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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

How to build an impressive linkedin profile

47 min read
How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile
Artwork by:Lizabeth Zaft
With the professional world becoming more and more digital (and moving at lightning speed), it's more important than ever to extend your job search and networking to the online space.

Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn as one of their primary sources of information when considering candidates, so your LinkedIn profile can be a tool just as powerful as a resume,  cover letter  or even personal reference. It is essentially a LinkedIn resume.

Just as with any other job hunt tool, a LinkedIn profile needs to be built on a solid foundation, correspond to the best practices of the platform and highlight your biggest strengths as a job seeker, helping you stand out from the crowd.

The advantage of a LinkedIn profile page compared to a more traditional document is its "interactive" nature. As well as detailing your work experience and skills, you can embellish your career story with eye-catching imagery, feature recent social posts, add some personality with video and get endorsed by your professional connections. 

So, let's take a look at how you can supercharge this type of interactive "online resume" and leverage your LinkedIn account to win job interviews and  career change  opportunities.  

Why Do You Need a Good LinkedIn Profile?

LinkedIn is the social media network for professionals. Recruiters go there to find potential candidates; employers are actively promoting their brands and it is by far the best social media platform for a job seeker. 

Recruiters and hiring managers will source on a variety of platforms and social media and your activity on Facebook and Twitter will certainly carry some weight, but LinkedIn is where the job search social brand should live for any corporate job seeker.

It is true that historically manual professions such as plumbers or less senior roles such as telemarketers have not been so visible on LinkedIn, but today if you are a tradesman looking to increase your brand or an early career professional looking for education, LinkedIn is a treasure trove of opportunity for everyone.

To start with, you have to create a LinkedIn profile.

If you take the time to create a good one, you never know which opportunities might come your way. That is the beauty of social media. If you build it well, they will come.

Expert tip

How should a beginner use LinkedIn? One of the biggest mistakes for any beginner LinkedIn member is to create a minimal LinkedIn profile. The platform offers fantastic opportunities for connecting with others who could help you along your career journey, so make the very most of everything that is on offer. Be confident and let your experience shine.

How to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Profile: 10 Tips

When you hit that profile button and contemplate the messages that your LinkedIn profile is sending out to potential new employers or freelancing clients, are you happy with what you read?

Firstly, let’s consider the essential elements of a good LinkedIn profile page. Here are ten aspects that every LinkedIn profile should include:

  1. Professionally shot LinkedIn profile photo and profile header image
  2. Impactful headline that conveys your personal brand
  3. LinkedIn profile “about” section as a personal summary
  4. How to choose which content to include in the “featured” section
  5. Remember that your activity is featured on your LinkedIn profile too
  6. Relevant and impressive previous work experience examples
  7. Job preferences, services highlights and hiring requests
  8. Skills & endorsement and recommendations LinkedIn profile sections
  9. The role of video on your LinkedIn profile - what to include and what to avoid
  10. Keep on top of changes (you can now add a 30-second introduction video)
Blogs - How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile - A powerful LinkedIn profile
Blogs - How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile - A powerful LinkedIn profile

1. Your LinkedIn profile photo and profile header image

Considering the use of headshots in  resumes  has been phased out in many countries (most prominently in the United States and Canada), the importance of a professional photo is often overlooked by job seekers. 

Not everyone bothers creating a profile picture on a clean white background, and even less people care enough to order professional photos by a photographer. The latter often seem needlessly expensive, but in the long run - high quality “headshots” pay for themselves many times over in positive image gains.

Considering LinkedIn is a social network, your profile picture should work to your advantage. We'll analyze that aspect in more detail later, but for now - make sure to choose and/or craft your image carefully.

Expert tip

Turn any photo in a professional headshot

If you’re already using Resume.io’s resume builder, we have a nifty feature that can turn any photo into a professional one: the photo background change feature. You can easily take any photo where you turned out well and switch out the background via the press of one button. There’s a good variety of backgrounds to choose from: abstract, office space, flat color and even natural backdrops for more exotic professions.

2. The LinkedIn headline is your elevator pitch

The LinkedIn headline is a very important element of the LinkedIn profile page as it sets the tone for the entire LinkedIn account. It's the first thing seen by prospective employers and recruiters after your profile photo.

