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How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile - Hacking the Hiring Process

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Why does your LinkedIn profile matter?

If you’re on the market for a new job (or even just curious about new opportunities), you should know that the first place any good recruiter will be looking for you is on LinkedIn. Since this is all any recruiter is going to see to make a decision on whether to open this up and get in contact with you or not, take a look at this.

Since the recruiter is sifting through infinite profiles, and the most they’ll spend scrolling through yours is a few seconds, you want to make sure you’re not wasting any prime real estate from your LinkedIn profile.

As an example, if you’re going to choose from the below two people for a job interview, who are you going to pick?

If you want to reach your goals, it’s important to own your own story, especially on LinkedIn. In order to own your own story, you need to decide what exactly that narrative looks like and build a strategy around it.

If there’s one thing you need to remember as you move through this article, it’s this: LinkedIn should be used as a branding tool to get an interview.

Who Your LinkedIn Target ACTUALLY Is

After leadership has exhausted their current company’s internal promotions as well as their own personal network, they’ll put the pressure on their internal HR team or the internal/corporate recruiters to find the perfect candidate.

What do we know about these people?

  • As of writing this, on LinkedIn there are just over 450,000 people with the title “Recruiter”.

  • The average total pay for a human resource worker in the US is about $70,736.

  • Internal recruiters typically don’t make commissions.

  • The average age of an HR worker is 41..

  • 73.3%% of HR workers are women.

This recruiter or human resources worker is drastically different from the future boss you probably pictured earlier, if they’re a CTO whose average pay is $293,696 and 91.6% of which are men.

Behind the Scenes of LinkedIn Recruiting

After years of helping some of the most talented people get hired at some of the greatest companies in the world, I’m going to detail you through how that process is done.

Have you ever thought about how recruiters recruit? They use an advanced tool on LinkedIn called LinkedIn Recruiter (and let me tell you - it’s not cheap).

A good analogy would be thinking of LinkedIn Recruiter as Google. When you do a Google search for something you’re interested in, it filters for the webpages you’re looking for based on your search criteria. LinkedIn Recruiter does a custom filtered search for the candidates the recruiter is looking for, and I’m going to show you what that search looks like because it’s probably not what you think. Recruiters are not looking at your full “webpage;” they’re only getting a snippet, and from that short amount of information, they’re making a decision (“Do I open that profile?”) similar to (“Do I open that website?”).

As a starting point, when a recruiter is searching for the perfect candidate to fill a role, this is what they see after they set up their search:

Recruiters use something called a “boolean search” to find candidates who have the exact experience they’re searching for. Think of this tool as similar to SEO or Google on steroids. Just like companies use certain words to get themselves to the top of Google Search results, I’m going to show you how to get your profile to the top of LinkedIn Recruiter results. Your goal in trying to find your optimal job is to curate your profile in a way that will get that boolean search to pull you into the pool of candidates for a recruiter to consider clicking on and asking for more information.

If you don’t show up in that search or they don’t click on you, it doesn’t matter how perfect your profile actually is - your chances of getting a call for that job you desperately want are zero. You NEED to be in that selection of potential candidates, and I’m going to show you today exactly how to do it.

Curate Your Profile for Your LinkedIn Target

If your profile is aimed at the typical recruiter and not the CTO of a company, you should be focused on legibility for your audience. Be wary of:

  • Highly technical details

  • Coding samples

  • Industry jargon

Although there are many recruiters who are experts in technology, it is important to remember that not all of them are technical or experts in the industry of their employer. Most HR reps and internal/corporate recruiters are generalists. You do not want to alienate recruiters who don’t understand the technical details of your work. Your technical skills will be evaluated by the hiring manager after a recruiter has contacted you for an initial interview. Keep in mind that LinkedIn should be viewed as a branding tool to get an interview. The goal here is just to get the initial interview, and creating a LinkedIn profile that is specific but uncomplicated by details is what will help you reach that goal.

This is true especially when you consider that there is a limit to how many people recruiters will contact on LinkedIn Recruiter. So you know - you can send as many messages to your LinkedIn connections as you want to, but to send messages to people you aren’t connected to, you have to send what LinkedIn calls “InMails.” Recruiters do not get unlimited InMails - LinkedIn Recruiter has a certain amount of InMails that recruiters get to send each month, and adding more can get VERY expensive VERY quickly. Recruiters aren’t going to use one of their precious InMails on you unless they’re really sure that you’re worth it, so your LinkedIn profile can’t just be okay. It needs to leave no doubt in a recruiter’s mind that you are THE person that can fill their role the best.

