TMCnet Feature
May 02, 2022

Why & How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

In this day and age, much of what we do is completed online, with almost 4.5 billion people in the world having social media profiles—a number that has practically doubled in size since only recently in 2015. Communication, information, connections, opportunities—users understand that one of the easiest ways to engage in these practices is through the internet, where people are always active and knowledge is abundant. With so many people presenting themselves online through their social media profiles, anyone who doesn’t participate in marketing themselves in this way is falling behind.



While not all social media apps are explicitly seen as places of marketing (some opinions view the platforms for pure entertainment or human connection), others like LinkedIn (News - Alert) are undeniably marketing opportunities. LinkedIn is a popular professional networking platform where users set up profiles that include all pertinent experience, skills, and background relating to their professional persona. LinkedIn began in 2002 and has since been acquired by Microsoft (News - Alert) and passed a $10 billion annual revenue, so it’s clear the app is popular and in use. In fact, LinkedIn is a premier job search and job connection site, with an estimated six people hired through the platform per minute. Not everyone experiences such success, however. Like with any form of networking, concentrated effort needs to be given in order to achieve. There are proven ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile in order to benefit your professional career, which we spoke to business founders and CEOs about in order to discover. Keep reading to find out why optimizing your LinkedIn profile is important, and how you can do it.

Why Optimize? Optimized Profiles Rank Higher

“Every online platform follows a ranking system, and the same is true with LinkedIn. The app can be a powerful tool when it comes to networking and finding new professional opportunities, but you have to put a certain amount of effort in. Optimized profiles are ones that are packed with relevant information on your experience, skills, achievements, in addition to your passions and motivations. You also want to make sure you’re regularly updating your profile, as well as posting and interacting with others on the app. It should be no surprise that an active and information-strong profile is a more beneficial and high ranking one.”

Include a Profile Summary

“One of the first things people notice when they visit your LinkedIn profile is the profile summary. This is a place where you can really dive into who you are. A great way to use this space is for connecting how all your work and life experience and your skills connect to your passion for what you do. You want to lean into your human side here. It’s obvious that you’re a person, but when visitors to your profile only see a list of skills and past work, it doesn’t always click that there’s a person behind all that information. Feel free to elaborate a bit and dig in to who you are in your profile summary. You’re given a large word limit, so say everything that you believe is relevant and appealing in concise language.”

Use a Professional Headshot

“As much information as you give, there is always something a little impersonal about social media profiles. They simply do not provide the same experience as meeting someone in person, hearing them speak, seeing how they carry themselves, etc. When you meet someone face to face, you get an instant first impression about them. The casualness of social media first impressions, in opposition, is exactly why many people feel more confident about their online personas. Yet, not getting this in-person meeting right off the bat can be helpful or harmful. If you’re a person with great conversational skills and a confident presence, having networking connections and potential employers only interacting with your LinkedIn profile can be a detriment. How does one stand out from the masses on a social media app that offers everyone the same features for sharing themselves? One good way is to have an interesting and attention-grabbing profile, and nothing draws people in like images do. Upload a professional headshot that is high quality and showcases your personality. You want your photo to instantly reveal who you are and make you look approachable and friendly. The eyes are the window to the soul, and when visitors to your profile see the depth behind your eyes, they’ll be compelled to advance to the next step with you.”

  • Fred Gerantabee, Chief Experience Officer of Readers.com

Fill In Your Job Experience

“Some people have a ton of job experience from working multiple jobs in a short amount of time—or maybe you have a lot of job experience because you’ve been in the workforce for a long time. Whereas you can only fit a certain amount of information on your resume to keep it compact, readable, and relevant to the position, you have the space on your LinkedIn profile to be comprehensive about your job experience. Not everything needs to be included, so be intentional when considering whether that role or position should make the list, but there’s no reason not to include all of the job positions that led you to your current place in life. You want to include all relevant material that adds to your professional appeal. While you may be tempted to only include experience that pertains to the field or positions you’re interested in being hired for, if you have well-rounded experience you should show it. You never know what background details will interest a hiring manager.”

  • Eric Elggren, Co-Founder of Andar

Give Context to Your Experience With Background and Media

“One of the most common things that I have noticed on LinkedIn is that a lot of people don’t build out detailed descriptions of their experience. Add a sentence about what the company you work(ed) for does to bring some context to your industry experience. Add another couple sentences about your role and responsibilities to give context to your responsibilities. Add media to showcase your work and make your profile more appealing (videos, blogs, awards, etc.).”

Include Keywords To Attract Connections

“Keywords are the best way to bring the right people to your profile. When hiring managers and other potential employers, as well as searching employees, look for candidates and positions, they operate through keywords, which means you can bring attention to yourself through careful and intentional keyword usage. You want to make sure your incorporation of the right terms appears organic and natural, because everyone can sense a profile packed with keywords for the sake of including them versus a profile comprised of all the relevant background.”

  • Chris Vaughn, CEO of Emjay

Use LinkedIn To Regularly Post Original Content

“You can grow your following really fast on LinkedIn if you do it the right way. People get to know you very quickly using LinkedIn. You can control the message about yourself and your company. Write and post about something you know super, super well. Find an area you can be the best at and start sharing ideas. You can stand out in a very narrow, tiny niche and build a big following on LinkedIn. People value authenticity and your own story, so give advice or tactics that are easy for people to implement. Share it in bite size pieces and make the advice things people can easily do. For example, I wrote about a young sales employee that did something, and the customer complained to the CEO. I wrote about how to respond to the employee as a manager saying, ‘hey we’ve got your back.’ This advice is about a tiny subset of salespeople called SDR’s in the tech world, but the people responding are those who can exactly relate to this. It was shared with all these people’s networks demonstrating the reach this social media [app] has. I post several times a week using all my own original content.”

  • Sam Nelson, Software Development Leader of Outreach

Stay Up To Date

“In order to truly optimize your LinkedIn profile, you need to regularly update it with your skills, achievements, and work experience. The best practice to couple with this is regular posting about the professional developments in your life, but at the very least update your profile habitually. Especially ensure your contact information is correct and that your current position accurately reflects your role.”

  • Ubaldo Perez, CEO of Hush

Include Character References and Recommendation Letters

“When hiring managers and networking professionals visit your LinkedIn profile, they want to know everything they can about who you are relating to your work. The ability to offer them evidence of your dedication and hard working character are invaluable; it shows you’re a person who pursues excellence. Include character references and recommendations from past employers and close acquaintances who have been influential in your life. Anything you can provide that shows your well-rounded character and positive qualities is something you should include on LinkedIn.”

Engage on LinkedIn

“One of the most important steps you can take to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to actively engage on the platform. Just like with any social media app, you need to stay proactive in order to stay relevant due to the algorithms that rank activity as a factor. Put effort into LinkedIn if you want to use the app to help you achieve deeper connections and receive more opportunities. Remember that everyone interacting on the app is a person like you, and they appreciate genuine communication and authenticity. This is why you want to show as much about who you are as possible. Use your LinkedIn account to express your journey as a professional person passionate about what you do and inspired to use your platform to foster connections.”

Takeaway

LinkedIn is a valuable networking tool when used correctly. The first step you need to take to ensure you experience all the connections and opportunities the platform has to offer is optimizing your profile. Use the tips and tricks above to get you started on strengthening your professional profile.



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