As you probably know, LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network; the most recent data suggests that every 10th person over 18 years of age has a LinkedIn profile, while every third professional is on the network. LinkedIn can help you score the ideal job or internship, build and deepen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to advance your career. By showcasing your unique professional story through experience, talents, and education, a completed LinkedIn profile can help you connect with just the right prospects. That’s why highlighting your unique professional story on LinkedIn can help you stand out to new friends, customers, and recruiters.
So, it seems that anyone can use this professional networking site to advance their career. With such a strong competition, one would think it would take a miracle to stand out from the crowd. Luckily for you, LinkedIn miracles are our forte. This article will give you all the necessary tips and tricks to supercharge your LinkedIn presence and turn your profile into a professional conversion powerhouse! This article will be updated periodically to keep the information up to date.
Believe it or not, there are people who actually read what’s in the URL. Yeah, all those jumbled letters and numbers actually mean something to someone. Also, when sharing a link to your LInkedIn profile with your potential employers or business partners, you’d kind of want to make it not look like a Matrix code, right? Well, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to make your profile URL personalized by editing it to whatever you want. We’d suggest that it’s a version of your name in some form, but if you have a common name (sorry Bob Jackson), you’ll have to be a bit more creative. If you want to check out how it works, you can head over to LinkedIn right now and see what’s there for you.
This is one of the coolest and easiest things you can do with your LinkedIn profile. If you have a personal blog or a business website, it’s now easier than ever to direct your potential business partners to your LinkedIn page. All they need to do now is just click the badge with the LinkedIn logo and bam - they’re on your profile page. Magic, right? The best thing is that the badges are pre-coded and free. So all you need to do is use them.
Get Personal With Your New Connections
What we mean by this is taking a minute or two to reply to connection requests with a personalized message, and sending a personalized message as a part of your connection requests. It may not seem like much, but it will give off a feeling of familiarity and friendliness to your connections, and those can never hurt business talk, right?
Let Them Know You’re Available
Recruiters are everywhere nowadays, and it seems as if they can find potential candidates just about anywhere, but with the help of LinkedIn you can help speed up this process. All you need to do is go to the “Career Interests” tab on your profile and choose that your profile shows you’re open for new employment. You can even take it a step further and choose what kind of employment you’re looking for and even select your preferred locations.
LinkedIn Recommendations are Like Respect
You've got to give it to get it. While you can ask your former co-workers or managers for a recommendation, we’ve found that it’s way more effective if you go out on a limb and write a recommendation on your own accord. When you publish it, the person you recommended will get a request to write one back for you. And more often than not, they actually do it. Getting more recommendations is a great way to get noticed by the recruiters, so you might want to consider taking some time to praise your old friends from work.
We know, it sounds shallow, but you have to keep in mind that LinkedIn is a professional network, after all. So while a beach selfie or a couple of pinacoladas with a tropical sunset backdrop may seem like a perfect profile picture for your Facebook, don’t post those on your LinkedIn. The safest option to go with is a simple professional headshot. Of course, we don’t expect you to have a professional photographer up your sleeve, but luckily for you, there are tons of online apps that can make your regular front camera selfie look like something that might appear on a recruiter’s radar.
Remember when LInkedIn first showed up, and people were endorsing each other left and right for all sorts of skills? It made us all question whether endorsements are even worth it. Well, the good news is - they are. But you need to be picky about them. This means that you should showcase only the endorsements and recommendations you've received that match the opportunities you’re looking for. For example, if you did a short stint as a graphic designer trainee, and a bunch of your colleagues endorsed you for Photoshop skills, you should highlight that only if you’re looking to score a gig in the graphic design industry, not if you’re looking for a traineeship at a microbiology institute.
Make sure to Check Out People Also Viewed
This LinkedIn feature is very often ignored, but it is a very useful one. If you find a listing or a prospect you particularly liked, make sure to check out the People Also Viewed section, in the bottom right corner. This will take you to similar prospects/listings and give you an insight into just how much of what you’re looking for is out there.
While the previous tip is a very useful one, make sure it’s not working to your damage. If you do not want your potential employers to leave your page and go see similar candidates, you can turn this feature off on your profile. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Go to Settings and Privacy
- Click on Privacy
- On the list, find the option Viewers of this profile also viewed
- Make sure the option is set to No
This way, the recruiters will stay on your page, and won’t go to find candidates similar to you.
It may seem too picky, but some studies have shown that recruiters actually tend to avoid profiles with too little information. What is more, LinkedIn makes your profile more visible to recruiters if you reach 100% profile completion. If you are a job seeker, this may take just a few extra minutes of your time and, in the long run, may reward you with a job.
Make Your Headline Turn Heads
Your LinkedIn headline is more than just a description of your current job and/or your qualifications. It is the first thing that a recruiter sees when they land on your page. So do you think they’d be more interested in “English teacher/speaking instructor/subtitle editor” or “CELTA certified, experienced linguistics expert with a passion for public speaking and a love for movies, which I express through creating subtitles for various types of cinematic creations.”?
