop. Only professional photographers and graphic designers know how to make subtle changes using this software. Amateurs tend to overuse it, creating artificial-looking images.
2. Optimize Your Headline
Digital marketers know that keyword research and SEO are essential if they want their landing pages and blog posts to be found. In the same way, if you want potential employers and headhunters to find your profile, you need to include the keywords they will be searching for. A great LinkedIn profile tip for job seekers is to make an employment skills list. Then, compose a headline that includes those skills. For instance, “Writer and editor, specializing in blogging, copywriting, and press releases.”
An optimized headline does not mean an uninteresting one, though. LinkedIn headlines can be 120 characters long, so why not throw in an adjective to catch people’s attention? In the earlier example, the “writer and editor” could be preceded by words like “talented”, “creative”, or “innovative”.
3. Use Your Education Section as a Networking Opportunity
Like your headline, it pays to optimize the education section of your LinkedIn profile. Think about how you can incorporate keywords into the description portion of each education listing. Note some subjects you took, skills required to attain the certifications you’ve listed, and extracurricular activities you may have participated in. These keywords can bring former classmates, teachers, and others to your profile. This is important when you consider that many great jobs aren’t posted online. Yes, it’s possible that the kid who stole your lunch in Grade 5 may now be the source of an awesome job lead.
You can also connect with former alumni, even those you don’t know, by joining groups and following pages associated with the schools you attended. Be sure to join in on group discussions when you have something valuable to offer. ‘Liking’ and commenting on posts can also serve to open a dialogue with others following the page. LinkedIn also introduced Career Advice at the end of 2017. You can sign up to give or receive career advice, and in so doing, connect with others at your alma mater.
4. Add Work Experience Relevant to Your Current Employment Objective
One of the best LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers of a certain age is not to add decades of work experience to their profiles. If this is your situation, think about the skills you’ve acquired at each of the positions you’ve held. Then, ask yourself: which skills are going to help me get the job I want today? Then, add those positions, outlining relevant duties you performed, and skills required to perform those duties. Again, this is a form of optimization. It will help potential employers looking for people with those skills to find you.
Note: If former employers or coworkers are giving you recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, be sure to include related work history under the ‘Experience’ tab.
5. Post Original Content on Your Profile
LinkedIn is a great platform on which to publish your original work. Are you a photographer? Graphic designer? Writer? LinkedIn is the perfect place to showcase what you can do. Ensure that all photos and graphics are high-quality, and any written work is error-free. In addition to posting your content on your profile, select one group at a time in which to upload it. You don’t want to seem like a spammer.
Let us know in the comments what your LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers are. We love hearing from you!