Have you ever googled your name? Chances are your LinkedIn profile will surface first. Perhaps even earlier than your own website if you have one. That’s how powerful LinkedIn is!
Creating a perfect LinkedIn profile is a fundamental turning point for your career and your future. This Social Network is a very useful tool for those looking for a job. It allows you to publish your experiences (accessible to recruiters), stay up to date on changes and evolutions in your market, and help you to create a dense network of contacts.
LinkedIn is not just a platform for uploading your resume and leaving it there, forgetting about it for months, until you’re looking for a job again. Whether you’re a recent graduate or have a job already, you can use LinkedIn to its fullest potential.
How to create a perfect LinkedIn profile
To help you on your way, in this blog, I give you tips for making the perfect LinkedIn profile.
1. Use a professional profile picture
One of the first things people see about you on LinkedIn is your profile picture – even before they’ve read your profile. So use a professional profile picture.
Professional means: a headshot in which you look straight into the lens and with a calm, non-distracting background. You can’t use photos you snapped with friends during a hangout or use your spouse or kids’ photos.
Bonus tip: no photo with a calm background? You can use pfp maker or canva to remove the unwanted background and replace it with a new background.
2. Provide a clear headline
Another thing people see about you first on LinkedIn is your headline. Make sure you make a clear headline in a maximum of 220 characters.
Keep in mind that your headline will be broken off in your LinkedIn timeline after about 80 characters (on mobile already after about 30 characters), so put the most important first.
Aim to convince people to click to view your profile. Furthermore use keywords that employers or clients use when they are searching for experts in your field on LinkedIn and also add a relevant hashtag
Example of a LinkedIn headline:
Environmental Health | Processes and Quality in the Food Industry | Laboratory | Microbiology #foodquality
I help connect candidates and companies | Recruiting and selection of personnel | Training management | PRL | Branding #HR
3. Add a background photo
Another thing you don’t want to forget is a striking background photo. Preferably choose a background photo that makes it clear what you are doing.
For example, are you an agriculture expert? Then choose a photo of yourself working on a farm or pictures of agricultural products alone.
Bonus tip: You can design a beautiful background photo in Canva for free. Your background photo is preferably 1584 x 396 pixels and you can only upload a photo in .jpg or .png format, max. 4 MB.
4. Spice up your Summary(Info)
The summary (now known as Info) should briefly state who you are and what you can do.
For example, write how many years of experience you have. Take a look at the following example:
“For over 15 years, I have been a very dedicated Office Manager. With a lot of energy and passion, I relieve managers and directors by managing their agenda and email, preparing and recording international meetings and thinking along about strategies. I was also responsible for various projects such as setting up and restructuring various secretariats and their processes.”
You can be found in LinkedIn’s search engine by making smart use of the keywords on which you want to be found.
So also in the summary section, there is room for the right keywords. Don’t make the summary too long. A recruiter likes to quickly scan through all possible profiles.
5. Customize your LinkedIn profile URL
When creating your profile, LinkedIn will give you a default URL, like this: linkedin.com/in/makemoney-ng%C3%Bstos-2588a326/
It looks untidy, right? Apart from that, personalizing your link with your names (like this: linkedin.com/in/makemoneyng/) will increase your visibility in search engines. This makes it easier to find you when someone searches for your name on Google.
Also, it becomes shorter and more shareable, especially when you add your LinkedIn URL to your Resume. It will look much more professional and aesthetic.
6. Provide valid contact details
Fill in your valid contact details so that people (recruiters and clients) can easily contact you.
It’s smart to make your email address visible to your connections.
Also, use a professional e-mail address and not, for example, ‘email@example.com’ as your primary e-mail address. You can use your surname and initials for instance, without numbers or funny nicknames.
You can adjust the visibility of your email address under “Settings and Privacy”.
7. Show that you are available
You can also actively show that you are looking for work. Use the “open to work” badge for this.
You can set this in your LinkedIn profile under your photo.
Go to your LinkedIn profile. Click on the ‘available’ button under your profile picture. Select ‘Find a new job’. Indicate what kind of job you are looking for.
Choose who can see that you are looking for a job. You can indicate whether only recruiters are allowed to see that you are looking for work or all LinkedIn members.
If you choose all LinkedIn members, you will receive the green open to work badge.
If you choose only recruiters, only they will see that you are looking for work.
8. Enter relevant work experience
The area dedicated to work experiences must be filled with tasks in line with your ambitions and career path. For instance, as an aspiring warehouse manager, you shouldn’t specify on your LinkedIn profile that you have worked as a waiter before. That’s not relevant!
Also, it is absolutely advisable to highlight, for each reported work experience, all the new skills you acquired on the job. However, have an eye on the fundamental skills related to your desired job.
9. Take advantage of the Featured section
Telling who you are, what you can do and what your “why is’ in your Info piece is one thing. But it’s even better to show it. You do that in the Featured section.
Here, you can share all kinds of content that you would like to draw attention to. For example, a blog from your website, a LinkedIn post that did well or a proposal video. Anything that contributes to your authority is appropriate.
Bonus tip: add up to 2 items to the Featured section so that people do not have to scroll.
10. Don’t forget your recommendations
Recommendations increase your social proof and instil confidence in your profile visitors. These are reviews and you cannot put them on your profile yourself, only other LinkedIn users can do that. So don’t forget to ask satisfied clients or former employers for a recommendation.
Also, you should give (unsolicited) a recommendation yourself to someone you have enjoyed working with. How cool is that? Describe what problem brought you to the other person, what the collaboration with the other person looked like, and what the result was.
11. Your Skills and Endorsements are Important
Filling in your skills helps you to be found better by potential customers or employers. In addition, LinkedIn makes suggestions in the timeline of your connections based on your skills, making you extra visible.
Endorsements are a kind of light version of recommendations. You fill in which skills you have and other people can then endorse them. It takes less time to ‘endorse’ someone than to write a recommendation.
However, an endorsement is less credible and valuable than a recommendation – because some people ‘endorse’ others in the hope that they will be ‘endorsed’ themselves, and not because they have provided any value.
Tip: you can take a quiz for several skills on your profile. If you answer 15 questions and get at least 70% correct, you earn a badge.
I believe that these tips above will help you create a perfectly optimized LinkedIn profile. The moment your profile is optimized and you become more active on LinkedIn, you will notice that you get more profile visitors.
However, ensure that you check regularly who has visited your profile and link with these people if there is a match. Don’t assume that they will send you an invite if they are interested in linking – many people are hesitant about this. With the free version of LinkedIn, you can only view the last 5 profile visitors, so you have to log in a little more often