Imagine your headline is the bait, and ask yourself what kind of fish you are looking to reel in.
Another thing recruiters are looking for is your current position, so make sure you never forget to put that in your LinkedIn profile. In case you are currently unemployed, you should still do this, but always make it clear that you are not employed in this position but seeking an opportunity in the field. This is important because it helps you avoid uncomfortable situations if you reach a job interview.
If you are working in a field where you can showcase your work, make sure you use the Features section of your LinkedIn profile. When you add stuff here, you’d want to handpick your very best work, to make the recruiters or potential business partners take you seriously. It may be a blunt analogy, but if you managed a clothing store, you wouldn’t put the cheapest pieces in the window, would you?
Even though your LinkedIn profile is not the same as your resume, the experiences and skills you mention in the resume must be included in your LInkedIn profile. If you submit a resume, there is a very high chance that your recruiters will check out your LinkedIn as well, so any gaps between the two may seem a bit unprofessional.
Just like building a website or getting a painting ready for a showcase, you can prevent people from seeing your LinkedIn profile before it’s ready and at 100% completion. This is a very simple hack: all you need to do is go to Privacy Settings and set your profile visibility to Private. This way, your profile will be invisible to the public until all your updates and boosts are done.
Networking Goes a Long Way
Once you’ve got your LInkedIn profile all set up, it’s not recommended to just leave it be and wait for the job opportunities to come pouring in (it’s not very realistic either). What makes your profile more visible is networking on LinkedIn. The best way to expand your network is to post things you are interested in and that are in your area of expertise. Share that article you liked, and let people know what’s happening in town. It’s just a few clicks, and it might help you greatly.
Over 40% of LInkedIn users use this platform via the mobile app. While this is very handy, for you as a job seeker, it means that some important information about you might get missed because some people frown upon clicking on Read More. What you can do to make sure you get noticed even on the LinkedIn app is to put the important information from your headline within the first 42 characters and from your summary within the first 140 characters. This way, even if a potential partner or recruiter is browsing from their mobile, they’ll still get the gist of what you’re offering and might want to keep reading.
Now, this is a super cool feature that not many people know about. LinkedIn has the option of Boolean Search through the use of various words or symbols, such as OR, AND and quotation marks. These can help make your search as precise as possible. Here’s how they work:
- Quotation Marks: Help you find exactly the term you’re looking for,e.g; “social media manager” in your search bar will filter out LInkedIn results with that exact phrase.
- AND: Written exactly like this, with all caps, will help if you want to search for LinkedIn profiles including two separate terms. For example, “Public speaker” AND “Content Writer”.
- OR: As you might have guessed already, OR is useful when you are looking for profiles that contain different phrases, but they don’t need to include all of the ones you’re looking for. For example: “Social media manager” OR “Marketing manager”.
- NOT: This one even helps you filter out what you don’t want in your search. How awesome is that? So if you’re looking specifically for an Instagram account manager, you can search “Instagram account manager” NOT “Social media manager”.
Save Your Searches
Now that you know how to make your search as specific as possible, here’s how you can save your search preferences and have LinkedIn send you leads based on them.
All you need to do is go to the top right corner of your search results page and click on Set Alert and that’s it. That’s literally all you need to do. What happens now is that LinkedIn “knows” your preferences and will send you leads based on them directly to your inbox, until you’ve changed or deleted them.
This is a very neat little trick you can use to make your profile pop up more often in LinkedIn or even Google searches. You can take a look at the profiles of the most influential people in your industry and see what the main keywords are that they are using. After that, go ahead and include those keywords as organically as possible in your LinkedIn profile, especially in the Headline and Summary. When these people search for their favourite keywords, your profile will pop up among the top search results.
According to research done by LinkedIn themselves, there are certain times when it is more likely you’ll be found on LinkedIn. It seems that LinkedIn users, and especially recruiters, are the most active during working days, with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday being the peak days.
The most frequent hours you should consider being on LinkedIn are 10-11 am or 5-7 pm; so you should post on LinkedIn somewhere within those windows if you want to get noticed more.
Just like with other networks, there is a preference when it comes to the types of posts on LinkedIn. You may have already noticed this, but it wouldn’t hurt to list them all out here, in one place.
Here are the types of posts you should consider to make your profile more visible:
- Twitter Screenshots
- Text with an image
- Personal experience stories
- Success stories
- Short videos
Now that we’ve told you what kind of content goes on LinkedIn, try creating some yourself. The content market on LinkedIn has not been “discovered” yet, with only 1% of users posting their own content, created specifically for LinkedIn. This is a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door. It might be a bit time-consuming, but it’s worth it in the long run.
You know the words we’re talking about. The ones you can see on every LinkedIn profile, such as “creative, hardworking," etc. These words without context do not mean anything to a recruiter. What you should do here is, instead of using the word "creative," show how creative you are by showcasing your work.
Don’t only use LinkedIn when you’re searching for a job and then abandon it once you’re settled. Doing this is a great way to miss out on better or more interesting opportunities (this is speaking from experience). Take a look at your LinkedIn profile a few times per week, just to stay up to date with what’s going on in the industry, and make sure you update any professional changes.
