No matter what your job title, industry, or career aspirations, a LinkedIn profile is a critical piece of your personal brand. Recruiters, hiring managers, clients, and partners use the social network to get to know you.
The talent pool is extremely crowded. A recession in the United States forced millions into the job market. The market has not been this competitive since The Great Recession of 2008. One way to stand out amongst the rest is with a strong LinkedIn profile.
For some of us, this aspect of personal branding is overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be.
We asked our recruiters what makes a candidate’s LinkedIn profile stand out. They offered some sage advice to enhance your presence on the social network.
These suggestions are more than the standard wisdom of including all relevant work history. Use this guide to make your profile more attractive to hiring managers. If you are a hiring manager, this is a friendly reminder of what a good profile looks like.
Step One: Make Yourself Measurable
Talentfoot Senior Partner, Darren Mooney, says your LinkedIn profile is a candidate’s online resume. “Whether in the summary or under each role, you must include metrics of some kind to showcase measurable results, such as growth from x to y.” In other words, show your accomplishments in very clear language.
“Also, budget size and other contextual numbers really make it easy for a recruiter to glance at it and understand the level of this person’s experience,” Darren continues. Instead of listing accomplishments with words, make sure to include metrics and statistics to demonstrate results.
Step Two: Be Concise.
Your LinkedIn profile is an online resume, but that does not mean you should include every achievement since high school.
“One of the tricks to a good LinkedIn profile is having enough information, without it being too long to where I am scrolling forever to find out how many years of experience you have. Similar to your resume, make sure to bullet point a couple of your accomplishments for each role utilizing metrics, but no need to write out a job description for each,” says Talentfoot Executive Senior Partner, Amanda Kelly.
Amanda has one other key piece of wisdom. “Also, be sure to have a professional photo, no selfies or photos with other people!”
Step Three: Show Career Development.
The key to a stellar LinkedIn profile is to plainly show career achievements.
Talentfoot Executive Senior Partner, Steve Dawson says, “One detail I look for in a profile often not included is the career advancement someone had in each position. Often times, a person will just include their last job title for the duration of their tenure at a job.”
So, what’s the bottom line? “I want to see not only that a candidate is stable (not a job hopper), but also has the ability to be promoted and take on additional responsibility,” Steve says.
Step Four: Optimize Your Profile for Search Engines.
Just like Google, LinkedIn uses an algorithm to determine what appears at the top of search results. There are ways to make your profile higher in the pack.
An optimized profile will use industry-relevant keywords throughout the page content and title. For example, if you are an SEO Manager, that phrase must appear in your job title and sprinkle in your experience and bio sections.
Step Five: Publish Relevant Content
You don’t have to be a Pulitzer-winning author to share content on LinkedIn. However, you do need to be thoughtful.
What thought leadership are you reading? Do you have industry-tips to share with your peers? Use LinkedIn to share career-relevant content. And don’t forget to hashtag keywords.
The purpose of sharing content is to demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, and leadership. And if you do like to write or have written for your company’s blog, publish the article to LinkedIn. Just make sure you edit it first.
Step Six: Request Recommendations and Give Them!
Endorsements are a great way to get a “thumbs up” on your profile, but recommendations are even better. Think of these as references published straight to your profile. Talk to a colleague who will write a strong recommendation and has some clout within their own organization. Ask them to write a recommendation. Don’t forget to pay it forward, your junior colleagues and peers will benefit from your voice, too.
Don’t “Set It and Forget It”
A LinkedIn profile is an ongoing commitment. To truly use this social network to the fullest potential, you need to log into the site regularly. Interact with others by commenting on posts and publishing your own updates. The more you interact with others, the more your activity will surface in newsfeeds.
Recruiters and hiring managers spend lots of time browsing through this social network. They know a good profile when they see one. You can stand out. Use relevant keywords and stay active on the site.
For more tips on a stellar LinkedIn profile, download these tips.