The best LinkedIn profiles make the headline work for them, rather than just display their main job title. In a world where "standard" job descriptions mean less and less with each passing year, purposefully crafting a professional brand and a "custom title" or job description makes a lot of sense.  

Your goal is to outline more than a generic job title for your current position (such as "Kate Wills, Accountant" or "Jim Gordon, Engineer") and to make the recruiters that visit your page actually remember you among the crowd of candidates.

Expert tip

7 tips for a memorable LinkedIn profile headline to stand out from the crowd:

  • Include the specific job title or field where you wish to secure your next role.
  • Speak to the needs of your audience and explain how you solve their problems.
  • Intrigue the reader with a fact or claim that will make them want to read on.
  • Include quantifiable facts or figures for any truly standout achievements.
  • Use a strong adjective or two, but don’t go over the top with language.
  • Don’t use caps and avoid emojis (you wouldn’t put them in your resume).
  • Use the whole 220 characters. You might think less is more, but it will be read.

3. Your LinkedIn profile “about” summary section

In terms of vitally important (yet difficult to tackle) sections, the LinkedIn “about” summary section is a cornerstone of your LinkedIn profile. Similar to the profile summary in a traditional resume this offers the very best highlights of your candidature.

It should give a brief but vibrant glimpse into how you've grown as a professional over the years, highlight your proudest achievements on your LinkedIn profile and emphasize your most unique or valuable skills.

The summary section on LinkedIn.com has many of the same characteristics as its counterpart in a traditional resume. You can check out our advice on building a fantastic summary in our general resume guide or  profile summary guide  , since most of the same principles apply. The main difference is you're limited by 2000 characters rather than 100-200 words.

The trick is to strike a balance between an engaging narrative and professional credentials: get too creative and you'll come off as not taking your job seriously. Focus only on professional lingo, and even industry experts will get bored quickly and move on.

Keep in mind also that many recruiters and hiring managers aren't as knowledgeable in technical fields as you might be, if you're an industry veteran. Be careful not to turn your LinkedIn profile summary into a jumble of cryptic abbreviations. 

Space is precious here, first impressions - even more so. Make these 2000 characters count. Make them capture the recruiter's or prospective employer's imagination, as much as they impress with career milestones.

It is important to note that only the first three lines of the LinkedIn “about” section will be visible initially, so make the beginning of your story as interesting as possible. The reader makes a conscious choice to click on the “see more” button, so choose your words carefully in the opening sentences.

Expert tip

Here are some details on the character counts for the main LinkedIn Profile sections:

  • Headline: 220 characters
  • About: (formerly Summary) 2,000 characters
  • Featured: 100 characters per title and 500 characters per description
  • Experience: 100 characters per title and 2,000 characters per description
  • Recommendations: 3,000 characters per recommendation
How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile - Characters counts LinkedIn
How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile - Characters counts LinkedIn

4. Featured content adds depth to your story

The main benefit of LinkedIn is that it allows members to grow their professional networks, share their thoughts with others and learn from each other. Social update posts, long form blog content and video posts all form part of the LinkedIn professional tapestry. 

There might be certain posts that you share that are particularly appropriate to highlight to an audience of potential employers and the LinkedIn profile section now allows you to “feature” a number of posts / articles / links / media to help to bring your story to life.

You can also show content from outside of LinkedIn in this featured section, but our advice would be to share something that is relevant and that has particularly resonated with your professional network. Social proof is impressive in a job search and if you feature content that has been popular with your network it is more impactful than simply sharing a blog that you wrote on your personal website five years ago.

It is safe to say that video will be far more likely to be viewed here than if you share a transitory feed update. People are on your LinkedIn profile page for a reason, and if you include it “above the envelope” as one of the pieces of visible media, it will surely get views.

Expert tip

Don't update your profile too regularly if you are currently in employment. It is very tempting to keep tinkering with your LinkedIn profile until you get it perfect, but you never know if your current employer may be keeping an eye. All sorts of behaviors can arouse suspicions and disgruntled employees often polish their online presence when thoughts turn to a new job. Don't do this until you are absolutely certain that you want to leave and don't suddenly change your online activity, either.

5. Recent activity is featured on your LinkedIn profile too

A LinkedIn profile is a living breathing feature of the social media platform. It will always be changing because your most recent activity (over the past 90 days) will be featured immediately before your experience section.

