How optimized is your LinkedIn profile? If you are looking for a job, it’s probably not as optimized as it should be.
It’s important to recognize the power of our LinkedIn profile in our job search. As professionals, we all have skills we use to help further the careers of others, be it through managing, supporting, coaching, educating, encouraging, and more.
But, when it comes to our own personal branding, we are too busy or we find investing in our own brand development to be self-absorbed or unnecessary. An optimized and compelling LinkedIn profile helps you stand out. It is a billboard that is working for you 24/7. What if your billboard was flaking, rusty, or peeled at the corners? What if you could get as many eyeballs on it as possible? Wouldn’t you want it to be perfect?
When was the last time you touched your LinkedIn profile? Is it optimized to sell you to a prospective employer? Well, there’s no time like the present.
Here are 7 tips for optimizing and increasing your LinkedIn profile visibility.
As simple as that sounds, people still use unclear and unprofessional pictures as their profile picture. Your profile picture is the first impression people have of you, so make it count!
According to Lydia Abbot, “Your profile picture is a key element of your LinkedIn presence. Our research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.”
Ensure that you’re using a recent and professional picture of yourself and that it looks like you. Let the picture reflect your personality, what you typically wear to work, colors you call your own. Let your face take up 60% of the frame. Look friendly in the picture, smile warmly and with your eyes.
Your Headline is the first thing people see when your profile is launched. The default setting is your current title or last held position, but that can be limiting if it doesn’t represent what you do or what you want to do. Hack it!
Use compelling and well-researched keywords in your headline. This is your first opportunity to capture visitors’ attention, so make sure your headline highlights your value and describes clearly and succinctly what you do.
Your professional headline has a 120-character limit, and, people, that’s not a lot. When serving up search results, the LinkedIn algorithm places a lot of emphasis on the words people use in their headlines. So, write tight with key attributes, benefits your company offers, or the geographic area you serve.
Think of this section as your chance to impress, engage, and hook a prospective client or employer. Use compelling points to summarize your skills and experience and why they matter. Make it error-free (proofreaders abound on Upwork.com); edit for grammar and spelling.
Your “About” section has a 2000-character limit. Incorporate relevant industry keywords to search optimize this section and ensure that you show up in search by recruiters looking for people like you. And, while you are at it, use the Gender Decoder to ensure that you are balancing your male-coded words with female ones. You never know who is looking.
To achieve an ‘All-Star’ status, you’ll need to complete every single section of your LinkedIn profile. Leave no stone unturned, no section untouched. Melanie Pinola, author of LinkedIn in 30 Minutes calls it,“ your own ‘Who’s Who’ entry on LinkedIn.”
A huge number of jobs that are filled are never advertised to the public. And, if they are, they’re filled by people who have a connection to that employer. Building up your network is the best way to optimize your profile.
Send connection requests to people you think can be relevant to your network. You can add a little note about why you want to connect with them. If their connection limit has been reached, follow them instead to see their posts. Also, accept your connection requests as fast as you can, this will increase your search appearances.
One easy way to rapidly increase your network is to synch up your contacts from your address books and other sources. 500+ connections, here we come!
LinkedIn algorithm rewards participation with greater visibility. Bottom line: the more you engage in posts, the more visible your profile will be. Bobby Darnell, a LinkedIn optimizer, shares, “Active participation on LinkedIn is the best way to say, ‘Look at me!’ without saying ‘Look at me!’”
Posting useful content is a way to connect and engage with people on LinkedIn. Start with posting useful status updates that will resonate with your connection on subjects you like and about which you know. Encourage people to comment on your post, by tagging people in it, or by asking them relevant questions thus starting a discussion in the comment section of YOUR post. Also, add relevant hashtags to get discovered by people with whom you are not yet connected. If you have nothing particularly useful to say that day, share the content of others. Generous LinkedIn users are often successfully employed LinkedIn users.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for growing your career but is essential to your job search. Don’t let a dormant LinkedIn profile be the reason you didn’t land your next job.