Having an optimised LinkedIn profile is critical for successful job hunting in 2021. Prior to the real work begins, your job is to create a LinkedIn profile that is luminescent; one that stands out amongst the other 690 million professionals on the platform.

Your LinkedIn profile is your catalyst to interview. With recruitment consultants and hiring managers alike reading your LinkedIn profile before even picking up the phone, your profile is your golden ticket.  It can get you in front of quite literally thousands of professionals in your industry.

So how do you make your LinkedIn profile the best it can be?

Here are 10 ways you can improve your LinkedIn profile.

Add a picture.

Masses of LinkedIn profiles don’t have a picture. Yours needs to.  Make your profile stand out by adding a professional-looking headshot. This will give you an identity and create a picture of yourself in the mind of your potential employer.

This image needs to represent the ‘professional’ you…one that is employable. So while it doesn’t need to be boring, it may be best to steer away from the picture of you ‘living your best life’ in Ayia Napa last summer! Your profile picture will leave a lasting impression, so make sure it is an impression you want to leave.

Write an eye-catching headline.

The headline sits directly below your name, and so it holds the premium spot on your profile. It is one of the first things visitors to your profile will see.  LinkedIn settings will default and create your headline for you using your current position, but you can edit it and write your own.  Use these 120 characters wisely, and pen something that will leave a lasting impression.

Your LinkedIn profile is an advert for you; so envisage what you wish your strapline to be. Try to mention your specialty, what you do well, and write for your target audience. Do you want to speak to peers, customers, hiring managers, or recruiters?

Write an interesting summary.

This is an opportunity to write a synopsis of your employment history that makes the reader think, “I have to talk to this person”.

While you have 2000 characters to play with here, remember attention spans are short.  We would recommend you look to use about three-quarters of them. In your summary, you should mention what you do well, where you feel your strengths lie and what you can bring to the table.

Using keywords in your LinkedIn summary is important.  You should aim to use words that are strongly connected to your industry while giving an indication of who you are as a professional.

Employer Branding Infographic

Underline your experience.

Writing the experience section shouldn’t be a cut and paste from your CV exercise. Here you should include past jobs that are in line with the direction you want your career to head.

You should aim to include 3-5 bullet points for each job that is dynamic, and results focussed.  You should use action words to outline your responsibilities and the accomplishments of your work.  It is a good idea to use tangible numbers as much as possible.  Numbers don’t lie, and there is no room for misinterpretation.

Consider using visual media.

You have room on LinkedIn to add a background banner photo. This banner photo should represent who you are, and act as a tool to reinforce your profile’s written sections.

You can get creative.  LinkedIn allows you to link to other media, such as YouTube videos, infographics, and PowerPoint.  Don’t be shy…especially if you work in a creative industry.  This is your chance to make your page jump off the screen and demand attention.

Customise your URL.

Your LinkedIn URL is the web address for your profile.  LinkedIn defaults and creates one for you.  Typically though, it just uses your name and a series of random numbers and letters.

Customising your LinkedIn URL will make your profile search engine friendly and make you easier to find.  A customised URL will also invite the reader to make some positive assumptions about you.  It indicates you are detailed focused, technologically savvy and that you understand the importance of not being just a series of numbers.

Changing the URL is simple.  Go to the right side of your profile, and you will find the option to edit your URL into something concise and neat.

A person types on an apple macbook laptop

Make connections.

Increasing the number of connections you have increases the likelihood of being found when hiring managers and recruiters are looking for candidates with your credentials.

As a benchmark, you should aim for over 500 connections.  Anything less than this, LinkedIn will number your connections exactly…i.e. 265 connections. Above 500, LinkedIn will default to 500+ connections, so reaching this number is a milestone and shows you are a player on the platform.

As much as possible, it is a good idea to connect with those you have worked with, had contact with in a professional capacity, are in your city or region, or who work in your industry/profession.  Should you wish to connect with someone outside of this, it is a good idea to send them a mail explaining who you are and the purpose of your connection. Too many denied connection attempts will be seen as SPAM and you may be blocked by LinkedIn.

Email concept with hands typing laptop on the blackboard background.

Recommendations and skill endorsements.

Recommendations are crucial to a standout LinkedIn profile; they are endorsements from your peers.  When thinking about who to approach for a recommendation, think of all the people you have worked with in the past.  Colleagues, bosses, and customers are all options; they are all in a position to vouch for your professionalism.

Don’t just ask anyone though. Think, ‘do I want to be endorsed by this person?’.  Are their professional behaviours aligned to mine? Are they respected and do they have integrity?  Remember, most industries are small and so reputation is everything.

Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you.  In other words; return the favour. If you are asked for a recommendation – give one. But only if you do endorse that person. As before, your endorsements and recommendations are also a reflection of you, your professionalism, and your standards.

Keep your LinkedIn profile active.

LinkedIn is not an online CV. It is a professional networking social media site and should be used accordingly. You should aim to be active at least 3 times a week.  This includes writing and liking posts as well as commenting thoughtfully on those of your connections.

You could also join industry relevant groups that are in line with your professional specialisms.  These groups are an excellent way to connect with like-minded professionals with whom you can share ideas and best practices.  If you are low on connections, or new to LinkedIn, they are also a great way to boost your connections to nearer that 500 goal.

Check out your LinkedIn profile strength.

LinkedIn has created a ‘Profile Strength Meter’ to let you gauge how robust your profile is.  This tool gives you the completion level of your profile, and tips on how you can make it the best it can be.  The top-tier profiles will be given an “All-Star” status. Try to keep adding to your profile until LinkedIn makes you an All-Star.

Main Takeaways.

  • Use the LinkedIn “Profile Strength Meter” to ensure your profile is complete.
  • Make sure any profile pictures you add are a representation of yourself you would want an employer to see.
  • Aim to connect with over 500 connections without sending aimless connection requests.  Instead, join groups relevant to your sector and legitimate professional networking to grow your connections.
  • Keep active. Aim for 3-4 posts, comments, likes, or shares each week.  Make sure your comments are inciteful and thoughtful. Can you transmit your industry knowledge through any comments you leave?
  • Personalise your profile. Edit your URL to ensure it stands out and use visual media. This latter point is particularly relevant if you work in a creative industry, such as digital marketing or design.
  • Think about who you are writing for.  Tailor your summary, headline, and experience accordingly. Try to use data and statistics to make your achievements tangible.

These 10 tips are just the starting point in creating a first-class LinkedIn profile. It is not just enough to exist on LinkedIn.  You need to maintain and grow your profile to ensure that you, and it, remain relevant and visible amid all the others.

Can we help you take the next step in your tech, digital or data career? Browse our current vacancies here.

Perhaps you are looking for your next role, but are new to the job market. Perhaps you are a graduate looking for your first tech role following graduation. Our blog has a library of employee advice. If you found this LinkedIn profile post helpful, we have masses more guidance for eager job seekers. Have a look through our blog for more.







About the author: I work hard to find the best opportunities for my candidates and the best talent for my clients. My honest and pragmatic approach helps me to build lasting relationships and deliver real value.  I have extensive experience helping organisations overcome their critical challenges in the digital environment, and have worked with everything from start-ups to major global brands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Scroll To Top