Today, LinkedIn has over 660 million professionals. Needless to say, standing out has become a lot more complicated than it used to be.
But there’s no need to worry, and that is why I’m here for you. I made this list of 14 key elements of your LinkedIn profile which all can have a significant impact on how many interesting messages, connection request, job offers, etc. you’re going to receive through LinkedIn in the future:
Let’s start with the most obvious one. A good profile picture is essential on LinkedIn. Be sure that it’s high quality, professional, and close enough to make your face easily be recognizable. It’s also highly recommended to use relatively recent photo rather than some 10-year-old one.
The cover photo is also a big part of a good profile and a very important one when it comes to the first impression you’ll give to others. Use preferably a business-like photo rather than a photo from some beach paradise.
The main title under your name
The main title of your profile appears in many places, and you should think carefully about what to include. It has great importance in the LinkedIn search engine algorithm, so giving a couple of extra thoughts here is not the most stupid thing to do.
The main title is limited to 120 characters, and I recommend that you use all of them. For example, an excellent way to do this is to list the keywords that best describe your current job, skills, education, location, experience, etc. For example, at the moment, my own is:
Director of Global Headhunting Network | Digital Business Expert | CDO | Entrepreneur | Master’s Degree | Madrid | Spain
It is a very good idea to have your current location defined in your LinkedIn profile, simply because it is one of the most frequently used filters when looking for new talent for an open position. If you’re between the cities or you’re planning to move soon, then maybe it’s better to put the future one, especially if you’re looking for a job there because then you appear easily on those searches that recruiters and headhunters are doing.
The summary is one of the most critical things on your profile. Try to think about how to stand out and especially how to show the essential skills, experience, and results of yours. If one of your goals is that people will get in touch with you, it’s not a bad idea to include at least your email address at the end of the summary. Pay attention to the keywords as well = those words that recruiters and headhunters are using when they’re looking for people with skills and experience similar to yours.
Naturally, the job experience part is super important. Try to tell what you have done and especially what you have accomplished in the job. So, don’t just list your jobs and tasks, but also give concrete examples of your major achievements. By doing this, you are already giving the reader much more information about yourself than the rest of the LinkedIn users.
I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t mean much if a person has been in the management position last ten years. He/she could still be the worst manager ever. As a headhunter, my job is to dig deeper and find out things like what kind of results this person has achieved, how high has been the employee turnover under his/her management, and how high or low has been the employee satisfaction.
Education part also plays a key role in the sense that often headhunters and recruiters use it as a filter when searching for potential people for open positions on LinkedIn. Especially when the number of potential people is quite high, education filter is an easy way to narrow down people.
Skills & endorsements
Although the skills section can feel stupid or useless because everyone can put whatever skills there, the fact is that recruiters and headhunters quite often check it and try to find the right skills there. Also, the skills part weights in the LinkedIn search algorithm.
The good idea is to update it regularly and put your strongest skills at the top of the list, as they are also the ones that get clicked the most. The order of the list is really easy to change when needed.
Written recommendations are a great way to make an excellent first impression and build trust. It’s a fact that people trust the word of others, even if they don’t know them. When you have positive comments from other people on your profile, it will certainly make you more interesting and lowers the bar to get in touch with you.
It’s like when you buy something online. If there are many different products to choose from, most likely, you will buy the one that has the highest number of good reviews. The same logic applies here as well.
It is also a very good idea to keep up to date your language section, as many jobs require at least some English proficiency and quite often other languages are plus. A language filter is also a well-used filter among the headhunters and recruiters.
The size of the network is important, mainly because it helps you to stand out more easily. And that is because when Headhunter is searching for potential people, LinkedIn is showing him/her first the 1st and 2nd degree connections. When you connect more, your 2nd-degree connections will grow exponentially.
The size of social networks is also beginning to play a role in different tasks, and large networks are generally seen as a positive thing. So stay active and grow your network all the time.
Increasingly, your activity also starts to matter when someone becomes interested in your profile and decides to look a little deeper into it. From Headhunter’s point of view, it is sometimes really interesting to see what kind of posts/comments/likes a person has recently done. Basically, with every like, share, comment, post, and written article, you’re building your personal brand as well. Something that we tend to forget quite frequently.
The URL of your profile
You can modify your profile URL easily (when you are in your profile, click “Edit public profile & URL” on the top right corner) and make it look a lot better when you include it to your CV, email signature, etc.
Mine is https://www.linkedin.com/in/teemuruuska/, and if you haven’t changed it yours, it probably has your name and a long sequence of numbers after it.
Open to new opportunities
On LinkedIn, it is possible to indicate to recruiters and headhunters that you are interested in new challenges. It can now be found in your own profile under the “add profile section” and “intro”.
There are already lots of data showing that by turning it on, it will have a very positive impact on the number of contacts and messages you’re going to get on LinkedIn.
Director, Co-Founder & Headhunter