For entering the global labor market, HR brand promotion, and expert search, having a LinkedIn profile is something you cannot do without in 2023. In this guide, we explain how to make your LinkedIn page a powerful tool for personal branding, and use its hidden features to overcome competitors and get top job offers.
Let’s view profile on LinkedIn together and start improving it right now.
1. Profile picture and background photo
The first thing people who search for you on LinkedIn see is your name, main and background photo, and short profile description (headline).
The dominant visual on the first screen of your profile, as well as its preview, is your image. The best LinkedIn profile examples have one thing in common: their profile pictures look professional and friendly, and their LinkedIn profile background adds context for users to better understand who they are.
Choosing a professional profile picture
Our extensive list of LinkedIn profile tips will start with your profile picture. We recommend using portraits where your face takes up over 60% of the image. Please note that this is not a visa or passport photo—you can smile or express other positive emotions. For more successful online social networking, it is better to use a “smiling” image that shows you’re an open person. A LinkedIn profile picture size is 400×400 pixels, with a 1×1 aspect ratio, and a max size of 8MB.
Selecting an appropriate background photo
If you have a classic online resume in the form of a personal site, but you are still interested in how to create a LinkedIn profile, consider that the structure of your CV on this platform has its specifics. In other words, to translate a classic resume into LinkedIn language, you need additional files and data. Your background image is one of them. Its task is to draw attention to your profile, as well as explain to others what you do and what your values are.
Read some tips on how to marry your life values with professional goals: Work-Life Balance: How to Maintain Efficiency Without Sacrificing Your Well-Being.
2. Compelling headline and summary
Does LinkedIn tell you who viewed your profile? Yes, but this feature is only available to premium users. However, our advice is to start with a regular, free account and try to get the most out of the available features.
First of all, pay attention to short introductory texts, because they influence everyone’s first impression of you. Therefore, the short answer to the question of how to make a good LinkedIn profile is to create clear and engaging texts for brief self-presentation. It is not necessary to include employment history and references in your headline and summary. Just be specific and to the point.
If at this moment you are not sure that your page represents you correctly, you may be interested in how to hide LinkedIn profile. To do this, go to the “Me” section on your home page, click “View profile”, and change the settings in the “Edit public profile & URL” section.
Crafting an attention-grabbing headline
Creating a LinkedIn profile is impossible without writing an apt headline. This text is not a description of your company position or your specialization according to university degree. The purpose of the section is to let social media users know how you can be useful to them. So, the first step in LinkedIn profile optimization is to add a description of the role you perform at work to your headline. Here, you should speak of your professional identity, which you can describe by summarizing various roles you have performed over the past years or even your future role vision.
Writing a captivating summary
At first glance, creating a LinkedIn profile has a lot in common with writing a CV. However, there are significant differences between these formats, since LinkedIn contains dynamic content and is intended for interaction. Therefore, the information about you on your page should encourage communication and arouse interest.
Do not confuse the summary of your professional profile on LinkedIn with the body of a classic resume. Summary is first and foremost your professional story, where you decide on style, content, and details. Here, you can describe how you got into the profession and what helped you achieve great results. Another approach is to show how your expertise areas have changed over the years or how you’ve turned your weaknesses into strengths.
Optimize LinkedIn profile by taking which audience you should convince to cooperate with into account. Build your story around values that are important to your future partners or employers.
3. Showcasing your experience and achievements
If you are wondering how to make a LinkedIn profile competitive and as fast as possible, the easiest answer is to list what you have worked on in the past. Your basic text CV will come in handy here. There are specifically designed sections for describing professional experiences in your profile.
What is a LinkedIn profile from a contact building perspective? It is a social network that allows you to not only to talk about professional experience, but also connect with people. Note that your page here is a social media profile that can be found by clicking the pages of projects you’ve worked on, whether it’s through your companies or partners. Don’t ignore the opportunity to show your involvement with top-rated companies, industry opinion leaders, or ambitious projects through link integration.
Optimizing your experience section
To answer the question of how to add resume to LinkedIn profile, we need to look at the structure and logic of the social platform. The idea behind LinkedIn is to create a global professional community. With the help of the platform, companies look for employees; journalists and scientific institutions find experts; and individual professionals exchange experiences. To add your profile to LinkedIn and start successful career networking, decide on your goal and find profiles that could be a stylistic reference point for you.