Every potential employer will want to read through the experience part, so they will surely pause for a minute on the way to see what you have been writing, sharing or liking recently. 

Activity is vital on LinkedIn to grow your network and promote your personal brand, but when you are in pure job seeking mode, you should be very aware that your most recent 2-3 pieces of activity will form an integral part of your profile.

You never quite know when a recruiter or employer might be looking at your LinkedIn profile, so be incredibly careful (and strategic) about what you share. If you have a personal website, share some links to your blogs. If you have certain industry views, commenting on other peoples’ updates is always a great way of sharing your opinions.

Feel free to engage with potential employers on their company pages; but do it with caution. Either engage with a wide range of brands or don’t do it at all. If a potential employer sees that you are engaging with a competitor and not with their posts, it might leave an unpleasant taste in their mouth. There are more potential employers out there than you might think.

Expert tip

What do I share on LinkedIn if I am unemployed? In terms of activity or content on your LinkedIn profile, there is no shame in saying that you are looking for work. Most people who are active on LinkedIn will be looking for some sort of opportunity. If the period of unemployment (maybe don’t call it that) is significant, make sure that you are sharing about any volunteer work or education that you are pursuing to use the time productively. The “open to work” sticker on your profile photo is an effective way of getting noticed.

6. Your work experience LinkedIn profile section  

Work experience is more or less straightforward, as the similarities between a resume and your LinkedIn profile here are very strong. The main difference between a resume work experience section and your profile's employment history is its length. 

A profile page allows for a much more detailed list of past experiences than a one-page resume. What's important to consider here is how extensively you want to use this space.

As opposed to a resume, employment gaps are much more critical on a LinkedIn profile, since these pages are browsed more casually than a resume received for a job application. You won't have much of an opportunity to explain your  work gaps  (for example in a job interview or in a cover letter), since you likely won't even know someone's reading your profile. This may be the only chance to “catch” that recruitment opportunity.

It is the place where you showcase your current position, work history, volunteer experience and any other relevant career data. 

Here are some rules of thumb to follow:

  • Provide all the  most relevant jobs  from the last 10 years or so, ideally without gaps
  • If you do have career gaps, fill them in with projects or other profession-relevant activities such as educational courses or side-gigs.
  • Each job in your  work experience  list should have 2-4 bullet points, depending on its importance.
  • Use strong action verbs to describe your duties and achievements. Use the STAR method to describe specific situations and projects (the Situation you were in, the Task you had, the Action you took, the positive Result you achieved)

Read more on how to craft an expert employment history section in our  resume guide .

How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile - Rules of thumb to follow
How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile - Rules of thumb to follow
Expert tip

How do I describe myself on LinkedIn? It is easy to go overboard in how you portray yourself on social media, so try to stick to the same rules as a resume when you are writing a LinkedIn profile. Keep it factual, professional and brief. Although you might be considering different roles, try to find a happy medium of relevant information that would fit as many opportunities as possible.

7.  Open to work and freelance services

Most LinkedIn profiles now have the option of having an extra section at the top of the page which includes information about three extra aspects:

Open to work preferences, service experience highlights and hiring requests.

Job seekers can indicate that they are open to work by outlining what they are looking for to potential recruiters. They have the option of putting “open to work” on their LinkedIn profile photo and can include a list of searchable skills and industry specializations. If you would rather that your current employer doesn’t know that you are looking, it is best to avoid this, but if this does not matter or if you are currently between work or in a redundancy process, then this “open to work” section is incredibly visible and will help your profile be featured when employer search for potential candidates.

Freelancers and consultants who might be looking for more time-limited gigs or part-time opportunities can also make use of this LinkedIn profile real estate by outlining the types of services that they provide. In a similar way to permanent job seekers, this will increase their visibility within the LinkedIn search function, and it is a professional and succinct way of describing core value-add. Every professional who has worked on a freelance basis previously and would theoretically be prepared to work on a freelance basis in the future should consider this. On the other hand, it may make permanent employers slightly more reluctant to consider you. 

Hiring requests are also possible to make in this section of the LinkedIn profile, but that is obviously more for small business owners rather than job seekers. But it is good to know, as who knows what the future might hold?

Hiring managers appreciate tangible information - the services section can actually show them what specific goals you can achieve.

