5 Little-Known Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
Job Search

Our Top 5 Tried-and-True Ways To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

by Samantha Tollin
Photos Jessica Scott | December 17, 2015

Looking for your next gig? We often hear that LinkedIn seems daunting or confusing. But taking full advantage of its features will help you get noticed. Here's how to start working the system.

It’s no secret that LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful tools for job seekers. With approximately 250+ million users, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using this dynamic tool. It offers everything you need to show off your personal brand, and better yet, it’s free. If you haven’t already jumped on the LinkedIn bandwagon, this is your time to shine!

We've covered some great strategies you can use to improve your LinkedIn profile in our #AskLauren column. In addition to making sure your profile is optimized to the fullest, here are five ways you can take advantage of LinkedIn’s features to get noticed:

1. SHOWCASE YOUR UNIQUE SKILLSET TO PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS AND RECRUITERS

Showing off your skills has never been easier. On LinkedIn, you can add as many skills as you want to your profile. And the best part? Your connections can endorse your skills to give you even more credibility.

LinkedIn will rank your skills based on the number of endorsements you receive. You also can change the order of the different parts of your profile and move your skills section toward the top.

2. SEND MESSAGES TO YOUR INFLUENCERS

If you find someone you really want to reach out to—whether it’s someone you’d like to set up an informational interview with or a prospective employer—you can send them a message directly (most of the time).

Let’s say there is a job opening that you are really interested in, and you want to get more information about it. You can look up the company’s profile page and find the employees who work there, which will hopefully include a human resources contact. What I have found helpful is messaging an employee who currently has the position you want to apply for; send them a quick note saying you are interested in the company, and want to get their perspective on what it’s like to work there. You can even offer to meet up and treat them to coffee! That way, you will have already established a personal connection before even applying to the company. Most companies offer an employee referral bonus, and if so, the employees will be more inclined to provide the employer with a referral for you. {Click to Tweet}

3. ADD EXAMPLES OF YOUR WORK

When you add a position to your LinkedIn profile, you can include links to your published work or even upload files of projects you’ve completed. Showing employers and recruiters real examples of your work can give them an inside scoop of your portfolio without even speaking directly. For example, if you work as a reporter for a newspaper, you can add links to stories you are most proud of or that drove the most engagement.

4. FOLLOW YOUR FAVORITE COMPANIES TO RECEIVE UPDATES

If there’s a company you’ve been dying to work for, follow them on LinkedIn to receive news and updates regarding open positions. Most companies will post positions directly on their profiles. You also can follow respected professionals in the field you are interested in who post industry-related articles.

5. COMPLETE THAT PROFILE

It’s so important to take full advantage of the profile completeness tool. LinkedIn makes it easy to assure your profile gets noticed, but in order to do so, you have to make sure your profile is as complete as possible. Make sure your job descriptions and professional summary include your accomplishments and buzzwords—recruiters will be searching for those keywords when looking for potential candidates.

Let’s face it: job searching is not easy. But with tools like LinkedIn, you can connect with people in your field and show recruiters/employers why you would make a great candidate.

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QUICK TIP: if you want to reap the full benefits LinkedIn has to offer, try using the free trial of the premium version for a month. For some people, it’s totally worth it to go premium because there are no limitations on who you can reach out to, and you get a special badge showing that you are a job seeker!