The modern job market is highly competitive, so having a solid online presence is crucial to stand out from other candidates. One of the best platforms where professionals in various fields can increase their chances of landing their dream job while connecting with like-minded professionals is LinkedIn. In this article, Vanessa shares some excellent tips for optimizing your LinkedIn account and strengthening your engagement to reach a wider audience. Whether you’re a tech professional or trying to get your first job, having a complete LinkedIn profile can help you get noticed by potential employers and recruiters.
In today's competitive job market, having a strong online presence is essential to help you stand out. LinkedIn has become a highly recommended platform for professionals, with over 900 million users across 200 countries.
Here at Fetchly, our candidates are all selected to participate in the interviewing process through LinkedIn or referrals, and this happens to many other companies, too. So, whether you are a seasoned tech professional or looking for your first job opportunity, these tips will help you take your LinkedIn profile to the next level and boost your chances of landing your dream job.
Optimize Your Profile Photo
Your profile photo is one of the first things people will see when visiting your LinkedIn profile.
Here are some do's and don'ts when it comes to your profile picture:
- Take an individual headshot with clear lighting and good focus.
- Face the camera! The picture's tone can vary based on your position, but ideally, you should look approachable, have a genuine smile, or be relaxed.
- It is advisable to have someone else take the picture and be sure to pick a high-resolution one.
- Select a background that draws only a little attention away from the main focus: you. It doesn't have to be a plain or boring background, but sometimes blurring it does the trick.
- Wear the same outfit you would normally wear for work. A T-shirt, for instance, could do the trick if it's a relaxed setting. However, being so casual wouldn't work for someone looking for a job in law.
- Use group photos or dark, unfocused/blurry photos with distortion filters.
- Wear sunglasses or face masks (unless they're prescription glasses, otherwise, avoid any form of eyewear).
- Pick an old picture that doesn't look like your current self.
- Use distracting backgrounds with lots of information.
- Wear underwear/swimsuits.
Add a background image.
The background image is the large banner image behind your profile picture. Adding a visually appealing one can make a solid first impression and catch the attention of those viewing your profile.
You should choose an image that does two things; shows off a bit of your personality and has some relation to your industry. A captivating background will help you create a more engaging online presence, making you stand out in a competitive job market.
Leverage keywords for better results
Recruiters often use specific words and phrases, called keywords, to find qualified candidates via the LinkedIn Recruiter platform. To increase the likelihood of being discovered by the right people, it's important to incorporate those keywords into your profile to draw their attention.
To choose the right keywords, it is crucial to understand what recruiters look for based on a specific skill set or work experience.
Below are some of the fundamental keywords to include throughout your profile:
Position title: Add more than just your current job title and ensure it works in accordance with your desired job roles.
Location: Apart from adding your current location, you should also mention if you are willing to relocate (or only looking for remote positions); remember to bring up places that interest you.
Skills and certifications: Include specific names of technologies and methodologies you are familiar with for soft and hard skills. It would be best to leave out the certifications you intend to pursue here. However, it is acceptable to include courses you are currently taking. Find the most appropriate ones and add them to your headline, summary, skills, and endorsements.
Write a Compelling Headline
The headline is a short text that appears directly below your name and is one of the most visible parts of your profile. Use it to your advantage, and summarize your skills and what you offer.
Keep your headline concise, including your current position and relevant keywords related to your industry and skills. An example is "Full-Stack Web Developer | Languages of your stack | One or two frameworks | Other important skills."
Craft an Intriguing Summary
Most people leave the About section (aka summary) blank, but that section allows potential employers to have a glimpse of your background and experience. Therefore, when writing your summary, tell your story, why you chose your industry, and what you hope to achieve careerwise.
Keep the summary concise and use it to highlight your achievements, skills, and the value you can bring to a company. Also, ensure your summary is easy to read and avoid using technical jargon; chances are it's not adding any value, and it might not be apparent to those unfamiliar with your industry.
Finally, wrap up your summary with a call to action. If the visitor reads to the end, there is a good chance they are interested. Therefore, encouraging them to contact you is a great way to finish your summary.
Get a custom URL
Adding a customized URL to your profile is one of the small details you can add to make your link stand out. Remove all the numbers from your URL (unless your business name has a number on it), and use a short variation of your name/personal brand.
Remember that the URL should be short, but it must be written to refer people to your brand easily. The URL is case insensitive, which means that using JohnSmith, johnsmith, or johnSmith will all point to the same profile.
Highlight Your Skills
Your LinkedIn profile should showcase your skills and what differentiates you from other candidates. Ensure you add the relevant skills to your profile, and remember to include the possible variants for it (for instance, if your skill is HTML, add HTML 5 as well). Also, remember to ask your connections to endorse your skills.
Secondly, take the LinkedIn skills assessments!
Data shows that almost 90% of employers & recruiters think skill assessments are essential to evaluating job applicants.
All skill assessments are free and 100% online, and after passing, you can display the verified skill badge on your profile.
If you don't pass the skill assessment at first, you can always retake the assessments as often as you like, and it is entirely up to you to decide whether you want to share it or not (though it is advisable to share).
Another way to highlight your skills is through recommendations. These are personal testimonials written by your connections to illustrate their experience while working (or studying/participating in an event) with you. Consider dropping a recommendation for your connects before requesting one.
Combining skill badges, endorsements, and recommendations will help you build credibility and show potential employers what you can bring to the table.
Showcase Your Accomplishments
Highlight your accomplishments to demonstrate your experience and expertise. Include your licenses & certifications, completed courses, awards you have won, finished projects, and any other achievements that are relevant to your career.
Use the "Projects" section to display the projects you have worked on and are most proud of. For example, a developer who wants to showcase past projects should include the languages and technologies you used, the repository URL, and a short description. If you collaborated with someone, remember to give them proper credit and add them as co-creator.
Stay Active and Engaged
Finally, it's essential to stay active and engaged on LinkedIn. There are several ways to interact on LinkedIn, but before we list them out, remember that LinkedIn is a social media platform designated for professionals. Therefore, it is essential to be respectful and polite, as you usually would in a work environment.
Here are three primary ways to stay active and improve engagement on LinkedIn:
- The easiest one is to share relevant content. Emphasize the word "relevant," so ensure you don't overshare and keep the content within your area and expertise. If you are getting the content from outside, give credit to your source.
- Another great way to stay active with little effort is by commenting on the post of your connections or people you follow. Try to leave thoughtful and insightful comments that demonstrate your expertise and knowledge. Words that can spark healthy discussions are also great for strengthening engagement.
- Finally, create and share your content. This is usually one of the most challenging things because not everyone is good at creating original content. Nevertheless, an excellent place to start when creating an original post is, to begin with a compelling headline and add visuals (such as images, videos, and infographics). Remember to keep it short, simple, and straight to the point. The average user spends 10-12 seconds per post, so try not to overthink the process.
The Ultimate LinkedIn Makeover for Aspiring Tech Professionals
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile can increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters and potential employers. Ensure your profile is complete by adding as many sections as possible and following the tips.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity of getting into the hiring process of companies that, like Fetchly, do all the trials based on the candidates' LinkedIn profiles. I, for instance, was selected amongst many other strong candidates because of my solid and complete profile, which linked to, not other development projects but also articles I wrote.
Everything done there can and should be applied here when drafting your experience. Good job hunting!
*This is not the official Fetchly opinion but the opinion of the writer who is employed by Fetchly*