Simple ways for job seekers to improve their LinkedIn profile

From a professional standpoint, no other social network can match LinkedIn. With more than 600 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. For this reason, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you could be missing out on some huge professional opportunities. As a social network centred on careers, LinkedIn can greatly improve your career prospects while you connect and share with other professionals all over the world.

If you use LinkedIn correctly, you can significantly improve your career prospects, especially if you’re looking for a new job. Conversely, if you don’t utilise LinkedIn to your advantage, your profile can become redundant or even harmful to your professional reputation.

If you’re a job seeker who wants to make more of your LinkedIn profile, try these three tips that will enhance your profile and get you noticed by recruiters, hiring managers and other professionals.

Get your headline right

Your headline doesn’t just tell the rest of the world what you do, it tells them how you see yourself. For example, if you’re interested in working in Business Development roles, write that you’re a Business Development professional. And if you’re new to the job market, write that you’re interested in working in Business Development.

You should treat your LinkedIn headline like a newspaper headline: it needs to grab the attention of potential employers straight away. If it doesn’t get straight to the core of who you are, what you do and what you can do for them, employers aren’t likely to read on and discover what it is that you have to offer.

Have a headshot that fits the job

According to LinkedIn’s own research, users with a profile photo can receive up to 21 times more profile views than users who don’t have one. This demonstrates that when it comes to LinkedIn, it’s not just nice to be able to put a name to a face, it’s absolutely essential if you’re wanting to attract attention and stand out from the crowd.

Regardless of what job you’re in or what job you want in the future, you should look presentable in your profile photo. It’s important, especially if you’re in a customer or client-facing role, that you’re dressed professionally, well-groomed and smiling. Only you should be in the photo and, if possible, you should be photographed in front of a neutral or relevant background.

Keep it relevant and accurate

A common mistake many LinkedIn users make is to include too much information in their summaries that is irrelevant to employers. While you may have been an accomplished footy player in high school, unless you currently work in sports, or hope to, that sort of detail is not going to be relevant to your current or future job.

Your summary should only be about what you do professionally, how you do it and why you’re good at it. If there are details in your summary that aren’t relevant to your job then consider cutting them out.

Don’t contradict your resume

The information you put on your LinkedIn profile should be consistent with that which you put on your resume. If you have conflicting information, this could serve to confuse a hiring manager, or else make them call into question the reliability of your credentials.  

Ensure your education, previous workplaces and any qualifications, degrees and certifications are reflected on your profile as they are on your resume. This will only serve to increase your professionalism and thus make you a more appealing prospect for potential employers.

If you’d like more helpful tips and advice on how to best optimise your social media accounts to help you appeal to prospective employers, take a look at our Social Media Guide for Job Applicants.