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    12 Tips for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

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    It’s no surprise that LinkedIn is the go-to platform for professionals looking to connect with like-minded individuals, potential employers, and business partners. However, the vast amount of profiles that are without pictures or details filled in, is a surprise.  

    With over 740 million users worldwide, it’s more important than ever to have a standout profile that represents you in the best possible light. Whether you’re looking for a new job, trying to expand your network, trying to attract candidates to a job role, or simply wanting to showcase your skills and experience, optimizing your profile on LinkedIn is crucial.

    Choose a Professional Profile Picture

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    Your profile picture is the first impression people will have of you on LinkedIn, so it’s essential to choose a professional photo that represents you in the best possible light. If you don’t have a professional ‘headshot’, it’s simple to take one at home, using a plain background and the correct lighting. 

    Here are some tips for selecting a great profile picture:

    • Use a high-quality image: Your profile picture should be clear, well-lit, and in focus. Avoid grainy or blurry photos that will make you appear unprofessional.
    • Dress appropriately: Wear clothing that you would wear to work or to a job interview. Dressing professionally will make you appear more credible and competent.
    • Keep it simple: Choose a headshot or a photo that focuses on your face. Avoid busy backgrounds or distracting elements that will take away from your image.
    • Smile and make eye contact: A friendly smile and direct eye contact can make you appear approachable and trustworthy.
    • Make it current: Use a recent photo that reflects how you currently look. Avoid using outdated photos that no longer represent you.

    Some points you should avoid:

    • Don’t use a selfie: Selfies may not appear professional and can be seen as unprofessional.
    • Don’t use an outdated photo: Using an old photo can give the wrong impression about your current appearance, which may harm your professional image.
    • Don’t use an overly edited image: Avoid using images that have excessive filters or editing. It can make you appear unauthentic.
    • Don’t use an inappropriate photo: Avoid using photos that show you wearing revealing clothing, or making provocative gestures or images with offensive content.
    • Don’t use a low-quality image: A low-quality photo can make you look unprofessional, so it’s important to ensure that your photo is of high quality and properly lit.

    This post can provide more information about your profile picture.

    Write a Compelling Headline

    Your headline is the second most important piece of information on your profile after your name, and it is what people will see first when they view your profile. A good headline will grab attention, whether it’s in the search or directly on your profile, and give them a brief overview of your professional background. 

    Here are some tips for crafting an effective headline:

    • Be specific: Your headline should clearly describe what you do and the value you can bring to an organization. Avoid vague or generic headlines that don’t convey any information.
    • Use keywords: Use relevant keywords in your headline that relate to your industry and the type of work you do. This will help you appear in search results for those keywords.
    • Be concise: Keep your headline short and to the point. A good rule of thumb is to keep it under 120 characters.
    • Be creative: Don’t be afraid to show your personality and creativity in your headline. Use humor, puns or other creative ways to make it memorable.
    • Update your headline regularly: Your headline is a living piece of your profile, so it’s important to update it as you gain new skills, change jobs or take on new responsibilities.

    Find out how you can change your headline here.

    Here are some examples of effective headlines:

    Digital Marketing Strategist | Helping businesses increase their online presence

    Healthcare Executive | Improving patient outcomes through innovative technology solutions

    Freelance Writer | Crafting compelling content for businesses and individuals

    Here are some more examples of good headlines.

    Sell Yourself in the About Section

    This section is an opportunity for you to showcase your personality, experience, and career goals. It’s a chance for you to tell your story and make a connection with potential employers or business partners. People will read this to learn more about who you are – try not to repeat information that’s on the rest of your profile, such as talking about your past employers, which are already listed.

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    Image Credit: Neil Patel LinkedIn Profile

    As you can see in the image above, the About section opens with something attention grabbing. Throughout, it references top companies, acheivements, uses metrics to quantify, and has a CTA at the bottom. A great example of an about seciton.

    Here are some tips for writing an effective About section:

    • Start with a hook: Use the first sentence to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading. You could start with a question, a bold statement, or an interesting fact about yourself.
    • Highlight your unique value proposition: Explain what makes you unique and what sets you apart from others in your industry. Highlight your key skills and experience and how they can benefit potential employers or clients.
    • Use bullet points: Break up your About section into easy-to-read bullet points. This will make it easier for readers to scan and find the information they’re looking for.
    • Show your personality: Don’t be afraid to show your personality and what makes you tick. This will help you stand out and make a connection with potential employers or business partners.
    • Keep it concise: Your About section should be between 200 and 300 words. Keep it concise and to the point, while still providing enough information to give readers a good idea of who you are and what you do.
    • Use keywords: Use relevant keywords that relate to your industry and the type of work you do. This will help you appear in search results for those keywords.
    • Proofread: Be sure to proofread for any errors or typos. A poorly written About section can reflect negatively on your attention to detail and professionalism.

    The key to creating a killer about section is readability. If you write a block of text that has no structure, no one will read it. It should be separated into paragraphs, include bullet points, and summarise your main achievements or selling point in the first section. 

