How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

It’s important to know how to best leverage LinkedIn’s features and tools in your job search. The following best practices will help you learn how to use the platform to your full advantage. 

  • Take a Professional LinkedIn Headshot – This may go without saying, but the importance of taking this step is paramount in ensuring your profile is easily discoverable for employers. According to LinkedIn, profiles with profile pictures are 21 times more likely to be viewed than those without. However, it’s important to use the right headshot. This means one that is not only appropriate, but that is also high quality. If you don’t have one that was professionally taken, then use your phone camera to take a clear and polished picture. Remember, a professional headshot is not a selfie, so set your camera timer, or ask a friend or family member to snap the picture of you. When taking the photo, wear professional clothing, find good lighting, and stand in front of a clean background.
  • Highlight Your Unique Experience – Share any additional experience, interests, or hobbies to highlight your well-rounded background that differentiates you from others. If you have project samples from your portfolio, consider uploading them to your profile.  
  • Subscribe to LinkedIn Premium – LinkedIn Premium Career is a valuable resource when you’re in the job search process. This option has many benefits, including insights about profile views, five InMail messages per month, individually tailored job recommendations, and LinkedIn Learning classes. LinkedIn offers a free one-month trial, so you can test Premium for your job search. This service is perfect for individuals looking to get ahead and stand out in the process. 
  • Send Messages and Create Connections – LinkedIn allows you to connect with nearly anyone, which is part of the reason why the platform has proven so valuable. It’s important to take your time and do your research when you send an InMail message. If you make a warm introduction by finding a common interest or experience, you will likely find more success in creating a lasting relationship. Focus on making authentic connections, specifically with people in your industry or target industry. Before pressing send, proofread your message. This cannot be stressed enough, as this will largely determine this person’s impression of you and your professional brand. 
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