The section dedicated to your professional experience is where users come to understand if you have expertise that is relevant to them. Try to describe your experience as fully as possible, as well as indicate the years you obtained certain positions and tasks you solved. Your digital presence will be stronger if you add links to the pages of your former and current employers.
Highlighting accomplishments and responsibilities
Your LinkedIn profile login can be linked to your corporate email, but we advise you to use a personal mailbox so that you do not lose access to a profile after you quit working for your current employer.
When adding information about your professional experience and achievements at certain work positions, keep in mind that you are dealing with a public profile. That means you can’t share information that your company considers confidential. At the same time, for successful online networking, describe your personal impact on the success of your company or projects in as much detail as possible.
Utilizing multimedia for visual impact
While the profile summary is a brief self-identification statement, the experience section on LinkedIn is a detailed description of your career development up to this point. If the specifics of your work involve working with visuals, add them to your text. If not, think about what you can show to support your story. Remember that images, videos, and even emojis make your text easier to read.
Does LinkedIn show who viewed your profile? Yes. Even if you use a Basic (free) version of LinkedIn, you can see the names of the 5 people who last viewed your profile. You also have access to the number of profile views over the last 90 days. Pictures in your profile increase the chances of someone writing or responding to your message.
4. Skill endorsements and recommendations
Other important LinkedIn sections are Skills and Recommendations. That’s why another answer to the question of how to improve LinkedIn profile is getting the “Verified Skills” badge. According to the platform, it increases your chances of getting a desired position in a new company by 30%.
Recommendations will also help you make your profile more respectable and get a better ranking in the search results for your job title and other parameters.
If you paid attention to skill listing and getting recommendations using LinkedIn’s “who-viewed-my-profile” function, you will see that the number of visits to your page increased.
Selecting relevant skills for endorsements
Interested in how to update LinkedIn profile so that the list of your skills is visible to all platform users? To do this, go to the skills section and start typing the title of a skill you have. Start with those that are useful in your job and that you performed recently. Next, get endorsements for items on your list. Invite colleagues and managers to verify your skills; note that they can only confirm what you have stated in your profile.
What is LinkedIn profile? This is an opportunity for you to strengthen your personal branding and organize information about you as an expert in a certain field. To achieve maximum results, do not leave the skills section empty.
Only 1st-degree connections can endorse one’s skills.
Requesting and displaying recommendations
If you are interested in how to share LinkedIn profile link, consider several ways to do so. First, you can copy a profile link from your browser’s address bar. Second, you can invite people to visit your profile via email (inbuilt feature). With the help of a message and email, you can send a request for a letter of recommendation to colleagues and managers. Recommendations on LinkedIn are not standardized, but they should be left using the platform’s functionality.
You can control which recommendations are displayed on your profile: those by 1st-degree connections, all, or none. To increase chances of getting a recommendation from a specific LinkedIn user, write personalized requests.
There is no answer to the question of how to add resume to LinkedIn profile if by resume you’re referring to is a standard document describing your work experience. LinkedIn is not a platform purely for job searches. It is designed to enable interactions between users. So, send more recommendation requests and write them for your colleagues and partners too.
5. Education and certifications
Professional social networking is easier with LinkedIn if you show which professional or academic communities you belong to with your profile. This can be done by indicating and linking educational institutions where you studied, as well as by listing advanced training courses.
If you are also thinking about how to make a LinkedIn profile a magnet for HR managers of prestigious companies, follow with information about the educational courses you have completed with scanned certificates. It is also useful to look at who viewed my LinkedIn profile recently and understand whether you are attracting the right audience. In any case, having certificates and a completed education section will guarantee more high-quality leads.
Showcasing your academic background
Your online resume on LinkedIn should be truthful and include links to educational institutions, organizations where you completed internships, or additional professional courses, and (if relevant) disclose details of training programs.
The best approach towards how to make a LinkedIn profile convincing for future employers or partners is to submit data about your education in chronological order, indicating institutes, years of study, and names of study programs. Your professional profile can reveal the topic of your thesis or the titles of scientific conference speeches.
