To date, LinkedIn has over 800 million members (compared to over 750 million in June 2021), requiring you to optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract potential clients, business leaders and founders, and recruiters legal. The platform continually undergoes new updates and releases based on workforce changes and social needs – including the recent launch of the career break function and enhanced job search features that now allow users to focus a search based on remote, hybrid or on-site opportunities.
Having a strong personal brand on LinkedIn equals an eye-catching billboard that lights up on the freeway as hundreds of thousands of commuters pass by each day. If you’re stuck in a career rut, updating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile (and seeing the results of that update) is a huge confidence booster. While your resume is necessary to submit a job offer, your LinkedIn profile casts a much wider net for you to be seen, noticed, and approached for opportunities when you’re not even actively searching. Thus, it’s not something you should overlook, especially in a fast-paced workforce.
Here are some quick ways to refresh and optimize your LinkedIn profile that will dramatically increase your views and results in search appearances:
Update your title with more than your job title. My favorite formula for a powerful LinkedIn title is simple: job title and company name, plus three areas of expertise (or your main areas of practice). Also consider including your industry (e.g. healthcare, oil and gas, or fintech), especially if you’re going to stay in that industry and want to be known for it. The search bar at the top of LinkedIn is the functional equivalent of a Google search. Think about the keywords that recruiters, hiring managers, or corporate clients would use to find someone with experience in your niche practice areas.
Give your profile picture and cover photo a new look. Although I always recommend hiring a professional photographer (my favorite database for finding a local photographer is the Headshot team by Peter Hurley) to take a high-resolution photo for your LinkedIn profile, if you’re short on time, there are a few apps you can use to refresh the look of your profile, like Facetune or Photoshop. LinkedIn also offers photo filters and editing features to help you refresh the brightness and color of your profile picture.
Use LinkedIn’s summary section. Your LinkedIn summary is synonymous with the inside of a book cover. It’s the quick summary of your career story that lets readers know what motivates you, why they should connect with you, and the value you bring to the table. The beauty of the professional summary or “about” section on LinkedIn is the valuable space it gives you to optimize your profile. Don’t forget to include powerful keywords that drive increased visibility and a higher-ranking personal brand. Readers of your LinkedIn summary will be able to see just over 200 characters on the mobile version before clicking “…see more” and over 300 characters on the desktop version. So, those first 200 characters are essential to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading. Write a compelling first-person summary to let readers know about you, your skills, your worth, and what excites you about your career or work.
Customize your cover or background photo. The LinkedIn cover photo is a great way to personalize your profile and enhance your brand message. Ideas for a simple LinkedIn cover photo include a city skyline, a corporate building or headquarters, an image of an office or conference/boardroom, a favorite travel destination, a photo of hobby (favorite trail you like to run on) or achievement (TEDx stage appearance). You can also use Cloth to create a smarter LinkedIn cover photo.
Keep your experience section up to date and accurate. Make sure job titles and dates of employment align with your resume and LinkedIn profile. Include any new or recent courses, certifications or professional development that would enhance your profile. If you want to link to your law firm’s biography or a recent post, consider using the “Featured” section of the platform so that viewers of your profile can click on the media.
Make sure your skills are relevant and targeted for your current career path. The skills I listed on my LinkedIn profile as a professional writer, career coach, and personal branding expert are very different from those I would list if I was still practicing law. See what you’re looking for in recent searches by viewing your profile dashboard. You can also check job postings to see the repetition of keywords and add them to your profile.
These are just a few quick ways to update and optimize your LinkedIn profile. Don’t be afraid to update your profile even if you’re not looking for a job. Watch your LinkedIn profile views skyrocket just by implementing the suggestions I’ve outlined in this article. Please contact me on LinkedIn and give me feedback.
Wendi Weiner is a lawyer, career expert and founder of The Writing Guru, an award-winning executive resume writing services company. Wendi creates powerful career and personal brands for lawyers, executives, and suite/board leaders for their job search and digital footprint. She also writes for major publications on alternative careers for lawyers, personal branding, LinkedIn storytelling, career strategy, and the job search process. You can reach her by email at [email protected]connect with her on LinkedInand follow her on Twitter @thewritingguru.