LinkedIn has been a thriving online platform since 2003 and is highly utilized in the competitive marketplace today. Whether someone is scoping out new talents, new customers, investors, partners, career searching, or even just making a personal brand presence, they go to LinkedIn. It is such a valuable and powerful way to show others who you are, what you have to offer, and add a dash of personality to the mix that you would not find on a typical resume. In essence, it is “Facebook” for professionals.
But, as any LinkedIn advocate knows, there are millions of people with active profiles. So, if you want to stand out from that competition and gain more traction and draw attention to yourself, then it’s time you started focusing on LinkedIn optimization.
LinkedIn optimization is essentially leveraging the power of SEO to catapult yourself to top search rankings and recommendations. But what you have to remember is that if you put all your effort into SEO and nothing else, well, then you might not get the outcome you were hoping for. The reality is that optimizing your profile is very diverse, and when you take a step back to see your entire profile as a whole, then that is how you will achieve favorable results.
First and foremost, if you have not customized your URL, then this should be your first step. Clients or recruiters are much more likely to find you when you make this simple change. In addition, turn your profile public if in private mode to give people more access and viewability right from the start.
Quality matters here, so whatever photos you choose, make sure they are very appealing, attractive, and relevant. Update your banner to represent your professional image. For example, if you have a website, use the same banner from there in your profile. You will also want to tie your profile image to your banner, meaning keep the same color scheme and professional).
This part of your profile is all too often overlooked but is a fantastic place to tell your story and show people who you are. This is not an extensive cover letter or a resume. It is something that is storytelling that also serves as a strong brand message. In the end, go for a strong, catchy opening, add your personality, career context, and brag just a bit about your accomplishments. Below is a prime example.
Hello! My name is Jane Doe, and I am a highly dedicated and passionate university student studying Mechanical Engineering. I have a strong admiration for technology and coding and have the ideal interpersonal skills that allow me to connect with a diverse range of people.
Along with my college dedication, I have also had the opportunity to gain extensive first-hand internship experience. Since 2019 to today, I have been a Mechanical Engineering intern and held other analytical, professional roles that have strengthened my understanding of what it takes to be a leader in this industry.
Upon graduation and earning my degree, my goal is to take my underlying abilities and education to make a positive impact on the world. I hope to leverage my technological background, communication skills, and deep understanding of policies/procedures to shape the future of engineering and become a great asset to foster company growth.
When I am not working towards my career, you can often find me enjoying photography, out hiking, and traveling.
It is important to note here that you do not have to list all of your previous jobs unless you feel like it is necessary for your current situation. Try focusing on listing the places the benefit your image the most, and under each one make an organized list of what you did, your achievements, and what you contributed to each place. This is another place you can implement keywords as well to increase exposure.
Tip: Always update this section if you switch jobs or add recent achievements in your current role as they come.
Your Skills and Endorsements
Add the relevant skills that apply to you on your profile. Keep in mind here that more is not always better in this section. It is more valuable to list fewer quality skills than a ton of vague ones.
Education and Certificates
Education is a core criterion here on LinkedIn. If you want recruiters or people in general to have a better understanding of your background, list your education, your degree level of completion, and the area you studied. In addition, list all your coinciding certificates that prove you are someone worth investing in. This all gives you a competitive edge over those who skip this part. Remember, if you list you are analytical or technical in your skills, people scouting you want to see that back up proof.
People love being able to see reviews of other people. It is a way to validate their interest and get to know you from another point of view. Because of this, having meaty recommendations on your profile can be incredibly beneficial. There are really two ways you can get recommendations, either by requesting it from a LinkedIn contact, or you can write one for someone else and hope they return the favor.
Accomplishments, Volunteer Work, and Awards
LinkedIn has special sections for you to list all your accomplishments, volunteer work, and awards that you want to display. Though the above information is critical, this is an area where you can showcase and boast a bit about what you were able to do and how your hard work has paid off. It also shows if you are an active person in the community, which can really draw in people to your profile.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform to build brand or identity awareness, allowing customers or potential employers to get to know who you are as a person. They will get to see what your value propositions are, the kind of spark you can bring to the table, and have full capability to get in touch with you if they think you are the right fit. Sure, you can make a standard profile and get some organic traffic without much effort, but if you want to get the most of the experience, then take the time to focus on LinkedIn optimization.
In the end, never underestimate the intensity of optimization. Just a little bit of effort on your part can bring life to your profile and generate more views, allowing you to have more opportunities than ever before.