More inspiration on how to market yourself online: Marketing Experts You Should Keep an Eye On.
Highlighting industry-relevant certifications
One idea on how to share your LinkedIn profile is to add a link to your profile in your articles for professional online magazines and emails. You can also do the opposite, and add links to your articles to your profile description.
If your employment history is built on continuous self-improvement by attending professional training courses, holding speeches at conferences, conducting research, and participating in contests, indicate your achievements of this kind on LinkedIn. Remember that, with your profile, you need to convince audiences that your professional identity is relevant and you are a trustworthy expert. That’s why all certificates and other data about extra activity related to your profession must be added to your account.
6. Engaging content sharing and networking
Thinking about how to create a LinkedIn profile with the potential of growing your audience daily and helping you strengthen your media presence? To achieve this goal, use communication tools that this platform offers: Featured, Activity, and Recommendations. These are dynamic sections of your LinkedIn page that display your recent activities on the platform to other users.
Sharing industry insights and thought leadership
If you are interested in how to update LinkedIn profile and stay connected to audiences, we recommend that you try to develop your professional field-specific media plan and follow it for several weeks. Add new posts with visuals using your social media profile basic features, update your Publications, leave recommendations regarding other users, and ask them for your skill endorsements. Support your digital presence by sharing your expertise in posts and publish content in the same intervals several times a week.
Make sure your content is interesting and useful to your target audience. You will not need to puzzle together how to share LinkedIn profile and reach a wide audience if your followers find your content interesting enough to share with others.
Building meaningful connections
Another non-obvious answer to the question of how to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that it becomes a source of excellent cooperation offers is professional acquaintances within the platform. Follow topics discussed by other participants, especially opinion leaders, join public discussions, follow “valuable” users, and try to find common grounds with them in personal correspondences. This approach allows you to expand your base of professional contacts. To start, look at good LinkedIn profile examples and choose people with whom you would like to collaborate. Try to interact with them first in thematic public discussions, and then personally.
Participating in groups and engaging with content
LinkedIn is a good career networking tool for those looking for experts, media representatives, or freelancers to work on short-term projects. However, one of the problems of this social network is that the top specialists receive too many requests from potential partners and are “blind” to them. For this reason, it is necessary to be acquainted with the person you need through groups and public discussions. Participate on the platform more often to make your profile more visible to professionals you are interested in.
More ideas to engage with your professional community: Networking Tips for Introverted Creatives.
7. Using keywords and SEO
You can puzzle over how to share LinkedIn profile link, or you can use native and more effective ways of drawing attention to your profile on the platform. In particular, we advise you to use hashtags and keywords. The approach will help users find your page easily, and also better understand what your professional specialization is. Keep in mind that well-thought SEO empowers your online networking and is essential for those who plan to become opinion leaders.
Incorporating relevant keywords for searchability
The basic answer to the question of how to build a LinkedIn profile that sells you as an expert is search optimization. Add more direct and related keywords to all you post. For example, if you want people to find your profile when they’re looking for a Python expert, mention AI, Python, and coding as often as possible in your About section, as well as your profile summary and posts.
Keywords can be incorporated into more than just section text. LinkedIn allows adding hashtags to Life and What We Do sections. Moreover, platform users subscribe to hashtags and can interact with them.
Writing content for humans and algorithms
In order for your public profile to reach a wider audience, stimulate activity around it. Think of how to optimize LinkedIn profile from time to time and make small changes to static texts (your headline and summary). Don’t forget to post about your recent professional accomplishments, courses you’re taking, and things you’re learning, and take an active part in public discussions on hot topics. Such activity will not only help you become a more recognizable specialist online, but will also make LinkedIn’s search algorithms rank you better and show your content and page to others more often.
Useful for you to grab user attention with less effort: Get More from Your Content: 7 Strategies for Content Repurposing.
8. Regular profile maintenance and updates
What is a LinkedIn profile? The main thing you should understand is that social networks are not something completely static. Minor functionality updates occur almost every week, and major releases of new app and desktop versions happen at least once a year.
Subscribe to official LinkedIn pages to always know about new opportunities to promote your profile. Social networks favor pioneers of their new features and prioritize their content. Try to be among early adopters to get maximum audience reach.
