3 key takeaways
- Why your LinkedIn profile is an important part of your job search journey
- How to use a mix of expert tips and dynamic tools to make sure your profile stands out
- The best way to use Teal's LinkedIn Review Tool to boost your LinkedIn profile
Ready to tap into that new year, new you energy? Consider giving your LinkedIn profile an overhaul to match your career goals for 2024.
LinkedIn is your one-stop shop for highlighting your professional accomplishments, networking, and finding new opportunities. In this guide, we’ll share the best LinkedIn tips for job seekers and how to create a captivating profile.
The importance of LinkedIn for job seekers
LinkedIn isn’t just a place to post your online resume. Consider it a little piece of digital real estate that you can customize and make your own. If you think it’s something you can neglect, consider this—every minute, six people are hired on LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn profile is often the first thing potential employers will see. You may have all the experience and skills for a job, but if your profile is lackluster and incomplete? You could be passed up for an opportunity you’re more than qualified for.
It can be a frustrating experience. But you can take action by utilizing the top LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers so your profile gets the attention it deserves.
Creating an effective LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is your home on the web. Going back to the digital real estate example, imagine that you’re inviting people over to your home. If you have guests, you typically tidy up, organize, and prepare.
The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. You’re inviting guests—such as hiring managers and other professionals—to your digital home. You want them to feel welcome and get a clear understanding of who you are and what you do. That’s why it’s key to have a well-crafted LinkedIn profile to show why you’re a great job candidate.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile with Teal
Before you start updating your LinkedIn, try a LinkedIn profile review tool like Teal's.
Just download the Teal Google Chrome Extension and then go to your LinkedIn profile to get personalized recommendations on improving it.
Whether it’s creating a stronger headline or being more specific about your accomplishments, this tool offers actionable steps—at no cost. Think of it as one of the easiest-to-implement LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers that can make a big difference.
LinkedIn profile tips for job seekers
The best part about LinkedIn is it opens up a whole new world.
You can connect with former colleagues, find future employers, and expand your professional network with people worldwide. You’re not confined to your location, company, or industry. There are so many possibilities, and the site goes beyond just helping you with your job search.
To maximize your impact, here are 11 LinkedIn tips job seekers like you can use for a much-needed LinkedIn makeover in the new year.
1. Update your profile photo
Is your photo so last year? (Or, from several years ago?) It’s probably time for an update for the new year.
A clear and current professional profile photo makes it easier to connect with others. It also helps make it easier for recruiters and potential employers to know who they’re talking to. It’s important to stay current, so if you land a first interview, you look pretty close to your profile pic.
Make sure it’s a high quality photo with good lighting and represents your personality. Since LinkedIn is designed to help you get your next job, dress for the types of roles you want. Someone in marketing or social media will likely look different from someone in law enforcement or other government roles. Let the picture represent who you are and clearly show your face. The image should be 400 X 400 pixels and look like a professional headshot (no party photos or people cut out).
2. Complete your whole profile
It may sound obvious, but you want a complete profile with all sections filled out and up-to-date information.
Recruiter and Social Media Manager at Teal, Leah Dillon, says,
“If you’re looking for a great way to optimize your LinkedIn profile, start by filling out the basics. You may be tempted to run before you can walk, but if you’re reaching out to a recruiter asking what jobs are a fit for you and your profile is bare, you’re likely not going to get a helpful response for your search."
The best way to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to ensure everything is covered. Complete profiles offer a massive advantage compared to other candidates with sparse profiles.
3. Get a custom URL
There are billions of LinkedIn users. (Yes, billions.) The automatically generated URL you get when you sign up may just have a collection of numbers. But you can snag your own custom URL with your name or something close to it if you have a common name.
Go to your LinkedIn profile, click on the pencil icon, then scroll to the "Contact info" section. Here you can edit your URL with your full name. Having a name-only URL can help with branding and make it easier to tell people where to find you.
4. Add an attention-grabbing headline
The newspaper and online media industries have mastered the art of attention-grabbing headlines, enticing you to read further.
Now it’s your turn to practice with your LinkedIn headline. Avoid stale or dry, non-descript language that doesn’t showcase who you are and what you do.
Dillon echos that sentiment:
“One of the most underutilized parts of a profile is the headline. Every part of your profile is a marketing opportunity for you, and I see a lot of headlines that list soft skills or quotes, but they tell me nothing about who they are, and I tend to skip past them.
