How to Build an Awesome Linkedln Profile and Reduce Online Applications

Networking these days doesn’t mean going to a networking event or a job fair and

making connections – it’s much easier than that.

You should spend HALF of your time networking, and half of your time applying to jobs online.

This means you have to put in a tiny bit more work to reach out to people to get your resume seen, but it’s totally worth it.

The good news is that you have an amazing tool available that makes the networking process super simple. Yes, you guessed it correctly – Linkedln!

Before you learn how to effectively network on Linkedln, you need to build an amazing Linkedln Profile to attract recruiters to your profile and reduce the amount of time you spend applying online.

Here are My Top Tips on How to Build an Amazing Linkedln Profile:

Tip #1: Branding

This is probably going to take the majority of your time, trying to figure out what your brand is first. And by brand, I mean your passions, value, skills, and purpose. It’s important to know what makes you different than your competitors. In today’s competitive job market, you need to stand out, and the only way you can stand out is if you’re different than most of the other applicants out there. Your brand mantra should communicate clearly who you are in a creative, yet clear and informative way. For example, if you are a project manager, do you specialize in leading your team, developing big ideas, or managing money? Your LinkedIn Profile should have a clear focus on who you are and what your expertise is, regardless of your job title or field.

Tip #2: Let Recruiters Know You’re Open for Business

What’s the point of putting in all the work into building an amazing profile if no one’s going to see it? So, once you’re done optimizing your profile make sure to turn on “Open Candidates”. Also, Linkedln lets you choose a Job Search Status: Actively searching, passively looking, or not looking but open to the right offer. This allows recruiters to know where you’re at in your job search. Target Roles: LinkedIn also lets you add the job titles you’re interested in so recruiters can send you more relevant opportunities. Location Preferences: Open Candidates lets you tell employers where you want your next job to be. You can choose specific cities and you can also let them know you’re interested in remote roles. Job Types: Open Candidates lets you tell recruiters what types of roles you’re open to Full Time, Part Time, Contract, Internship, Volunteer, or Temporary.

Tip #3: Use a High-Quality LinkedIn Profile Picture and Cover Photo to Make a Great First Impression

When someone clicks on your LinkedIn profile, the first thing they see is your picture. According to research a person only needs a 33-millisecond glance at your picture to form an impression that includes evaluations of “trustworthiness, status, and attractiveness.” Whether you like it or not, we are all forming an impression the moment we look at your picture, so better make that first impression count. That means you need an awesome, high-quality LinkedIn profile picture that shows off some of your personality. Don’t be afraid to show your smile or wear your favorite clothes. The same goes for your Linkedln cover photo. Most people actually do not take advantage of this space. This is a great place to be used and showcase more of who you are as a professional. It’s larger than your profile picture so it’s likely going to grab more attention and help tell your story. You can share something you’re passionate about like speaking at a conference, doing volunteering work, taking part in a community event, hiking, spending time with family, traveling, etc.

Tip 4: Make the Most out of Your Headline

Your goal with the headline should be aligned with what’s written on your Linkedln profile, which is to stand out, get more visitors, come up in recruiter’s searches, and have an overall more impressive brand. The last thing you want to do is creating a generic and boring headline like everyone else’s. If you’re an I.T. project manager you might want to say: “Project Manager with 10+ Years in I.T. recognized as top 10 in my company”, it’s better than just “Project Manager”. This way the recruiter learns a little more about your field and expertise and they’re enticed to read more. Also, to show up in relevant searches, add the job you want, not the job you have.

Tip 5: Summary Section

 This is the place where you want to go into more detail about your most impressive and relevant skills, passions, key values, and most importantly what makes you, you.

I personally recommend a three-part Summary:

  1. An opening statement that summarizes your work experience and key accomplishments that reflect your skills. Make sure to include relevant keywords to drastically increase your chance of appearing in the recruiter’s searches.
  2. A few bullets which focus on your achievements, rather than duties. You can quantify those achievements with numbers and even try to start your bullets with an action or “success verb” such as Generated, accelerated, awarded, optimized, etc. If you can’t think of what you have achieved during your current or past roles, then it’s time to become a better employee and start going above and beyond your normal job duties, because life’s too short to be in a job you don’t enjoy.
  3. A closing statement about what types of opportunities get you excited and how to get in touch with you (make sure to include an email address where people can reach you or a phone number).

You can also include a letter of recommendation or a testimonial from a boss, a client, coworker, etc. This will help increase your value and credibility. If you don’t have one, then I suggest you reach out to someone who would be willing to write you a recommendation. This could really help you stand out and make you more valuable.

LinkedIn gives you a 2,000-character limit for the Summary section so make the most out of it and use it properly to market yourself to employers.

Tip 6: Work Experience

Please do not copy all the bullet points from your resume and paste them into this section. Even though the bullets in your Linkedln Profile are aimed at doing the same thing just like on your resume, and that is selling yourself still, no employer wants to read the same thing twice. Instead, select the most impressive bullets from your resume, reword them to sound a bit less formal and then use them on your Linkedln Work Experience section. If you can come up with completely new bullets that are just as relevant and impressive, then I suggest you do that.

Also, no need to include every single job you ever had however, make sure to include all of your jobs that are relevant to your current goals. Profiles that list more than just 1 job, get 29x more views!

Tip 7: Optimize your Skills Section to Appear in More Searches

The Skills section is one of the best areas that can really help you show up at the top of the recruiter’s search results. Make sure to include at least 5 skills that are great social proof of your talents. This will give you an advantage when employers are trying to decide who to reach out to. Also, you want to be smart about the skills you add. You can go ahead and select all the skills you had added to your resume and even include additional skills since Linkedln lets you enter up to 50.

Tip #8: How Do You Measure Up on Linkedln’s Profile Strength Indicator?

LinkedIn says that 51% of profiles are complete, and 49% are not at the All-Star Level. When you’re building out your profile, LinkedIn will tell you how well you’re doing with their Profile Strength Meter.  There are 5 levels of strength: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, and All-Star. You only need to care about the last one. Why? Because All-Star profiles are 40x more likely to be contacted about job opportunities than any other profile level and they are 18x more likely to show up in search results.

What makes your profile complete?

  1. LinkedIn profile picture
  2. Use a custom LinkedIn URL (with some variation of first & last name)
  3. Add an up-to-date Industry & Location
  4. Two past positions (I suggest you add at least three)
  5. Customize your headline with relevant experience & keywords
  6. Fill out your LinkedIn Summary
  7. Your education
  8. Skills (minimum of 3, but you should add as many as possible)
  9. At least 50 connections

If your profile meets those criteria, you’ll hit All-Star status and significantly improve your visibility on the platform.

Now your LinkedIn profile is ready to market your skills and work experience.

If you need additional help building your LinkedIn profile, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am here to help 🙂 

Good luck!