Expert tip

Optimize your profile with the language of industry leaders. The language that you use in your profile matters in terms of being discovered and then impressing when someone is reading through. Look at some of the most visited profiles in your industry. Does the language that they use contribute to them appearing in search results more often? It does play a part, for sure. Having said this, you should beware of writing a profile solely for the LinkedIn search algorithm - your profile will have to impress a future employer when they visit.

8. Impress with LinkedIn skills, endorsements and recommendations

Skills in LinkedIn profiles are chosen from a long list of options offered by this social media platform's algorithm. 

On the one hand, this is awesome: it provides a much clearer field for choice with many more options. On the other hand, it's much-much easier to overdo it and create an unrealistic expectation of how masterful you are on your LinkedIn profile.

Hiring managers  don't expect people with literal cognitive superpowers. If you create a list of skills that's 32 points long, you might come off as either naive or dishonest. At the very least, it creates an image of someone who can't prioritize or who's too much of a "jack of all trades". There might be valid reasons for a super long list, but be mindful of the nuances of perception.  

The LinkedIn “Skills & endorsements” feature also plays into this. If you prioritize your most relevant skills, the ones you actually used in your work history and various projects, you're more likely to get endorsements for these. 

Your past colleagues will remember these real-life cases: how great you were at creative brainstorming, marketing campaigns or real estate sales. They'll see these skills at the top of your list and "verify" them, boosting your credibility. On the other hand, if the skills you've actually used are way down on the bottom, your contacts are unlikely to even see them (which means your skills won’t get endorsed).  

Expert tip

Go for a Skills assessment test. LinkedIn's own data has shown that candidates with verified skills are roughly 30% more likely to be successful in their job search, win the trust of the hiring manager and get a new job. The problem with listing your skills (whether it's on a resume or on a public profile) is the question of credibility.  

Candidates are free to be as boastful as they like "on paper", but before the job interview takes place, it's very difficult for a recruiter to verify whether they should trust these robust-looking credentials. LinkedIn offers a partial solution to this. By taking a  skills test  within this professional social network, you can earn Verified Skills badges on your profile page. This has a chance of tipping the scales in your favor in comparison to other candidates.

9. Video on your LinkedIn profile is more likely to be watched

These days, there is an increasing place for video in the arsenal of any job seeker. LinkedIn profiles have adjusted to this trend and it is now possible to include video and other media in the featured section and also (interestingly) at the end of each work experience section.

The video in the featured section will be incredibly visible and if it has a compelling and relevant title to the potential employer, its chances of being viewed are incredibly high.

Video and media at the bottom of each employment section is excellent if you have any job-specific examples (maybe presentations that you made or examples of your work), but you have to remember that these are less visible. 

Only share video if you are 100% certain that it will help your cause. There is nothing worse than sharing something that a hiring manager will consider a waste of time. You do not want to plant that thought in their heads when they are scrolling through your LinkedIn profile.

Expert tip

Just 10 seconds of video can create more of an impression than 10 minutes of reading your profile. Just make sure that any short video is going to contribute positively to their impression rather than detract from it. It would be a shame for all those impressive LinkedIn career highlights to be side-lined by a shoddily shot video. If it doubt, leave the videos to your (private) TikTok feed of friends and family. They will not judge you, no matter how cringeworthy a video might be.

10. Keep on top of LinkedIn changes – like this one…

A LinkedIn profile in 2021 will look and feel incredibly different to a LinkedIn profile in 2018 (for example). LinkedIn is constantly making changes to their model, prioritising certain aspects of their platform, and tweaking the LinkedIn profiles to reflect what is possible on the platform.

One interesting 2021 LinkedIn profile development has been the possibility to include a 30-second video about you directly under your profile picture. Not everyone will have this facility by summer 2021, but there are a number of things being introduced to make potential employers and partners spend more time on your profile.

Everything that you change about your profile should be in an effort to make it more “sticky.” You want people to be exploring, browsing and appreciating what you have shared about yourself. For some job seekers, a great LinkedIn profile can be as important as a great resume. Done right, it can elevate your candidature to incredible heights.

