LinkedIn profile tips every professional should know 

LinkedIn has the potential to accelerate your career—whether you’re actively looking for new opportunities or not.

The social media platform recently revealed that they currently have 500 million users, a figure which is up from the 467 million mark it released last October. With this much reach on offer, it’s worth taking a few minutes to run through these guidelines to check your LinkedIn profile strength.

Related: Can LinkedIn networking help discover job opportunities?

There are some simple steps you can take to instantly improve how easy your profile is for head hunters and recruiters to find and how effective it is at selling your skillset, personality and experience.

Tailor it to attract your ideal recruiter

Much like writing a cover letter, think about the kinds of roles and recruiters you’d like to appeal to and tailor your LinkedIn profile to match. Your dream job could go to someone else just because you didn’t articulate your specialty effectively.

Have a professional headshot

You don’t have to pay the big bucks for a professional studio shot to win the "wow" factor, but do make sure your profile photo puts your best professional face forward. After all, it may be the first impression a hiring manager (or anyone online) has of you, one that may be hard to change. Think of it this way: A photo of you looking unkempt, making a silly face or partying could deem you a poor cultural fit for an employer.

Some other profile photo tips, especially for LinkedIn:

  • Use a properly sized and high-resolution headshot.
  • Frame your shot to show your shoulders and above, with the right lighting and focus.
  • Avoid busy or messy backgrounds, and consider a coloured backdrop (rather than white) so your photo doesn't look too much like a mug shot.
  • Smile! Convey confidence and happiness with a pleasant, approachable expression.
  • Go solo and say "no" to group shots, even if it is your team from work.
  • Steer clear of recent holiday snaps or the completion of your mud run.
  • Dress for the job you want, as you would in a business environment.

Update the shot if you’ve changed your hair drastically, undergone significant changes in your appearance or are more than five years older than when the photo was taken.

Use targeted keywords

In order for recruiters and head hunters to find you, you’ll need to add some keywords to your profile. Think about the roles you’d like to be considered for and include some relevant keywords in your job title, skills and summary.

Highlight your achievements

Using the experience section of your profile to talk about responsibilities you had in previous positions is a common error that many people make. Instead, use it as a way to advertise yourself, your brand and to highlight your achievements. 

Make your headline count

Aside from your name, your LinkedIn headline is a crucial element in standing out and attracting the right attention. The recommended formula is to say what you are, say who you are, say why you make work—life better and to give proof that substantiates it.

Ask for recommendations

Don’t be afraid to approach past and present colleagues for recommendations and endorsements. It’s a good way to strengthen the content on your profile and helps to ‘verify’ your skillset.

Use these tips to reassess your profile and try making changes to any weak areas that can be improved. If you are looking for new opportunities, you can use your LinkedIn profile to upload your CV to Robert Half and maximise your hiring chances.

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