Tips for Fixing a Lackluster LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the premier social media networking platform for workers and employers, heightens visibility and helps you connect to businesses looking for specific skills.  Like a resume, this site is essential to communicating your personal brand to prospective employers and colleagues.  What’s more, for 77% of recruiters, LinkedIn is the go-to place to find talented professionals.  And since, on average, it takes a recruiter only 7.4 seconds to make up their mind about a candidate, shouldn’t your LinkedIn profile reflect your best self at first glance?  So, if you haven’t paid any attention to your LinkedIn profile in a while, here are some steps to get noticed!

  • Step one is to create or update your LinkedIn profile.  LinkedIn has more than 875 members in 200 countries, with 58 million companies and 101 job applications listed every second!  That’s a lot of exposure you couldn’t find elsewhere.  In addition, your profile is often the first place a hiring manager goes to check out your credentials or decide if you are worth a second look.  If you are new to LinkedIn, creating an account couldn’t be simpler; gather your work and educational history, and then let the software help you choose a modern, professional template and content tips that best represent you.  
  • Your LinkedIn® profile page is your online resume and your uniquely personal brand-building billboard!  Therefore, update it frequently and every time you change jobs.  As you revise, visualize your ideal career and company.  Then, consider how a recruiter might react after viewing your profile.  For example, would your photo, banner, and headline survive 7.4 seconds if you were hiring you?
  •  To get to eight seconds, upload an up-close color photo that best reflects your personality without being unprofessional.  According to LinkedIn, members with a photo get nine times more connection requests and 21 times more profile views!  Don’t worry if you cannot afford the $250 – $1,000 for a professional headshot.  Simply have a friend take a shoulders-up photo or take a selfie.  Check that you have good lighting, an uncluttered but interesting background, and a confident smile. 
  • You can also create an eye-catching banner.  You get a standard blue banner or background color with your LinkedIn account.  However, if you really want your page header to stand out, you can upload a picture within LinkedIn or design a professional banner using a free template from  Whatever you choose, the banner should reflect the level of professionalism, creativity, or image appropriate to your profession.  
  • People only read the headlines, right?  Same with recruiters, which is why your LinkedIn headline is critical to your job-hunting success!  When recruiters search LinkedIn for talent, results show a photo and headline keywords that match their search inquiry.  That’s why including the right keywords for the job you want gets the best results.  But, of course, you only get 220 words to say who you are and what you do, so spend time on your wordsmithery. 

Some tips?  Instead of your headline (the words beneath your name) reading, “IT Director,” use the allotted characters to describe the benefit you provide:  

Experienced Senior IT EHR Program Director looking for a winning team to lead so your next project is a success.  MUMPS, DICOM, HL7, E/M Coding for EMR companies.

DO NOT use the term “unemployed” in your headline, but you may mention that you are “actively seeking” or “open to new opportunities.”  See LinkedIn’s blog for more on this topic.

  •  Share your authentic self.  The About section summarizes who you are, what you are passionate about, specific accomplishments, and what you hope to achieve in your career, so don’t skip this.  You get 2,000 characters to tell your story, express your personality, and hopefully convey why a recruiter could consider themselves lucky to hire you.  Enrich your summary with informative keywords and watch your “who viewed you” dashboard numbers grow!   
  • The Experience section is the go-to read for hiring managers.  Begin with an overview of your current job and four or five bulleted accomplishments in the present tense, followed by past employment and bulleted achievements written in the past tense.  As you list your responsibilities, don’t be modest!  DO quantify your successes using action verbs and explaining results: “Developed a new workflow app that reduced project time by 200%.”
  • Polish your profile, omitting all typos and grammatical errors!  Poor writing skills can keep you from being hired.  In addition, glaring errors will turn off recruiters, as multiple studies show that employers want candidates with strong written communication skills. 
  • Build your list of Connections (click My Network).  You can allow LinkedIn® to import your contact list or start from scratch by inviting only those who add value to your network.  Building a quality connections list means evaluating whether a person’s orbit of contacts can help further your career.  Your network connections will show how serious you are about your profession, so choose wisely.  LinkedIn® will help by making recommendations, so click Connect to send a request.  Unless you accept, no one will be able to access your profile depending upon your account privacy settings (click Me/Settings & Privacy under your profile picture).   Make your profile “public” so recruiters can find you. 
  • Share your profile by creating a custom URL.  While in Profile view (click on your photo), select “Edit public profile URL” in the top right corner.  You can then enter a custom address, for example,  Do not forget to include the URL on your resume and share it within your job targets’ network.
  • What if you don’t want your boss to know you are job hunting?  LinkedIn® allows users to avoid signaling to their bosses that they are open to new opportunities.  By using Open Candidates or hiding your activity updates, you can make yourself visible to recruiters while avoiding upsetting your boss and co-workers. 

LinkedIn is the top collaborative space for professionals.  Keep up with business luminaries, professional associations, blogs, and corporate news.  To increase your visibility with members, participate in the news feed.  Post comments, “like” relevant articles, and share your professional opinions, blogs, and white papers.  The platform posts work anniversaries, birthdays, and promotions, so clicking “Congrats!” could invite a valuable conversation.  Collecting skills endorsements and recommendations from peers will also elevate your credibility with recruiters.  Be sure to always return the favor for deserving contacts! 

Need help with your LinkedIn profile and how to market yourself better?  Call the experts at Partnership Employment for help.