Mind that you are evolving as a specialist too. So don’t forget to update your profile information, including the description of your current role and photos.
Keeping your profile current and up-to-date
An important aspect of how to make a good LinkedIn profile is regularly updating information in your profile. This is not just about adding new jobs or role descriptions.
We encourage you to experiment more with the formats for submitting information about your career.
For example, you can temporarily move away from the chronological format of a work experience description and focus on just listing areas in which you are knowledgeable with some comments on your previous experiences with certain companies. This approach works well for freelancers.
Keep in mind that your photo should be fresh and you should be easily identifiable.
Leveraging new LinkedIn features
Does LinkedIn tell you who viewed your profile? Yes, this is a function that was introduced long ago. However, in the free version, you can only see recent people and the total number of profile views during the last period.
Consider LinkedIn is constantly changing and it is better to track updates. The most recent updates (2023) include: collaborative articles, scheduled publications, the Celebrate an Occasion feature, and #opentowork framing that you can add to your profile to signal your interest in job offers.
9. Privacy settings and personalization
LinkedIn is a user-friendly platform that offers a wide range of profile settings. In particular, you can decide how to be represented in LinkedIn profile search, hide recommendations, create a unique URL, and much more.
Managing Privacy Settings for a Professional Image
You can change LinkedIn privacy settings in the Me section on your homepage. What settings are there? First, you can control how the platform uses your data (including LinkedIn profile picture). Second, you have tools to limit people who can send you messages or invite you to communities. Third, if you are interested in finding a job, you can customize which professional offers interest you and save time for you and HR managers. View LinkedIn profile with another account to see if there is any information you don’t want to share with a wide audience.
Customizing your profile URL
After you figure out how to create a LinkedIn profile and create one, the platform offers you a URL generated based on your first name, last name, and random additional numbers. Change the default URL to a personal one so that other users can easily find you. It will boost your profile’s SEO too. We recommend that you use your first and last name, as well as professional self-identification keywords.
10. Analytics and measuring success
LinkedIn profiles can be individual or business (corporate). There is also a paid version of the platform that offers users additional verification and analytics tools (Premium). If you manage a company page as an admin, you have access to tools to promote your content, get Talent Insights, as well as check out analytics related to your paid acquisition campaigns.
The LinkedIn profile tips we share in this article are mainly about using the platform for free.
Using LinkedIn analytics to track profile performance
Does LinkedIn show who viewed your profile? Yes. With the help of LinkedIn’s built-in analytics tools (available through a page admin account), you can find out: the number of your followers, their demographics and sources, demographics of page visitors, detailed information about your leads within 90 days (data is collected using lead generation forms). You can also compare the performance of your page with that of your competitors and learn about the activity related to your posts and career updates.
Personal pages give you almost no opportunity to analyze performance. You can judge your success by looking at the number of interactions with your posts, page visitors, and messages.
To view LinkedIn profile analytics and insights, you must have a business account.
Adapting strategies based on data
Even a few insights about your personal LinkedIn page can help you adjust your strategy of job search or transformation into an opinion leader in a certain field. Experiment with communication style, visuals, formats, and updates and measure your target audience response.
It is important to set the right goals. As we mentioned in the beginning, optimize your LinkedIn profile only after you decided why you need it. Do you want a new job or an invitation to a project of a certain type? Do you want to become a media persona or promote your business? Strategies for achieving these goals differ and some of them can be found here: Unlocking the Potential of Account-Based Marketing: Key Strategies.
LinkedIn is the perfect tool for representing yourself as an expert in a certain field globally. This platform is multifunctional—with LinkedIn, you can find jobs or new employees, research competitors, recruit experts to work on a project, as well as grow professionally, learn, and be inspired by others.
If you do not yet have a LinkedIn profile, we recommend that you register as soon as possible. Use all formats to prove that you are a first-class specialist and make yourself visible: describe your experience in the About section, add skills, get recommendations from partners, and participate in professional community life. It may seem like extra effort for those who only use personal accounts on social media like Instagram or Facebook, however, the strategy is proven to lead one to their dream job and strengthen their personal branding.
Boost your professional networking by following our tips and recommendations:
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