7 steps to crafting a captivating LinkedIn profile

7 steps to perfecting your LinkedIn profile - Vaco Blog Graphic

LinkedIn boasts an estimated 900 million global users across 200 countries. It’s a key recruiting tool for hiring companies and can be a major differentiator for candidates in the job hunt. The first step to reaping the benefits the platform offers is to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Step 1: Fill in the gaps in your profile

A truly captivating LinkedIn profile contains more than past jobs and education history. The following sections can add credibility and context to your professional experience and skills:

  • Featured: Include links to your online portfolio or examples of your work
  • Licenses and certifications: List all relevant licenses and certifications you’ve received
  • Courses: List any trainings or academic courses you’ve completed in relation to your industry or field

LinkedIn also offers profile sections for showcasing your organizations, awards, languages, projects, causes and publications. These sections are a spotlight not just on your professional aptitudes but also the things you’re passionate about as a person.

Step 2: Choose a professional profile photo.

Don’t underestimate the importance of first impressions. When choosing your LinkedIn profile picture, make sure you are dressed professionally and have a simple or plain background. You want future employers to see how you would look in the workplace.

Bonus: Choose an attractive background image for the header section of your profile. For the best appearance, choose a high-resolution image with dimensions of 1128 (w) x 191 (h) pixels, or 1584 (w) x 396 (h).

Step 3: Add an ‘Open to Work’ frame to your profile picture

When you’re on your profile page, click your profile picture, select ‘Frames’ and apply the ‘Open to Work’ option. This will let anyone who lands on your profile know you’re actively looking for new roles. It also gives you priority in search results for recruiters who are using the platform to find candidates.

Step 4: Write a dynamic headline

Your headline – the short line of text that sits directly beneath your name in your profile – is a powerful tool in the world of LinkedIn. It’s one of the first things other LinkedIn users see when they land on your page, and it’s one of three pieces of information about you (along with your profile picture and name) that appear in the results pages of LinkedIn searches.

To stand out among the crowd, make your LinkedIn headline unique, and be sure to include keywords related to your industry or skill set.

Step 5: Keep your experience section updated

Read through your current profile to make sure you’ve added all relevant roles in your Experience section. Update existing roles with any promotions or title changes you’ve recently received. Finally, make sure the dates of your employment are correct for each listed role. This will help recruiters easily navigate the trajectory of your job history.

Step 6: Write a powerful LinkedIn summary section

Other candidates may have the same educational background and work experience as you, but your personal summary can make you stand out. Within 2000 characters (around 300 words), a great summary should contain a brief history of your career, along with your most in-demand skills, notable companies you’ve worked for, and key professional accomplishments. Finally, you should provide a value statement that outlines the unique qualities you bring to the table.

Bonus: If you’re concerned about spelling and grammar usage, use a free online tool to check your work before you publish.

Step 7: Curate your endorsements

Endorsements are an important part of your profile; they provide an account of your skills and abilities from people who have worked with you directly. If you’ve collected several endorsements over your career, they might span a host of roles and projects you’ve worked on. While it’s great to showcase a range of abilities on your profile, you don’t want to be overly endorsed for skills that are no longer relevant or that fall outside of the role or industry you want to work in.

By selecting which endorsements you want to show in your skills section, you can simplify and streamline your profile and ensure that you’re highlighting the skills that are most important to you.

LinkedIn is a first stop for recruiters, hiring managers, and important industry connections as they search for qualified candidates, build their networks, and evaluate potential hires. By optimizing your profile, you’ll ensure that you’re effectively promoting yourself while searching for new job opportunities or building your professional community.

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