    Take a look at some great examples here.

    The Featured section on LinkedIn is a new feature that allows you to showcase your best work samples, such as posts you’ve authored or re-shared, articles you’ve published on LinkedIn, and external media like images, documents, and links.

    Here are some tips for optimizing your Featured section:

    1. Choose your best work: Select the work samples that best represent your skills, expertise, and achievements.
    2. Keep it relevant: Only include work samples that are relevant to your current or desired career path.
    3. Use diverse media: Use a variety of media types, such as text, images, documents, and links, to showcase your work.
    4. Provide context: For each work sample, provide a brief description that explains why it’s important and what it demonstrates.
    5. Regularly update: Update your Featured section regularly with new and relevant work samples to showcase your ongoing accomplishments.

    Find out more about the featured section here.

    Completely Fill Out Your Experience Section

    This is one of the most important sections, where you showcase your professional experience and accomplishments. It’s important to make sure this section is complete and up-to-date, also that it’s an accurate representation of your employment history – accounting for any gaps. 

    This post covers the experience section in great detail.

    Here are some tips for optimizing your experience section:

    • Cover all aspects of your career: List everything you have done, including any gaps in your career. The less questions you leave for recruiters, the better.
    • Use bullet points: Use bullet points to highlight your accomplishments and responsibilities in each role. This makes it easier for readers to scan and find the information they’re looking for.
    • Quantify your achievements: Whenever possible, include numbers to quantify your achievements. This could be the number of clients you served, the percentage increase in sales, or the number of projects you completed.
    • Use action verbs: Start each bullet point with an action verb to make your accomplishments stand out. For example, “Managed a team of 10 employees” or “Increased sales by 25% in six months.”
    • Be specific: Be specific about what you accomplished in each role. Instead of saying “Managed a team,” say “Managed a team of 10 employees, resulting in a 30% increase in productivity.”
    • Include relevant experience: If you have relevant experience that isn’t related to your current job, include it in your experience section. This could be volunteer work, internships, or freelance projects – Especially if you lack professional experience.
    • Proofread: Again, this section should be proofread. There are text inputs here, so it’s important to double check these for spelling errors or grammar mistakes.

    Learn more about the experience section here.

    Complete the Education Section

    This section is important, especially if you’re looking for a job in a specific industry or field, or those that require a minimum level of education. It’s an opportunity to showcase your academic achievements and credentials. 

    Here are some tips for optimizing your education section:

    • Include relevant coursework: If you’ve taken relevant coursework that’s relevant to your career goals, include it in your education section. This can help demonstrate your expertise in a particular area.
    • Add academic honors: If you received any academic honors, such as cum laude or dean’s list, include them in your education section. This can help demonstrate your academic excellence.
    • Add your GPA: If your GPA is high (above 3.0), consider including it in your education section. This can help demonstrate your academic achievement and potential.
    • Add skills and media if necessary. 

    Here is some more information about the education section.

    Add Licenses & Certifications 

    This section can help demonstrate your expertise and credibility to potential employers or clients. You don’t need to go overboard and add every certificate you have ever achieved, but add the most relevant ones to your industry, role, or career. 

    Here are some tips for optimizing your Licenses & Certifications section:

    • Only include relevant licenses and certifications: Only include licenses and certifications that are relevant to your current or desired career path.
    • Include details: For each certification or license, include the issuing organization, the date it was issued, and any expiration dates or renewal requirements.
    • Prioritize certifications: If you have multiple certifications, prioritize them based on their relevance to your career goals.
    • Add descriptions: Add brief descriptions for each certification or license to explain what it signifies and why it’s important.
    • Provide proof: If possible, provide proof of your certification or license, such as a link to the issuing organization’s website or a copy of your certificate.

    Learn more about this section here.

    Add Your Relevant Skills

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    Image Credit: Neil Patel LinkedIn Profile

    The skills section can often be overlooked, but when you receive endorsements, it can make your profile look more professional and appealing. 

    Here are some tips for optimizing your Skills section:

    1. Choose relevant skills: Choose skills that are relevant to your career goals and industry. This will help demonstrate your expertise in a particular area and make it easier for potential employers to find you.
    2. Add skills that match your experience: Make sure your skills match the experience listed in your profile. This will help reinforce your expertise in a particular area.
    3. Use all 50 skills: LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 skills, so take advantage of this and list all the skills you have that are relevant to your industry.
    4. Get endorsements: Endorsements are a great way to demonstrate your expertise and skills. Ask colleagues, former supervisors, and clients to endorse your skills.
    5. Give endorsements: Giving endorsements to colleagues and peers can help build relationships and show your support for their skills and expertise.
    6. Keep your skills up-to-date: As your skills and experience evolve, be sure to update your skills section to reflect your current expertise.

    Find out more about the skills section here.

    Get and Give Recommendations

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    Image Credit: Neil Patel LinkedIn Profile

    This section is where other LinkedIn members can endorse your work and skills. This is similar to a digital reference and is displayed on your profile. It provides others with an overview of what it’s like to work with you and gives credibility for your experience.