Expert tip

Two reasons to include all of your education establishments on Linkedin. Firstly, LinkedIn isn't all about what you do at work. Your education and the personal development that your pursue outside of the workplace is equally important. If you do training at a particular place, list it and don't forget your school, college and university. The second reason for being detailed with your education is that the alumni of your schools will often "see" you as a suggested LinkedIn connection. You never know who may appear from the mists of time to offer a valuable lead to a job or be a source of new business.

How Do You Stand Out on LinkedIn?

Everyone talks about building a personal brand (or professional brand) nowadays. 

Much fewer people actually understand what this means. Buzzwords aside, building your brand essentially boils down to combining several aspects of your professional image: 

  • your credentials,
  • your style of communication,
  • your visual content,
  • your networking efforts and public activity.

In fact, due to its professional nature, this social media site has perhaps the most meaningful and real interactions of any such platform. While services like Facebook and Instagram tend to focus on the superficial, the LinkedIn profile is a place where people enter into conversations and interactions with purpose. 

Either they're in the process of a  job search  , or they're a hiring manager looking for a new employee, or even CEOs exchanging experience and broadcasting company updates to industry colleagues.

LinkedIn is much less of a "vanity project" than the other social media sites. This is why it's important to take every aspect of your style, tone and networking activity much more seriously and thoughtfully here. How much care you've put into your LinkedIn profile's style and writing may directly affect the job opportunities that trickle down even through recruiters stumbling onto your page by chance.

1. LinkedIn personal brand element #1: visual style

The LinkedIn profile picture is probably the easiest place to start when building the visual style of your profile page. The best results are usually provided by headshots done by a professional photographer. It may seem vain or excessive, but in most cases it shows your attention to detail and ability to make an effort. 

Even for an entry-level service industry position, a good clean photo on a nice professional background can show hiring managers you take your job seriously. A selfie made in front of a noisy, confusing backdrop will never inspire confidence. Choose your photo with care. Resume.io’s photo background change feature makes this easy in a resume, but you should pay attention to how you choose it on LinkedIn (if you’re a little bit tech-savvy, you can theoretically download your swapped background photo from a Word-file resume that you made in our builder).

Expert tip

Another way to reinforce your LinkedIn profile visuals is to use a background photo / cover and integrated media. Nearly identical to the same function on Facebook, the cover photo is another social media instrument used to grab attention, placed directly behind your profile picture. It can be anything from an abstract design to the skyline of your home city. Just make sure it isn't too noisy or colorful and works well with your profile photo.

A LinkedIn profile also allows you to attach integrated media such as infographics, charts and other visual elements . Use these only when appropriate (and they tell some relevant facts), but these can also be a powerful tool to build your professional brand.  

A master touch for all of this would be having a single color scheme for all your content. No need to be a professional designer for that, just make sure you have 1-2 main colors (ideally ones that correspond to the LinkedIn profile color scheme) and 1-2 highlight colors that are a little more vibrant/basic. This is quite easy to do since most corporate-style photos, presentations and the like already favor the classical minimalist white-blue-black-grey themes. A moderate green (or sometimes subdued orange) highlight can be great as well if you're using integrated media.

With very little effort and just a little thought and care, you can really make your profile "pop" in comparison to others'. Never forget that being memorable (in a professionally positive way) in the minds of recruiters and hiring managers is an all-important goal.

Expert tip

Check your profile strength. LinkedIn.com has a handy feature - the Profile Strength meter. The more content you add, the more it fills up. 

But most importantly, this feature provides recommendations on where and how you should add content. Are your relevant skills lacking? Is your work history too thin? Pay attention to this graph, located below your top card information under "View Profile". 

The meter has a useful dropdown arrow icon that shows you recommendations. How well you fill out this meter will affect the visibility of your LinkedIn profile page in the LinkedIn search, directly impacting how easily hiring managers can find you.

Note: Once you reach "max score" with this meter, it will disappear and no longer be displayed. You'll be notified by receiving an "all-star" profile rating. This maximizes your LinkedIn search visibility for this aspect of the profile.

2. LinkedIn personal brand element #2 : tone of voice and storytelling  

Another aspect to consider is that your LinkedIn public profile should NOT read exactly like a one-page resume. The resume should compliment your LinkedIn profile, and neither should replace the other. You have a lot more freedom in style, tone and storytelling on your profile page. But it’s also not custom-tailored to a specific job or employer, so it lacks that “razor-edge”. Job seekers tend to focus on immediate concerns, but if you want a long and happy career - you should play the long game. Invest into your brand by caring about it, first and foremost. Caring about how it looks AND how it reads.  