It only makes sense that after all the time you’ve spent on customizing and boosting your LinkedIn profile, you’d want your recruiters to see it. As nowadays, in most cases, CVs are submitted electronically, this is a great chance to add your personalized LinkedIn profile link to your resume. Recruiters will actually appreciate this because you’re saving them time as they don’t need to filter out which Jane Smith you are exactly.
This part of your LinkedIn profile is often ignored because it’s all the way at the bottom of your profile page, but it can play a very important role in your overall LinkedIn use experience. The things you put on your Interests page will help LinkedIn know what you like and show you more relevant posts on your feed. Try it out, it can make your whole LinkedIn experience more enjoyable.
Did you know that you can format your profile page so that it doesn’t look the same as everyone else’s? Yeah, it’s one of those “what won’t they think of?” moments. There are many online tools that can help you with this, but the one we’d most likely recommend would be AuthoredIn.
This online tool (which is free to use at the moment) allows you to do some very cool things, such as stylizing your LinkedIn posts by helping you use different fonts, formats, and even emojis. But the coolest thing you can do is preview your LinkedIn post before publishing it. You can also see what your posts will look like on a computer or a mobile phone.
Right below your profile picture, there is a Who’s Viewed Your Profile option. As the name would suggest, this helps you see the people who have looked at your LinkedIn profile recently. This is not only super fun, but it can be very useful because it can help you determine the direction in which you’d want to take your LinkedIn journey. For example, if you’re a journalist and you’re getting views from people interested in content writing, it might be a good idea to see what this content writing is all about.
We’ve talked earlier about the importance of a good profile picture. Well, the cover photo is actually no different. Since it takes up the biggest part of the top of your profile page, you’d want to avoid keeping that area blank, right? But you can’t just put up any old photo of your favourite St. Louis Rams lineup from the early 2000s (unless you’re a football coach). The cover photo should be something that represents who you are, personally and professionally. It may seem unimportant, but every little bit matters.
This may seem a bit surprising since it’s something you’d expect to find on Facebook or Instagram, but hashtags for LinkedIn posts have proven to be a very useful tool. They can help your post stand out to people of similar interests or fellow colleagues (or recruiters) in the industry.
While it is refreshing to see a funny meme or a cat video on LinkedIn, they cannot make up for the majority of the things you post. If you want to keep a professional but lighthearted outlook, you should go for the 80-20 ratio, meaning that 80% of your posts should be related to your profession, and the other 20% remains for that funny GIF you found on Twitter the other day.
This is another amazing LinkedIn weapon a lot of people simply don’t know about. The Career Explorer helps you find exactly the job you’re looking for in a place near you (or wherever your heart desires), and it allows you to check how your skills overlap with the job requirements. You can also use this feature to get connected to people already holding similar job positions and ask for some tricks of the trade.
Showing off your skills on LinkedIn may not be something you’re comfortable with, but it is something that can help you land your dream job or collaboration. Your skills are what make you unique, so try to incorporate them into as many aspects of your LinkedIn profile as possible. It may sound a bit tacky, but it works.
When you post things on LinkedIn, make sure that you keep track of people reacting and commenting on them. Respond to as many comments as you possibly can, because it shows your followers that there is a genuine interest from your side, and the more engaged you are, the more visible your profile becomes.
Just like with other social media, if you share someone’s LinkedIn post, it can go a long way. Not only will you make that person’s day by having your entire connection list exposed to their ideas, but you will also make your mutual business connection more profound, and that can be a game-changer for you. Don’t just share posts from people you know personally, but from anyone from your industry whose ideas you agree with. Who knows, it just might be the beginning of a beautiful professional friendship.
Recently, LinkedIn has started providing users with tests for the skills they list in their profiles. If you score highly on this test, you get a skill badge added to your profile. They don’t only look flashy but also let recruiters know what your strongest suits are and save them the time they spend sifting through your skills list.
Even though they may seem annoying at times, you should still take a moment to respond to InMail messages, because doing this is another way that gets your profile pushed forward. Even if your reply is a simple “Thank you, but I am not interested at the moment.”, it can still give you that one-inch advantage that can make all the difference in the end.
A simple but effective way to point your business partners or recruiters in the right direction. Similarly to adding your LinkedIn profile to your CV, this helps anyone who is interested in visiting your LinkedIn page by bringing it just one click away from them.
Once you’ve made yourself visible and available, it’s time to write the most personalized post there is. We know that professional articles take time and effort, but consider LinkedIn as your playground. By posting your articles there, not only will you make more connections, but you will also make yourself more visible and seem more professional.
LinkedIn has quickly taken over the world as the only professional “social media” network. Some have even gone as far as calling it “Facebook for job seekers”, but nowadays, LinkedIn has evolved into so much more than that. With the right tips and tricks, you can make LinkedIn not only a job-seeking tool but also a platform to create long-lasting professional connections and make a brand of yourself. We hope that some of the tips we provided will help you along on your journey.