The Top 5 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers

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Updating your resume, cover letter, and references page is almost synonymous with the job seeking or career change processes . But many job seekers fail to address the importance of maintaining their online presence with updating their LinkedIn profile, as well.

 In this article, we will dive into the top 5 Best LinkedIn Profile tips for job seekers. This list is not comprehensive; it simply provides a few key tips for creating a profile that can get you noticed by recruiters more often than your competition.

 

1.  Take Your Time - What’s the Rush?

On LinkedIn, networking and connection-building reigns supreme. We can draw comparisons between the social network and the popular cultural phrase “FOMO”, or “fear of missing out”. Everyone wants to be in on “what” and “who” is happening.  People who have completed and spectacularly listed their awards, accomplishments, and previous positions, always have a large network of interactive and engaged connections who like, comment, and even share their content on a regular basis.

But here’s a little piece of information you might not be aware of: LinkedIn doesn’t even display your profile in search results until you have at least 500 connections. Now, this doesn’t mean you should go crazy and just invite anyone to your network.  Start by connecting your emails and invite people you already know.  Keep in mind, recruiters won’t be able to find you if you don’t take time to cultivate the initial network foundation, as incomplete profiles don’t really appear that high in search results. More importantly, when recruiters do find your profile, you need to make sure they can quickly determine if your skillset is what they are looking for, where you have previously worked, and even what people think of your skillset. You can achieve this through the use of endorsements and recommendations.  Take your time, and complete each and every section of your profile; as you do, LinkedIn will give you a hand by offering suggestions on how to make your profile stronger.  Pretty awesome of them, right?

 

2.  Vanity Url vs. LinkedIn Given URL: Branding is Key

 When you initially create your LinkedIn profile you will be assigned a string of random numbers and characters after the /in/ portion of the URL.  It’s much more professional and cleaner to simply use www.linkedin.com/in/yourname, rather than the overly clunky combination that LinkedIn automatically assigns.  To get to this screen, you simply click on “Edit Public Profile ” at the top right of the page. (See Image 1)

 

At the bottom of the window that displays your basic contact information, you will be able to see what your LinkedIn URL is currently, which shows as your “Public Profile URL”.  Click on “Edit” to change it and strongly consider using your government name and not a nickname. Remember, this part is the same for everyone (www.linkedin.com/in/), so all you would have to do is tell them the last part of the URL - the first is a given.

 If you have a common name, some clients like to use their state instead of a number at the end of their name.  For example, “JohnSmithCA” or “JennyLongNY”. Other clients may opt to use a hypen and a keyword identifying their industry. This could look like MarySmith-HR or SallyStevens-tenniscoach. Once you have decided on a name, click “Set Custom URL” and “Save”.  Voila!

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 3.  Authority Through Authoring:  Get Published on LinkedIn

Since Microsoft took over the platform in 2016, they have opened-up the publishing feature to every profile, and not just a select few.  If you are job hunting for a position that requires a certain expertise, or even writing skill, what better way to create a portfolio of published articles on the #1 trusted B2B social media platform in the world, and impress your future employers in the process? Check out this video on LinkedIn Help to learn how to publish your first of many articles.  One thing to keep in mind, is that consistency and quality matter. If you want to publish, do so on a regular basis and not just once a year.  Recruiters want to see that you can commit.  

 4. Get Creative: Dream Job/Career Search Terms and Descriptions

Your summary section is basically your online resume. You have 2,000 characters in this section, and you want to use it in a way that sets you apart from other applicants.  Regardless of whether you are going for a promotion or an entirely new career, look at several different versions of the job description of the position you want, and are available online.  Save them to your desktop as word documents and then mass import them into a word cloud resource like Wordle.  What this does is generate “word clouds” from the content you are uploading.  Clouds are simply a way of rating words that appear the most within the job descriptions.  You then take those common words and use them in your LinkedIn profile, sort of similar to how ATS software works when employers search thousands of resumes.  Did we just blow your mind?  If you need help with this, we can work on your resume’ for ATS software and help you build a profile free of common buzzword traps.[MOU1] 

 5. The Most Overlooked piece of LinkedIn Real Estate - Your Headline

We can do an entire section on the importance of your Headline – the area that appears right under your name – all on its own.  For the sake of time, we’ll stick to the basics.  Your headline needs to be much more than just your current job title.  Your Headline will determine whether you appear on page 1 or page 25 of not just LinkedIn, but in Google’s algorithm as well.  It’s the most overlooked piece of LinkedIn real estate.  You get 120 characters to sell your skills, your business products/services, and yourself, and should be used wisely.   Clearly define your value proposition, speak to your target audience directly, and be creative! Check out mine in the header image of this article.  You can also check out these Top 25 LinkedIn Headline Examples. 

 We hope that you will put these top 5 best LinkedIn tips into practice as quickly as possible.  Take your time, get found, and get hired!  We wish you the best of luck in your job search endeavors!