Where should I start?

The first thing you’ll want to do is identify the job that you want and the correlating job title. Then, you want to go and find two or three job descriptions of jobs that meet that criteria. Find what these job descriptions have in common with each other, and if it’s true to you, you’re going to feature it on your profile. You’re going to use these as guidelines for what you need to get across to any recruiter looking at your profile. Think of it as doing the maze backward from end to beginning.

Notice what pops up in each of the job descriptions, and make sure it makes an appearance in your LinkedIn profile. As an example, these might be things you find in common on job descriptions that you want to make sure show up on your LinkedIn profile as keywords:

  • A focus on diversity and inclusion

  • Building a team from scratch

  • Global experience

  • Specific technologies

When you write a paper on a thesis, every point that you make is supposed to work in favor of proving the point, or thesis, that you’re trying to make. You should fill out your LinkedIn profile the same way. Everything that anyone reads about you on your profile should point back to the fact that you are suited to exactly the role or persona that you want to achieve.

It can be hard to narrow down all of your goals and aspirations to only a few job descriptions. These aren’t permanent - you can change them as time passes or as your goals change. You are just using these as a starting point. Remember that LinkedIn is a social media page - it doesn’t have to be an exact replica of your resume.

It’s very likely these will be some of the keywords the recruiter will use to begin their search.

Get creative with where you choose to highlight these skills. If you’re mentioning technologies in your About section, there’s no harm in also listing them in your skills section. In fact, LinkedIn Recruiter (which I’ll tell you more about) has a special feature where it will alert the recruiter if a candidate has multiple skills in common with the role that they’re currently recruiting for. Anything you can do to set yourself apart can only help you, so make sure you’re thorough and curate every section of your LinkedIn profile.

Career Trajectory

Creating a story that will emphasize where you’re going in your career is dependent on how you detail your work experience. Looking at your previous titles and companies on your LinkedIn profile, what sort of story do you see?

Everything on my profile is filled out yet minimal so the emphasis is on the progression of my actual career. I’ve moved up seamlessly from an individual contributor to the CEO. My activity, endorsements, recommendations, and interests all support my story with related content.

Whatever your career has been, your experience should show a succinct story. Small changes like re-wording your title, or adding a small description of your work can point to why you made the moves you’ve made and how they’ve enhanced your career.

If there is something that you don’t like as much, such as a gap in employment, don’t think you can fool anyone by cutting it out of your history. If there is anything left unsaid about a gap - or anything that may be negative - recruiters will assume the worst. Instead, be open and address the issue- you want to get ahead of it, and people appreciate honesty. There are certain points in time when people will almost expect to see a gap. If you lost your job in March 2020 or took off some time to care for a sick family member, nobody is going to hold that against you. Just be as honest as you can be and you’ll find people are more understanding than you expect. Recruiters and tech professionals are human beings too!

How do recruiters find you on LinkedIn?

This is How Recruiters Recruit

Top recruiters use LinkedIn Recruiter to identify LinkedIn profiles that have their ideal search criteria. Within seconds, they can cut a list of millions of LinkedIn profiles down to a few hundred potential candidates. Just for context, there’s over ten million profiles just in the Greater New York City Area. This means that no matter how good your profile looks, if you don’t show up in these searches, recruiters won’t be able to find you.

How LinkedIn Recruiter Works

The program searches with boolean filters that apply an exact keyword search to the different sections of a LinkedIn profile. There are dozens of search criteria that recruiters can choose from when narrowing down their search.

This is what it looks like.

To build a good candidate pool, recruiters look at certain qualifications or criteria. Most of them focus first on the following:

  • Current Title

  • Location

  • Keywords related to the job

If the information in these specific sections of your LinkedIn profile are out of date or have information that isn’t geared towards your current job search, you won’t even make the first cut.

Can my coworkers see if I'm open to work?

On your regular LinkedIn profile - yes. If you put an “Open to Work” green frame on your profile picture and highlight it on your profile, anyone who looks at your LinkedIn profile can see that you’re seeking a new role.

However - on LinkedIn Recruiter, ONLY people outside your company can see in search results that you’re open to work. It’s a slight distinction, but an important one.

If you’re unsure of whether or not to say you’re open to work, it’s better to leave it off. There’s no risk of someone seeing it who isn’t supposed to, whether that’s a current coworker or even a recruiter who is good friends with someone at your company that might happen to mention it.