The headline is one of the first things people see when you comment or post on LinkedIn, so what would make someone want to click your profile and view more? Ditch the quote or adjectives. I recommend starting with a simple job title and 1-2 hard skills relevant to that specific title. You don’t need to have a fancy “ex-company” listed, but just tell me who you are bottom line.”
If you’re stuck, consider your current job title + hard skills + years of experience.
- Seasoned Human Resources Professional in Benefits Administration with 20+ years of experience
- Graphic Designer and Photoshop whiz for 5+ years
- Content Manager with a love of SEO with 3 years of experience
- Sales professional in E-commerce for 10 years
5. Include keywords
The best LinkedIn profiles for job seekers include something that others may neglect—keywords. Just as you might use keywords to search for jobs, recruiters and employers also use them to find job candidates.
Look at the last five jobs you’ve applied for and review the job descriptions.
What are some common keywords used? Write those down and sprinkle them into your LinkedIn profile for your headline and your LinkedIn "About" section. That way, your profile is more searchable and the job listings calling your name can find you.
Pro Tip: The Teal Chrome Extension pulls the top keywords from any job description so you can incorporate them into your profile without the extra work.
6. Update your LinkedIn summary
Your LinkedIn summary or “About” section is where you can dive deeper into who you are, what you do, and your skills and strengths. Imagine your headline and photo as the cover of a book, and your "About" section is the description on the back of a book, making you want to buy it or read it (or not).
Connect the dots around your experience, most relevant skills, and abilities, and tell your professional story in a quick snapshot. Your LinkedIn summary should include:
- Your job titles and industry
- Years of experience
- Contact info
- Call to action
These are the basics but should be more in-depth. “Go beyond just listing your job titles and tenure, but actually tell the world what you do, the programs you know, and anything you specialize in,” says Dillon. “It helps recruiters identify not just your titles, but the depth and scope of your experience.”
Need some inspiration? Here are some LinkedIn Summary Examples.
7. Highlight skills
One of the best LinkedIn tips for job seekers is to highlight all of your relevant skills. This is not the time or place to be vague or shy! Be specific and comprehensive.
Dillon agrees, but also suggests:
“I recommend ditching any soft skill like “Leadership” or “Team-Player” and getting very granular on your hard skills. List the programs or frameworks you used in that role and any hard skills you’d want to highlight first.”
Be sure to update your profile with any new skills as you grow so you can reach more recruiters and hiring managers.
8. Participate in relevant groups
LinkedIn groups offer another way to network with others in your industry. By joining groups that are related to your job or industry, you can connect with others, share best practices and advice, and get on the radar of potential employers.
You can use the search term, put in a keyword, and filter by “Group.” Find the ones that sound like a good fit and hit “Join.”
From there, start interacting and sharing your expertise. This can be a great way to naturally build your personal brand and network with others.
9. Get recommendations
Much of your LinkedIn profile is you writing about yourself. It can be awkward, but it’s necessary. But there’s another thing that can be even better than sharing your talents in your own words—recommendations from previous employers and colleagues.
A LinkedIn recommendation is essentially a stamp of approval, with a third party vouching for you and highlighting your key skills. This can add a layer of depth and assurance to potential future employers who are checking you out.
Ask the people you have in mind if they can share a recommendation on LinkedIn. Don’t be shy about recommending others if you feel they’ve done stellar work.
Leveraging LinkedIn for a job search
The importance of LinkedIn for job seekers can’t be understated. But you have to use it properly to get the most out of it. Before starting your search for a new job, make sure your LinkedIn page is up-to-date. (If you need help with some of the steps, try AI like ChatGPT for LinkedIn to beat the blank page.)
Make the “Search” bar your friend. You can type in keywords and find jobs you can save, companies you can follow, and people to connect with (pro tip: If you send a connection request to someone new, send a note about why you’re interested in connecting with them).
Also, when searching for job opportunities, maximize the power of filters. You can filter job postings to find a remote or hybrid position or see listings with under 10 applicants. You can also create job alerts to help you do some of the heavy lifting.
Pro Tip: Once you put in the work to create a great profile, you can use Teal’s AI Resume Builder and import your LinkedIn profile to create your resume in seconds, saving you time and energy.
Tap into your career in the new year
Take control of your career path in the new year by utilizing the power of LinkedIn.
If you want one of the best LinkedIn profiles for job seekers, these 9 tips can help you stand out in a major way.
While it may seem like a lot of work, it doesn't have to be. Streamline the process with Teal and optimize your LinkedIn Profile without the extra steps.