LinkedIn could be a very powerful tool when trying to progress your career and find new opportunities. But to stand out from the crowd and use the most of its power, there are a couple of things you can do to optimize your LinkedIn profile and be more appealing to potential future employers. Here are a few insightful tips from our experienced recruitment team.
Optimize your headline
The headline is the short description at the top of your profile that needs to briefly present who you are and what you do. It is limited to 200 characters, but if used wisely, this is more than enough to make a good first impression. Don’t be shy and focus on what describes you best as a professional, however be realistic – mismatches between the headline and your actual background experience may not help being taken seriously.
- Be more descriptive
Our recruiters advise avoiding generic titles such as Software Engineer. Instead, try to also include your level of seniority and the main technologies you are proficient with.
- Take advantage of the “Show recruiters you’re open to work” option.
Enabling this feature is a good practice you could apply if you are actively looking for a new job. If you don’t want your current employer or colleagues to see that you are open for new opportunities, you could limit this option to recruiters only.
Add contact info
This information doesn’t show in the standard view of your profile, but it is important to include it so that recruiters could easily reach out to you. It is a good practice to add your email and location. It is not necessary to give your full address – the city you live and work in is enough. In this section, you could also add a link to your website, personal portfolio page, GitHub/GitLab profile, etc. This will provide more detailed information about your experience and projects you’ve worked on.
Show your personality in the “About” section
This is an open-ended text field, where you can show more of your personality, skills and work interests. Here you could add details about some of the most interesting projects you’ve worked on and the professional topics that are of your interest.
In addition, try to include any technologies and tools relevant to the roles you are interested in. You can look at those as keywords that would help the recruiters find you more easily. To get ideas about suitable keywords to include in this section, you can look into some job postings and see which are the most frequently used ones. Of course, make sure they are also relevant to your experience.
Pay attention to your work experience
In the section with your experience, make sure to add specific information about your most important responsibilities and achievements for each of your previous positions. Provide a detailed description of the projects you’ve worked on and the technologies you’ve used. If possible, try to quantify your work or the results of it. For example, instead of a “Worked on the improvement of an AI chatbot system” use “Improved the performance of an AI chatbot system by increasing the rate of solved user cases by 30%”.
Another trick to stay on top of mind of recruiters and hiring managers is to use action words such as achieved, launched, improved, optimized, created etc.
Don’t underestimate the “Education” section
If interested in positions at international companies, have in mind education is an important factor for many hiring managers and it could add extra points when considering your profile, especially for junior roles. Also, make sure to update your profile once you've finished your degree as someone might think you are still focused mainly on your studies, and you won’t be able to work on a full-time position.
Skills & Endorsements
This section is yet another opportunity to list your relevant skills so that your profile gets listed when companies are looking for candidates with your knowledge and experience.
Besides your area of expertise such as Backend Development, Software Engineering or DevOps and the technologies you are proficient with, include any tools, frameworks and of course, relevant soft skills such as management experience, etc.
LinkedIn allows you to reorder your skills and choose the top three of them that would be placed on top of the list. The rest would be visible after clicking “Show more”. Therefore, pin the most important skills in accordance with the desired role.
Some finishing touches
While the above tips would make your profile easier to find, there are few more things you could do to optimize it and take it to the next level.
- Use a professional profile photo
While adding a photo is a matter of personal preferences, if choosing to use one, be mindful of the quality and format. It is not necessary to pay to a professional photographer, but make sure that the picture is not too casual (keep those party pics away from LinkedIn!), quality is decent and the background is not too distracting.
- Add a background picture
To add a finishing touch to the overall look of your LinkedIn profile, you could upload a background picture as well. It could help you stand out to recruiters. If you decide to upload one, make sure it is relevant to your profile and suits your profile picture as well.
- Ask for recommendations
The “Recommendations” feature is very powerful as you let other people testify for your professional capabilities. If you don’t have any recommendations yet, you could ask current or former colleagues, supervisors or classmates to exchange a few sentences about each other’s strong professional qualities.
- Take advantage of the other features that LinkedIn offers
Besides the main sections in your LinkedIn profile, you could also add details about licenses and certifications, any volunteer experience, accomplishments at previous jobs, courses you’ve taken and/or publications you’ve got. As long as you have relevant information to share, do not hesitate to do it. It will demonstrate your experience and professional qualities in more depth and may outline your profile from others.