Plus, they say that people always want what they can’t have, and allowing a recruiter to think they’ll have to fight harder to get you to leave your current role for a new job may end up helping you get exactly what you want out of a new opportunity.

Location on LinkedIn

If you’re seeking a fully remote or hybrid role, your location on LinkedIn doesn’t have exactly the same impact as it would if you were fully on-site. While you should still make sure your location is accurate, it’s very likely that recruiters will be searching for candidates in the “United States” as opposed to just “Dallas, Texas.”

That being said, there is always the chance that you could be looking for a hybrid role that gives you some office face-time. If that’s the case, you want to make sure that your location on LinkedIn is the location where you want to work, even if it’s not the same as where you’re living.

If you’re within commuting distance to a larger city, you should set your location to a wider range. For example, instead of using “Secaucus, New Jersey,” you can set your location to “Greater New York City Area.” This means you’ll now show up in any searches taking place in the wider metropolitan area, which gives you a much better shot of being contacted for an interview.

If you’re looking to relocate, one of the simplest mistakes you can make is not updating your location to where you want to relocate to. You will not appear on a recruiter’s list unless your LinkedIn location is within the boundary they’re looking in, so be sure to keep your location current.

How to Make LinkedIn Recruiter Work for YOU

As you’ve already seen, LinkedIn Recruiter looks very different from the regular version of LinkedIn we use day to day. A recruiter scrolling through LinkedIn Recruiter has certain information highlighted to them. It’s not very much, and they’re not taking a very long look, so you need to make sure these things are optimized to the fullest.

Typically, when your profile comes up on LinkedIn Recruiter, the recruiter will see

  • Headshot

  • Full name

  • About section

  • Profile headline

  • Work experience

  • Education

  • Location

  • Industry

  • Spotlights

  • Highlights

Some of these are self-explanatory, but some of these are exclusive ONLY to LinkedIn Recruiter.

About Section on LinkedIn Recruiter

I’ve already pointed out the importance of a solid About section on your LinkedIn profile, but LinkedIn Recruiter makes it even more important to make this portion of your profile strong from start to finish. LinkedIn Recruiter will show the first couple of lines of this section - but only the first couple of lines. If you want a recruiter to be wowed by what you’ve written, it’s important to start off strong with something punchy and attention-grabbing. Be careful not to confuse “attention grabbing” for “clickbait.” You want a recruiter to be intrigued by how clever and experienced you are, not roll their eyes and scroll past because you’re trying too hard.

Experience and Highlights on LinkedIn Recruiter

LinkedIn Recruiter will highlight the last few roles that you’ve had, so you want to ensure that these give a strong introduction to the story you’re trying to tell. If there was ever a time to tweak titles and line up date ranges perfectly, this would be it.

The concept of Highlights goes alongside your Experience section. Let’s say a recruiter is searching for a project manager. You’re someone who has been in the workforce for the last ten years working adjacent to project management, but you’ve only gained a project manager title and experience in the last four years. Well, LinkedIn Recruiter knows that, and it’s going to leave a highlight at the top of your experience that reads “4 years of project management experience.”

Now, the only thing worse than a LinkedIn profile that hasn’t been optimized is a LinkedIn profile where someone is outright lying. However, if you know that you’ve been doing the job, but you just haven’t had the right title for LinkedIn Recruiter to register it as a keyword, this is the time when you want to use keywords to your advantage and make some edits to ensure that LinkedIn Recruiter highlights the full extent of your experience for the recruiter looking at your profile.

Spotlights on LinkedIn Recruiter

Similar to the Highlights, LinkedIn Recruiter provides tips for the recruiter doing the search, sometimes based on what the system has learned they’re searching for. Sometimes, it’s as simple as pointing out to the recruiter that you’ve set your profile to “open to work.” It depends on the candidate, but spotlights will draw the recruiter’s attention to things like:

  • Similar skills to other candidates saved for this role

  • Longevity at company

  • Last several roles at this company (promotions)

These are all things that can help give you a boost up. These are entirely reliant on LinkedIn Recruiter, but by optimizing your profile, you can ensure your best chance at getting some extra notice from a recruiter looking for the perfect candidate.

