8 Quick Ways To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile When Looking For A Job
LinkedIn is a big part of job searching these days. Not only will potential employers check your profile after you apply, but many recruiters will find you through the site as well. With that in mind, it’s important to make the best use of your account. You could write a book (and someone probably did) on all the ways to do it, but I want to focus on some quick and easy things you can do to improve your LinkedIn profile.
Chances are, you (like most people) have neglected your profile since your last job search, but these tips will have you giving it a makeover in no time.
Hide your updates (a few seconds)
If you’re going to make a lot of edits to your profile, you probably don’t want to obstruct the flow of your connections. To avoid doing it, it’s easy.
When you are in the edit view of your profile, there is a simple option for this purpose located on the right side of the screen. Set it to “No” and you’re done.
Customize your LinkedIn URL (30 seconds)
If you didn’t know it was possible, don’t worry. Many, many LinkedIn users are not taking advantage of it. Changing the URL of your profile turns it from an unruly string of random numbers and letters into any fancy shape you choose. Much better to add to a resume or direct a recruiter to.
You can make this change by going to your LinkedIn profile and clicking on the gear icon below your photo. Then on the right side you will see your current url. Click the pencil icon to edit it. Most of the people who use the feature choose to just use their name.
Make sure you don’t change your URL too many times. If you change it more than 5 times, you will have to wait six months until you can change it again. If you are stuck on something embarrassing, it is difficult.
Write a new title (5 minutes)
This is another feature of LinkedIn that a lot of people don’t even know about. By default, your title is your current job, for example “Frontend Developer at Example Company”, but you can change it to whatever you like.
Since your title appears everywhere on LinkedIn and not just on your profile, it’s a good idea to use it to give a quick, brief overview of what you can do. Take a few minutes to think about your main skills or strengths, then incorporate them into your title.
To edit your title, click on the pencil icon that appears next to your title (just below your name) when you hover your mouse over it.
Give a good overview of your experience (15 minutes)
It’s not enough to fill in the backbone of titles and companies, you should also fill in a few details about each position to give recruiters a better understanding of your background and skills.
To keep things simple, you can copy and paste from your resume. Remember, it’s best to stick with bullet points so that what you write is easy to analyze and digest.
If you don’t have a description, click “Add Description” under a position. If you do but want to change it, click on the pencil icon next to the existing description. You can also use this menu to edit other job details.
NOTE: You cannot create bullets directly in LinkedIn, but you can copy and paste them from here.
Show what you can do (15 minutes)
Show, don’t tell. You can add various resources, such as links, videos, presentations, or documents, to any of your roles. It’s a great way to showcase the work you’re most proud of.
To do this, click on the square icon with plus sign that appears when you hover over one of the jobs in your profile.
Write / edit your summary (15 minutes)
Many LinkedIn users don’t have a profile summary, but it’s the perfect way to briefly introduce yourself to someone. Use it to outline what you can do and what makes you tick. Think of it as your elevator pitch.
Unlike a cover letter, which you can tailor for individual roles, your resume should be unique. Take a look at the different jobs you are applying for and determine what they have in common. Then be sure to include these elements in your summary.
Unless you’ve rearranged things, your summary section appears at the top of your profile (below your posts, if you’ve written any). When you hover over the summary section, you can click on the text itself or on the pencil icon to compose or edit your summary.
You can also add documents, images, presentations and more to your summary. It works the same as with your different job postings (as mentioned above).
Rearrange skills / approvals (5 minutes)
You can include up to 50 skills in your “Skills and Approvals” section. Take the time to determine which ones to include. You can also choose to rearrange them, highlighting the most important or the most relevant at the top.
Your connections can recommend you for your skills and each shows the number of mentions you have received. It gives social proof (a powerful thing) to your skills. Moving the skills you want to be known for also increases the chances that they will receive mentions.
To manage your skills, click on the ‘Add Skill’ button at the top of the section or on the pencil icon next to an individual skill (these icons appear when you scroll through the relevant section).
Get recommendations (5 minutes)
To add additional social proof to your profile, you can get recommendations on each of your different roles. These can come from managers, peers or clients, but all of them have a positive effect. It’s one thing for you to say you’re great at your job, but quite another when someone else is supporting you.
You can ask any of your LinkedIn connections to provide a recommendation, but you should stick to the ones that are relevant.
At the top of your profile, there’s a blue button that says âView Profile Asâ (on a side note, this lets you see exactly what your profile will look like for your connections). Next to it there is a small arrow pointing down. The hover displays a menu and one of the options is âAsk to be recommendedâ. Click on it and you’re gone.
First, choose the job you want to be recommended for. Then you can search your connections for the person you want to ask. Once you have chosen someone, you need to select how you were logged in during your time at that job, for example “You reported directly to X”, then what their role was (in relation to their past and present positions? ).
Finally, write a little note (LinkedIn pre-fills it with a template message but it’s best to write something personal) and hit send.
When a connection writes a recommendation for you, it appears directly below the job listing to which it relates. Don’t worry, you can read and approve the recommendation before it goes public.
Total time: One hour, if that.
In a very short time, you should have significantly improved your LinkedIn profile and ready it for recruiters.