5 tips to get your LinkedIn profile job search ready

LinkedIn is an essential tool for any professional job seeker. It’s an online hub for your career and showcases your talents to the right people. However, it needs regular attention and updates in order to best reflect your skills.

With that in mind, here’s a checklist for fine-tuning your LinkedIn profile and making sure it has maximum impact with hiring managers and recruiters.

1. First impressions matter

Regardless of what the proverbs say, people can and do judge books by their covers and potential employers will do the same with your LinkedIn profile. Make the best first impression you can by using professional headshots—not just importing your Facebook profile picture. If you’re not sure about the headshots you’ve got, sites like Photofeeler are a good place to take them for a test drive in front of a non-biased public.

Another first impression to consider is how many connections you have: low numbers will signal that you’re not an active, connected member of your industry, so make sure you’re connected to your colleagues and peers through direct connections and in groups.

According to LinkedIn statistics, including a profile photo will make your profile 14 times more likely to be found. Make sure your profile photo represents you professionally

Jane Jackson, Career Management Coach and Best-Selling Author

2. Make things clear

You might have many talents, but in order to get hired for the best jobs, you need to focus on your specialist and niche skills, and gear your LinkedIn profile towards them. A clear job title and function helps you define your unique selling point and will help recruiters find you quickly and easily.

Using searchable key phrases that mirror the kinds of jobs you’re searching for will make sure you get as many pairs of eyes on your profile as possible. These keywords help to optimise your profile so that you can be found by recruiters and hiring managers searching for your specific skills.

Don’t let your headline just be your job title. You’ve got space to write something that will catch the eye of someone looking for you. Tell the reader straight off what you’re about.

Gayle Howard, Certified Master Resume Writer

3. Check it rigorously

Nothing has the potential to turn off would-be employers more than mistakes in a LinkedIn profile. Even if spelling, punctuation and grammar have nothing to do with your field, casual mistakes (or worse) suggest a lack of care and interest that will make you universally less appealing to recruiters. There are plenty of online tools like Grammarly that will check over your copy for you, but if in doubt, show your profile to a friend who’s sharp at editing and get them to cast a careful eye over your content. Small mistakes can make a big difference.

Make sure tenses are the same, sentences are not too long, and don’t try to use impressive words if you don’t know what they mean. If you’re not a native English speaker, get a professional to review it for you.

Gayle Howard, Certified Master Resume Writer

4. Be relevant

No one wants to see every job you’ve ever had cluttering your profile, but important information about relevant roles you’ve held, what they entailed, and how long you had them for are crucial for fashioning a LinkedIn profile that really speaks to recruiters in your industry. Don’t worry about bragging; this is about demonstrating the things you’re good at, and where your most desirable talents lie. Be sure to include a clear career history with employer, job title and a list of your responsibilities. 

Include achievements for your previous roles that are specific, impressive and measurable!

Aziza Green, Digital Marketing Pro

5. Recommendations

The lifeblood of any resume, recommendations are a vital addition to any good LinkedIn profile. The value of a testimonial and why they are important need hardly be reiterated here, so be sure to get as wide and numerous a spread of recommendations and positive comments as you can and use them liberally in your profile. Nothing suggests suitability for a role more than a former co-worker, employer or report saying that you did a good job, so leverage all your prior experience into some glowing testimonials. To support your testimonials, make sure you collect endorsements for your skills, too.

It is absolutely essential to ask for recommendations on your profile. This is the chance for those who know you in a professional capacity to write about their experience with you. When you receive genuine recommendations from those with influence your reputation is enhanced greatly.

Jane Jackson, Career Management Coach and Best-Selling Author

Like this article? Our resume and cover letter section has more tips and insights.


Here is your checklist for making your LinkedIn profile job search ready:

Tip 1
First impressions matter:
Use a professional headshot as your profile photo

Tip 2
Make things clear:
Stay away from corporate jargon

Tip 3
Check it rigorously:
Spellings and grammar mistakes look unprofessional and untidy

Tip 4
Be relevant:
Don't include a part-time job you had when you were in high school 

Tip 5
Ask connections you trust for recommendations on what it's like working with you as well as your career achievements

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