Why haven't you reached your career goals? Check your keywords.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With Keywords

LinkedIn Recruiter is able to look through every profile on LinkedIn that matches the keywords recruiters use in their search criteria. Keywords are the most important terms related to your career experience such as:

  • Technologies you use

  • Words that express your skill level (manager, leader)

  • Qualifications / Certifications

The keywords you use in your profile tell a story to the recruiters about who you are, what you do, and what jobs you may be interested in. Recruiters don’t care about your exact internal title or the exact timeframe you worked at a job - they care about what you did at the company you worked for and what skills you have.

Having a LinkedIn profile that is optimized for the wrong keywords is lethal to your job search. However, if you use keywords effectively, especially within your headline, summary and work experience, you will put yourself in the right recruiter’s search and boost your LinkedIn profile to the top of their lists.

Using Keywords to Set Your Profile Apart

The trick to writing a really good profile is to have the most information about the roles on the top and the least information about the roles on the bottom. You want to give the best insights into your current and most recent roles. You might not even need to put your oldest roles on your LinkedIn profile - if you were waiting tables in college, that doesn’t need to be listed in your experience.

If you’re seeing paragraphs about jobs you had ten years ago or bullet points about skills you used in your very first part time job, your profile is not going to stand out to a recruiter. If they can’t get what they need to know within a few moments of skimming your profile, they will move on.

Decide on the keywords you want to use to market yourself. Anything that is not related to these keywords can be taken out. Remember that your LinkedIn Profile should be used as a branding tool to get an interview, and using this mindset, write a short headline and summary that utilize your keywords. If absolutely necessary, you can add a quick sentence or two to your specific jobs within your work experience.

Choosing Keywords

Think about the technologies or skills that you use the most within your current position.

What words associated with your current skills, projects, and job experiences will get you on the list of a recruiter for your dream job?

Go back to those job descriptions you pulled at the beginning. What skills and experience do you already have that you know recruiters will be seeking, and how can you use keywords to sum it all up? If you’re missing exact technologies or experiences, what transferable skills do you have that would align, and how can you best translate that into something a recruiter would be searching for?

Clean Up Your Profile

The details of your profile will make a huge difference in overall appearance and completeness. LinkedIn users are seeing hundreds of profiles, which may get narrowed down to just two that could be considered identical in skill-set and experience. If one profile is complete, neat, professional, and has a good profile image, while the other is incomplete and messy, the person with the better looking profile will get the best opportunity.

Every opportunity for an image or icon should be used; every company should have a logo, and your profile header should remain professional. It should go without saying, but spell check your profile- you don’t want to ruin what could be a fantastic professional collaboration with a simple spelling mistake.

Preparing yourself to take a risk professionally can often be a stressful endeavor. You're worried about many things: a history of job hopping, a previous company’s reputation, gaps in employment, finding the right person to work alongside you, but I’m here to tell you that those worries don’t matter. What does matter is how you use the story of your career to get exactly what you’re looking for in your career.

When you’re gearing your profile towards your job search, it’s also useful to consider what skillsets or experiences recruiters want to see in their dream candidate. If you can identify the keywords associated with the next job you want, and they are true to your work experience, they will be the most impactful keywords and ones you should definitely use.

Breaking Down Your linkedIn Profile By Section

Whether you’re searching for a new role or looking to fill one yourself (or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle), there are some key changes you can make to your LinkedIn profile that will work no matter what your situation is.

When deciding how to update your profile, I find it’s easiest to start from the bottom and work your way up.

1. Interests

This section isn’t necessarily the most important. It can give your audience some insight into your character or what you enjoy, but it’s not a make-or-break.

2. Recommendations

You should have at least a couple of these. If you’re too embarrassed to ask, keep in mind that people don’t know your personal relationship to the people who recommend you. Maybe you have a friend who has a good title at a good company and wouldn’t mind writing one for you. At the end of the day, it’s not a huge deal, but it’s definitely nice to have.

3. Skills

Not everyone is going to look at this section, but it can be nice to have something here. It’s not hard to get people to endorse you, especially friends and colleagues. I would have a maximum of ten skills listed. If you have too many, instead of looking well-rounded, you’ll look like you’re trying too hard, and it will look sloppy.

If you’re someone who is looking for a new job, passively or actively, this section is going to be a hidden key for you. When recruiters are using LinkedIn Recruiter to search for candidates LinkedIn will point out to them which potential candidates have certain skills in common that might make them a good fit for whatever job they’re recruiting on. You’ll want to pay attention and be intentional about what you choose to list in this section.