A big part of this is correctly setting up your LinkedIn Summary, which you can read about in the chapter on section content and formatting. Same goes for the importance of the LinkedIn headline, which we covered in the first chapter dealing with LinkedIn account personalization.

However, an important aspect of your professional brand is the Tone of Voice you use in its writing. This is a term often used by marketers and PR specialists, but it’s intuitively easy to understand: it's the vocabulary and phrases you employ in LinkedIn profile descriptions, it's how formal or informal you "sound", how clipped and laconic (or vibrant and metaphoric) your language is and so on.

The best way to establish a correct Tone of Voice (and this goes for resumes and cover letters too) is to think about the prospective employer (or employers) you are targeting.

 Create a "portrait" of the company at which you want your new job to be. Google at least half a dozen employers (honestly, the more - the better) you find agreeable. Google their social media accounts, company websites, mission statements, CEO interviews (as much as your patience allows, no need to overdo it). Then, go through a checklist for all of them to determine:

  • Is their style of language predominantly formal or informal? Is it friendly and warm or respectable and stable?
  • What age demographic would you guesstimate (or find through Google research) their audience and/or staff are?
  • What values and mission statements do they repeat most often?
  • Are they focused more on their clients/consumers or their own corporate culture?
  • Do they use emotional or metaphoric language? Or are they literal, logical and direct?
  • What level of emphasis do they place on professionalism, collaboration, technology or on the flip side - emotions, experiences and personal truths?

See which answers crop up most often between your "favorite" employers as a result of this Google research. Then ask yourself whether your own style corresponds to any of these criteria. This will not only let you model your speech after like-minded companies and build a nearly "telepathic" connection with future recruiters but may also give you valuable insights into where you want to go with your career.  

The same Google research process can work for potential clients if you're a freelancer. You'll just have to be a bit more surgical in determining what type of person or company can land in your client category.

Expert tip

In the context of LinkedIn, remember that you're operating within a social network. Emphasis on both words in their original meaning. This isn't just a job board or a place for professional blogs. LinkedIn is built for interactions, messaging, exchange of professional experience, new contacts and so on.

3. LinkedIn personal brand element #3: networking and activity

Networking on LinkedIn is a deep subject that deserves many articles of its own, but we should definitely touch upon this subject at least partially. People interacting with your LinkedIn profile page is one of the best ways to boost its job search power. Let's take a look at some of the things you can do:

LinkedIn recommendations: the platform offers you the ability to request recommendations from your connections on LinkedIn.com, which can come from a variety of people: teachers , professors, former employers, colleagues, mentors and so on. You can request these an unlimited number of times. 

Once your contact has written one and you've approved it, it will be shown on your public LinkedIn profile, reinforcing your reputation.  Note: recommendations can be hidden or displayed individually, if you decide some should be visible while others shouldn't.

Expert tip

Is it better to share or like on LinkedIn? In terms of your LinkedIn activity, you can gain significant visibility in the feeds of your connections by sharing and liking the posts of others. Don’t do this too much, or you risk spamming your audience, but one or two shares or likes on relevant content every day will be optimal. 

A share is always more “powerful” than a like, but don’t forget that your shares will themselves be “liked” (or not) so it is often safer to mostly like posts for simple visibility and only share other posts when you have your own commentary to add.

LinkedIn comments are another powerful way of getting noticed, but, as mentioned elsewhere, make sure that you are actually adding value to the conversation. They will also appear on your LinkedIn profile.

Skills & endorsements : Once you've chosen your relevant skills, members of your LinkedIn network can endorse them. We talk more about why it's super important to choose realistic skills in the section content chapter below. But the short version is: getting endorsements increases your discoverability in LinkedIn search. So, make sure you pick the most relevant skills your contacts can see and confirm. 

A good way to attract endorsements is to endorse other people's skills yourself. Most of your contacts will reciprocate the kindness on your LinkedIn profile.  

Long-form content : If you're an industry expert or have valuable insights you can write about in mini-blog form, LinkedIn offers you this opportunity. If people find your content interesting and useful - that's a huge boost for your job searching capabilities. 