    Here are some tips for optimizing the recommendations section:

    • Ask for recommendations: Reach out to colleagues, former supervisors, clients, or anyone else you’ve worked with and ask them to write a recommendation for you.
    • Be specific: When asking for a recommendation, provide specific details about what you’d like the person to focus on, such as a particular project or skill.
    • Offer to reciprocate: Offer to write a recommendation for the person in return. This can help build relationships and show your appreciation for their support.
    • Display recommendations: Once you receive recommendations, be sure to display them prominently on your profile. This can help demonstrate your professional reputation and expertise.
    • Follow up: If someone has agreed to write a recommendation for you but hasn’t done so, follow up with them. A gentle reminder can help ensure they follow through.
    • Thank the person: Once someone has written a recommendation for you, be sure to thank them. A simple thank you can help build relationships and show your appreciation.

    Here is some more information about the recommendations section.

    Optimize Your Activity Section

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    Image Credit: Neil Patel LinkedIn Profile

    The activity section is also overlooked. Whilst it doesn’t provide any direct benefits to your profile, it can help demonstrate your industry knowledge and increase engagement with your professional network. 

    Here are some tips for improving your activity section:

    • Share relevant content: Share content that is relevant to your industry or career goals. This can help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a particular area.
    • Comment on other people’s content: Engage with other people’s content by commenting on their posts or sharing your thoughts. This can help build relationships and show your engagement with your professional network.
    • React to posts: React to other people’s posts by liking, sharing, or commenting on them. This can help increase your visibility on the platform and show your engagement with your professional network.
    • Follow relevant hashtags: Follow relevant hashtags related to your industry or career goals. This can help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and conversations in your field.
    • Engage with LinkedIn groups: Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry or interests and engage with other members by sharing your thoughts or asking questions.
    • Stay consistent: Stay consistent with your engagement on the platform. This can help build your professional reputation and increase your visibility on the platform.

    Learn more about the activity section here.

    Improve the Visibility of Your Profile Through Engagement and Networking

    In addition to the ‘Engagement section’ on your profile, engaging with others on LinkedIn and building your network is essential. When you expand your network, you are opening yourself up to more opportunities and developing a strong professional network.

    Here are some tips for effective engagement and networking:

    • Be authentic and genuine in your interactions
    • Seek out people in your industry or with similar professional interests
    • Offer value to others by sharing helpful resources or offering your expertise
    • Participate in LinkedIn groups to connect with like-minded professionals
    • Regularly check your messages and respond in a timely manner
    • Attend virtual events or webinars to expand your network

    Tips Specific to Job Seekers

    If you are searching for a job, there are some tweaks that should be made to your profile to ensure maximum visibility:

    • Change your job preferences to ‘Open For Work’ and complete all necessary details to let LinkedIn and recruiters know you are looking for work.
    • ‘Showcase Services’ – this is a relatively new feature that focuses on freelancers. You can add your services and details, then your profile will show up in the search. 
    • Create a second profile in a different language. If you are open to bi-lingual or multi-lingual roles, use the LinkedIn feature of “Create profile in another language” to duplicate your profile and reach local businesses and other recruiters.
    • Take quizzes to earn skill badges. This appears on your profile and can help you stand out to potential recruiters. 

    Other Tips

    If you really want to spend the time delving deep into your LinkedIn profile, you can also do some of the following:

    Add media from events/company achievements etc.

    In the experience section, you have the option to add media related to your position. This could be presentations, awards, or anything you find relevant to share. Doing this boosts your credibility and gives the person looking at your profile something visual to look at.

    Share relevant content from your industry

    This is a part of being active on the platform. Share articles, videos, and other content as a post with your own thoughts, add some hashtags, and spark conversation amongst your network. 

    Engage in hashtags relevant to your industry

    Commenting and interacting with other posts is great for increasing your visibility and encouraging people to click on your profile. Just search the hashtag and find a post or two that you have a viewpoint on. Remember to keep it professional.

    Take part in LinkedIn groups

    This is another great way to increase your visibility and get people to click on your profile. You can search for groups relevant to your interests or industry, and begin interacting with other users. 

    Ensure your contact information is updated to reflect your current details.

    Conclusion

    Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is critical for building your professional reputation, increasing your visibility, and achieving your career goals. Optimizing your profile can create a professional image that showcases your skills and experience. Remember to regularly update your profile and engage with others on the platform to make the most of the opportunities LinkedIn has to offer.

    Chad Wyatt
    Chad Wyatthttps://chad-wyatt.com
    Chad Wyatt (MBA) is a professional in the digital marketing industry, specializing in content marketing, SEO, and strategic marketing initiatives. With a track record as a 6-figure marketing entrepreneur, Chad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and has been recognized by renowned media outlets such as CNN, Business Insider, Yahoo, MSN, Capital One, and AOL, where he has been featured for his industry insights and success stories.

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