4. Education

High Schools/Prep Schools- First off, there’s no need to put your high school or preparatory school on your LinkedIn profile. If it is extremely prestigious, then maybe you can make a case for it, but for the most part, if you’ve been out of college, there’s no need to have any education beforehand.

College & University- This section has the most controversy when it comes to opinions, which usually has to do with indecision about putting the dates or not.

Just so you know, the recruiter will think one of these four reasons are why you wouldn’t have the dates:

  • Hide your age

  • Didn’t graduate

  • Something to hide

  • Forgot

Keep in mind, people will always assume the worst, so my advice is to be honest and get ahead of whatever the problem is. In addition, make sure all of your schools have logos - that is a common mistake. Without them, it won’t look official. Most, if not all, colleges and universities should have logos for LinkedIn.

5. Certifications

If they’re relevant to the field you’re in or the field you’re looking to get into, list them. If not, don’t. If you’re going to list them, make sure they’re not expired.

6. Awards and Accomplishments

This is an “all or nothing” section. You should either put them all or put none of them.

7. Experience

This is where you need to ask yourself, “What is the story I’m trying to tell, and what is the goal I’m hoping to accomplish?” Ideally, no matter what your goals are, you want to show a progression throughout your career. This is the meat of your profile. Have you moved up in various leadership roles? Maybe you’ve managed global teams. What are you trying to show the world?

While everyone has a different story they’re trying to tell, there are some common things you want to ensure you have correct.

Current Title: Your title on LinkedIn does not have to match the one given to you by your manager. LinkedIn is your professional social media page, not your resume. You need to keep in mind the following things:

  • Write your title the way it would be most commonly written.

  • Don’t use abbreviations - if you write “Sr” instead of “Senior,” LinkedIn doesn’t always recognize it as a keyword.

  • Accurately reflect the work that you do.

  • If possible, keep in mind the job that you want.

  • The internal title might not mean anything to the outside world. For example, “Programmer II” doesn’t indicate anything.

Often, people get hung up on what their title is within their company. However, it is essential to note that titles that are important internally may not have the same recognition outside of your company. For this reason, it is best to simplify or generalize your title on LinkedIn in order to get the attention of the audience you want.

Your title within your company might be “Python React Developer”, but if you have experience with other languages and want to market your wider skill set, “Backend Engineer” would be a broader title to get you noticed more.

8. Activity

You want to make sure that what you’re interacting with is relevant. LinkedIn isn’t like Facebook or Twitter. What you post on LinkedIn should be something you’d be comfortable with your boss or the CEO of your company seeing. Are you commenting on viral Internet trends or are you responding to a thought-provoking post about the latest developments in technology?

Articles: These fall under the activity section and are a great way to put out knowledge and build up your credibility in your field. They can be long or short, and you can write them about anything, but on that note, make sure what you’re saying is relevant. Don’t be overwhelmed at the idea of publishing something. Your first article can be short- just put something out into the world and see what kind of reaction you get.

9. Featured

This section allows you to pin any customized activity that you want to feature. This is one of the first things people will see on your profile, so if you’ve accomplished something major or if your company has big news, you want to make sure to pin it here.

10. About

This is your elevator pitch. This is the nitty-gritty of exactly what you want everyone to know about you. You want to imagine the recruiter is reading this, so go back to your three job descriptions you chose in the beginning. This should be carefully crafted to showcase your best professional self. You want the recruiter to read this section and feel that you’re a perfect fit for the job they’re working on. Mention some of your great characteristics, projects you’re working on, or current responsibilities. Be careful - don’t make this too long or no one will bother to read it. It’s called an elevator pitch for a reason.

11. Headline

This is what’s written right underneath your name and can be customized. This is the first thing people will see when they look you up, so you want it to be catchy and straight to the point. This is prime real estate, so you don’t want it to match your current job title - that’s redundant. If you’re trying to entice recruiters, make sure you’re using a keyword that relates to the kind of role you want to be considered for.

12. Contact Information

If you’re going to put anything here (which you don’t have to), make sure it’s the correct information. There’s nothing worse than realizing all your career-related emails have been going to your hotmail account you haven’t touched in the last decade. Or even worse - to your old work email.

13. Social Media

To keep your LinkedIn profile professional, it is imperative you do not share any social media links that aren’t also professional. If you’re a tech professional tweeting about the latest in AI, by all means, set up that link. If you’re live-tweeting pictures of your kids at a soccer game, LinkedIn is not the place to showcase that.