You'll appear in the newsfeeds of others, improving your reach and brand. This is exactly how influencers operate on LinkedIn. But you don't need to be one to create good mini-articles or share relevant info .

Expert tip

Create a custom LinkedIn URL. 

This element of the page is perhaps the most unknown and/or overlooked of them all. Barely anyone pays attention to the browser LinkedIn URL line, even though they really should. In default mode, your URL is a (sometimes shortened) version of your profile name with some added random symbols that look completely nonsensical.  

Compare a standard-type LinkedIn URL "LinkedIn.com/janeblack789uikl26" and a custom URL "LinkedIn.com/jane-black-mba". Which would you rather show your future employers and colleagues?

For many professions/job titles, having a custom URL takes your profile to a whole new level: showcases an image of technical aptitude, lends a sense of style, shows you are detail-oriented and take your reputation seriously, as well as reinforces your personal brand. This may be especially important for people with high-end clients or for candidates aiming at top-level companies . And last but not least: it looks professional, neat and clean as a link in your resume or cover letter contact information.

To change your profile LinkedIn URL:

  1. In the upper right-hand corner of your LinkedIn page, click on "Me" and then on "View Profile".
  2. In the same general area (upper right corner) click on "Edit your public profile & URL. "
  3. Click on the pencil symbol to edit. Choose a descriptive and memorable URL (for example your first name + last name + job title or professional field, such as "JaneBrownConsulting").
  4. If you have enough space/symbols, you can use hyphens to divide words for great readability (“ana-brown-phd”).

You can edit your LinkedIn URL 5 times in 180 days, so make sure to put some thought into this before editing.

4. Use LinkedIn formatting techniques to your advantage

Similar to an online resume builder, a lot of the formatting in your LinkedIn profile is already done for you. Elements like bullet points and line spacing are built into the text editing code of the platform. However, even the best software or web service can be derailed by a careless approach towards text content.

There are some fundamental ideas you should keep in mind:

  • Know which sections or bullet points to emphasize by leaving white space around them. The human eye is naturally drawn to "cleaner" or "clearer" areas of the page. So, if one of your past jobs is an especially proud or important one - don't sandwich it as a one-liner between two massive paragraphs.  Leave your text room to breathe, especially near your skills and achievements that you wish to highlight.
  • Know which sections can handle more text and which should be left sparse but hard-hitting. Some job descriptions benefit from numerous bullet points, detailing impressive metrics, revenue increases, etc. Other past job titles don't need or don't benefit from rambling explanations. Skill sections also rarely benefit from text overloads. Be selective in which profile page sections are wordy and which are laconic.
  • Be consistent with punctuation and paragraphs. Changing your punctuation approach mid-sentence or leaving inconsistent space between sentences/paragraphs leads to "visual noise" and reader fatigue. Avoid this on your LinkedIn profile. Be consistent and the reader will stick around. Our brains like uniformity and symmetry. Even inconsistent use of periods (full stops) or commas can be harmful if left completely unchecked.
Expert tip

How do you get recruiters to notice you? One simple mechanism for getting a recruiter to notice you is to connect with them. Make sure that you have a fantastic LinkedIn profile (as they will definitely check you out) and write a brief note saying that you will be sharing industry content and that you hope that you may be able to help them one day.

Don’t ever make a LinkedIn connection about your needs. They may well need your help one day on a candidate search, so by being open to assist you will immediately get into their good books. If you then like a post or two every now and again, you will be even more memorable. Like with everything in social media (and life), keep activity in moderation!

Key Takeaway

You should consider your LinkedIn profile a constant work in progress. 

As you move through your career you will achieve new things, so keep updating it to reflect the “new you” as you grow and develop. You never know when a recruiter or potential employer might pop by your LinkedIn profile, and you will often never know why they did. Dream jobs often come along at the most unexpected times, so keep it fresh.

Also, as previously mentioned, LinkedIn is always updating its functionality, so even if you are happy with your current job, make a point of updating your LinkedIn profile regularly. If you do this all the time, your current employer can have no suspicions that you might be suddenly looking for a new role.

It is common sense to keep your personal brand up to date. Is there anything else you could do to improve your own LinkedIn profile? I bet you could give it a tweak here and there.

You can also check our resume builder or cover letter builder !

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