How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Attractive to Hiring Managers
Your LinkedIn is a little bit of everything when it comes to a job search. It’s your way to connect with people you know and network with those you hope to know. It’s your resume and your portfolio, a way to showcase not just your professional background but also your personality and interests. But since it’s used specifically for work opportunities, it has to be geared toward hiring managers and potential professional connections, which is different from other social media platforms that are aimed at friends or customers.
Let’s go over the best ways to maximize your LinkedIn profile and make it appealing to hiring managers. Done correctly, your LinkedIn will attract prospective jobs for you so that you don’t have to spend time every single day seeking them.
Expand Your Headline
The easiest way to auto-populate your LinkedIn headline is by using your current job title. But while that will communicate what you do, it won’t tell a potential employer who you are or where your strengths lie. An effective LinkedIn headline will showcase your current role, along with your core strength and career goal. For example, compare these two headlines:
1. Head of Marketing at Company X
2. Marketing Strategist Specializing in Large-Scale Event Promotions for Hospitality Brands
Both headlines are technically accurate, but the second one goes far beyond the first, without pigeonholing the individual into a specific job title or company.
Here’s a specific example from a real person on LinkedIn, with a detailed headline that goes beyond the job title.
Tell a Story Through Your Summary
The summary is the part of your LinkedIn profile that sets it far apart from your resume. In this section, you have the chance to highlight the most important aspects of your work experience, personality and career goals. And since LinkedIn is a social media platform, albeit a pro-oriented one, you can write semi-casually here.
Instead of just listing some of your best accomplishments, put it together in a (short) story that walks the reader along your career peaks. Keep it to one to two paragraphs of three to five sentences each. If you’re having trouble writing in a warm and familiar tone instead of a stuffy one, think about how you would tell a friend about your career over coffee.
Here’s an example of a summary from an editor.
Be Thorough About Your Work Experience
On LinkedIn, you have unlimited space to add all of your past jobs and projects, unlike on a resume, where you have to keep it to two pages, tops. You don’t necessarily want to crowd your LinkedIn with every past job you’ve ever had — your time as a barista in college may not matter anymore — but you also don’t want to miss an opportunity to connect with a hiring manager. You never know when someone is going to relate to you based on a shared experience or interest.
You should definitely include the following:
- Your current job and previous roles at your current company.
- Your most recent work experience.
- Any experience that’s relevant to your current goals.
- Experience with impressive and well-known brands or companies (so long as they’re in the public’s good graces).
Aside from those past positions, you can pick and choose what to include. Use your best judgment. If a job that you’re on the fence about will push a highly relevant job to a lower and less noticeable position on your LinkedIn, skip it.
Also, as you add your work experience, don’t stop at just the company name, job title and dates of employment. List your primary responsibilities and always include any accomplishments, metrics or projects you’re proud of.
In this example, the editor’s experience is not only detailed, but it also contains metrics, including the number of writers and email subscribers managed.
Don’t Overlook the Skills and Endorsements Section
The Skills and Endorsements section is extremely easy to fill out, and it’s where you can add keywords relating to your hard and soft skills. (An example of a hard skill is Photoshop while a soft skill may be communication or multitasking.) You can take an assessment quiz, too, which will back up any proclamations you make about your skills, which means hiring managers will trust what you say.
Add Miscellaneous Information to the Accomplishments Section
Sometimes, professional experience doesn’t fall neatly into an actual job role. Maybe you had an in-depth article about a topic in your industry published in a reputable journal or maybe you took a continuing education course and want to show hiring managers that you’re well-versed in that area. The Accomplishments section is perfect for that, letting you add the following:
- Honors and awards
- Test scores
You’ll fill out associated information and write a description to illustrate what you did and why it’s important. You can also add external links to samples or projects, which is a great way to use LinkedIn as a portfolio on top of a resume.
Encourage People to Leave You Endorsements
LinkedIn will display endorsements from people who have nice things to say about their experience working with you. That goes toward social proof, which is a powerful way to instill trust and stoke interest in hiring managers. You can go about getting more endorsements in two ways. First, leave endorsements for others (but only the ones who truly deserve it). Many of them will want to return the favor. Second, if you’re speaking with a client who’s thrilled with your work and already offering praise, ask them if they’d consider leaving you an endorsement. Also, regularly edit the endorsements you receive so that the ones on your profile are relevant to your career goals.
Building your LinkedIn profile isn’t a one-time project. You should always be adding and adjusting so it’s aligned with your current career goals. Not only will this refresh your profile and (probably) help it appear higher in search results, but it will also naturally prune away opportunities that are no longer a good match for you.
Also, here’s one last pro tip to leave you with. If you feel that your LinkedIn is accurate, thorough, and lined up with your goals, but you’re still not getting the traction you want from it, try removing the buzz words that are all over LinkedIn, like “expert” and “leadership.” It’s possible that the algorithm is automatically skipping over those types of words because they’re overused.
Brian Meert is the CEO of AdvertiseMint, a Hollywood based digital advertising agency that specializes in helping successful companies advertise on Facebook. Advertisemint has managed millions of dollars in digital ad spends in entertainment, fashion, finance, and software industries. Brian is also the author of the best selling, The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising, and the innovative The Complete Guide to Digital Advertising Policies infographic. He is a 15-year digital advertising executive and a member of the Forbes Agency Council. Prior to founding Advertisemint, Brian built and sold Gofobo.com, an online ticketing system that revolutionized the entertainment industry and is now utilized by Warner Bros. and Disney.