14. Headshot

You need to have a photo of yourself on LinkedIn. It’s non-negotiable. If people are looking for you on LinkedIn, having no photo will instantly make you less credible than you would’ve been otherwise. It doesn’t have to be a professionally taken headshot, either. You can have it taken on an iPhone. Really the only thing you don’t want to do is crop yourself out of a group photo from an event. This looks sloppy, and your career shouldn’t scream ‘sloppy.’ After all, would you wear a wrinkled shirt to work? One more tip: SMILE! People don’t want to reach out to someone who looks angry.

15. Header Image

This is something that will make you look a lot more put-together. Yes, LinkedIn gives you that generic blue header, but updating it will make you stand out. See what other people in your company have used for their backgrounds, or pick something that represents your personal brand. When in doubt, you want to look at people who have accomplished what you’re currently trying to do. Mimic what they’ve done, because clearly, it’s working.

Who's Controlling Your LinkedIn Story?

If you want your profile to connect with the right people, you need to think about who your audience is on LinkedIn. A common misconception is that your audience for your LinkedIn profile is your next boss - it’s not. It’s a recruiter using LinkedIn Recruiter.You don’t need LinkedIn to impress your future boss - you need to use your LinkedIn to get the job first before you have any hope of even getting in the same room with the people you’re hoping to impress. Knowing your audience is key.

Typically, when a position opens up within a company, the people running the show are not the ones who are going to be seeking their ideal candidates from the gate. The people in charge of the hiring process are most likely to be someone in Human Resources, an internal recruiter, or a corporate recruiter. They’ll be the ones choosing whom to reach out to, and the odds are that it’s going to be based on a LinkedIn profile. Yours needs to stand out.

At the time I’m writing this article, the national unemployment rate is at 3.4%. The unemployment rate for the technology industry is around 2.2%. Although the news might be filled with stories about layoffs and hiring freezes, the numbers tell us that hiring is still happening. Opportunities are still out there. Companies are still (and always will be) competing with each other to get the best talent on their team. This is great news for you if you’re looking to take the next step in your career, but you still need to be smart about how you represent yourself.

LinkedIn has become the go-to recruiting tool for all recruiters. To impress a recruiter who is going through hundreds of profiles a day, yours must be maintained and kept up to date. This should not take hours and hours of work, but you should definitely give it some thought.

Put Your New Profile to Work

Waiting for a recruiter to reach out to you isn’t the only way that you can leverage LinkedIn. There are typically three types of people in your LinkedIn network.

  • People you know very well

  • People you know casually

  • People you can’t quite remember how you know them

If you’re looking for work, take it upon yourself to be the one reaching out. Send a message that says something like this:

“Hey, NAME, it’s been awhile since we last connected. I would love to chat with you and pick your brain on something.”

If they know and remember you, they’ll likely say yes. If they can’t quite remember you, but are just a nice person, they’ll still probably say yes also.

The best people to reach out to (or the lowest hanging fruit at least) will be people in hiring positions, recruiters, human resources workers, or heads of human resources. Someone you might not consider - but should - is someone who is currently in a similar job to the one you have or the one you want. Let me explain -

If a recruiter reaches out to them with a job that would be a good fit for them, there’s a chance that it could be a good fit for you too. If they’re not on the market or not interested in the opportunity, ask them to refer you to the recruiter as someone who could be a fit and would be interested.

This is an easy way to harness the power of LinkedIn for good and build a strong network. You can even offer to do the same for them or others if the opportunity arises!

To Sum It Up

I’ve explained to you a bit about how to identify your professional goals, how to structure your LinkedIn profile, how recruiters find profiles on LinkedIn, and how you can best enable yourself to take the next big step in your career. However, all of the components I’ve written about can’t help you unless you can bring them together to curate your professional story.

Your professional story is the history of your career along with your professional personality that you have cultivated. Other professionals rely on how you sell yourself on your LinkedIn profile to decide if you will be a good fit for what they’re seeking for themselves.

After you’ve finished cleaning up your profile and creating your story, take a step back and look at your profile on desktop and on mobile. See if it looks professional and is telling the story you want it to tell. Ask a colleague, friend, or a professional to tell you what story they see. Keep these notes in mind whenever you update your profile or have a new goal in mind.

Remember, it’s your career. You’re the only one who can reach your goals, and you’re the only one who can tell your story the way you want it told. Take what you’ve read and apply it to your LinkedIn profile. Once you notice the difference it makes for you, pass along the knowledge and help someone else out. You never know who you could connect with and what you may be able to accomplish!

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