Recruiting has changed a lot over the last few years as businesses move more of their processes online. Now, both job seekers and employers use LinkedIn before any other avenue to try and find the right fit. This makes good sense: it’s the largest network of professionals in the world. But how are you supposed to stand out among its 750 million members?
First, breathe. As wonderful as that job you want might be, there aren’t 750 million others vying for it. But you can boost your chances of attracting the perfect job by improving your LinkedIn profile with these simple steps:
Step 1: Refresh your visuals
When a potential employer lands on your page, you have about three seconds to make an impression. And because eyes are drawn to images before text, your profile and cover photos need to shine. Treat these images as your virtual handshake and smile— your way to infuse personality into your profile.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing new images:
Make sure the profile photo is recent, looks like you, and your face takes up about 60% of the shot (long-distance shots don’t stand out as much)
Take a moment to properly crop both photos. The ideal dimensions for your cover photo is 1584 × 396 pixels, and 400 x 400 pixels for your profile photo (2021).
Step 2: Adjust your headline
Though LinkedIn will use your most recent job title as a default headline, we encourage you to personalize it and show you’re a dynamic employee. Here are a few ways you could structure your new headline:
[Job Title] passionate about [area you really enjoy]
Ex. HR Manager passionate about inclusive company culture.
Graphic Designer passionate about modern typography.
[Job Title] | [Secondary Interest] | [Hobby/outside work interest]
Ex. Accountant | Mathematician | Avid Runner
Marketing Strategist | Project Manager | Foodie
And just for kicks (because she’s a pro), here’s our boss’ headline:
Step 3: Tell your story in the summary
Don’t waste the summary section listing skills or job descriptions— recruiters will see all those details when they scroll down to the resume area. Instead, use it as a way to add context to all of that information. Bring your career to life!
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few questions to get your creativity flowing:
How did you end up in this career?
What do you bring to the table as an employee?
What's your passion? Why do you love your job?
Step 4: Level up your recommendations
On LinkedIn, recommendations are written testimonials from former coworkers. Having a few high-quality recommendations signals to recruiters that you’re trustworthy and good at your job. Anyone can write a killer resume; but if people are willing to publicly go to bat for you, you must be the real deal.
Take a look through your current connections and identify those you had a great working relationship with. Then write an endorsement for them! They’re likely to return the favour.
There’s no stronger marketing tactic than word of mouth, so this step’s worth the extra effort.
Step 5: Document your community involvement
Attend an industry conference, take a relevant course, or do some volunteering lately? Add it to the correct section near the end of your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters love to see that you’re involved and actively learning more about your field of work.
Step 6: Enable #OpenToWork to make yourself visible
One helpful feature on LinkedIn is called #OpenToWork. Opt-in to this feature, select your preferred job descriptions and locations, and you’ll appear in more search results as employers are looking for the perfect candidate.
To enable the #OpenToWork feature from your desktop:
1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
2. Click View profile.
3. Click the Open to button.
4. Click Finding a new job.
5. Provide the requested information in the pop-up window that appears.
6. Click Add to profile.
Step 7: Comment and share interesting content
Once your profile is looking its best and ready to shine, join the industry conversations happening on LinkedIn. Comment on insightful posts, follow businesses you admire, and share information you find helpful. Make your presence known! You never know who’s got their eye on you.