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I get requests for me to review LinkedIn profiles all the time. If you’re looking to make a career move, optimizing your LinkedIn profile is a must. 

Yet people underestimate how powerful LinkedIn can be for job seekers. The platform has over 575 million users, and over 104 million of them are daily users. There are over one billion Facebook users, so it’s safe to say that LinkedIn could be seen as the underdog.  Even so, I’ve personally received multiple job offers from using the LinkedIn network and now I’m a LinkedIn influencer in my own right.

LinkedIn is a powerful platform if you use it the right way.

Take a good look.

Start by looking at your profile both on a cellular device and a desktop without making any changes to your profile.

  • Do NOT scroll down.
  • Look at the top portion of your profile, what do you see? 
  • How does it make you feel? 
  • Would you be proud of your profile if a recruiter were looking at your profile right now?

If the answer to any of these questions has a negative vibe, it’s time to make major changes to your profile. 

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The basics.

Profile photo. The first thing people notice when they visit your profile is your profile photo. You do not have to pay for a professional headshot. You can take a high-quality DIY photo on your iPhone with portrait mode if you’re on a budget. Ask a friend to take you out in front of a nice cityscape or some greenery, take 5 or 6 photos with your smiling face and select the best one. For more information on getting a great headshot, read this article

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Headline. The headline defaults to “Job Title + Company.”
Example “Project Manager at Microsoft”.
Your headline limits you to 120 characters and is the best keyword magnet in your profile, so use it wisely.

Your profile photo and headline are the only components that people see in the search results:

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Banner Photo. On both the desktop and mobile versions of your profile, you can clearly see the large photo across the top of your profile. The banner photo is the biggest piece of real estate. I see many people fail to use this piece of their profile effectively.
I recommend going to www.canva.com searching for “LinkedIn Banner Photo” and using one of their many free templates to create a beautiful photo, including relevant text to headline your profile.

About. The about section of your provides the largest amount of text characters in your profile, allowing 2,000 characters.
This section is a great place to outline the value and skills you bring along with the ability to outline your goals. 

URL. Your LinkedIn URL can be customized to look nice when you share it in places –  like your resume! By default, the URL your full name with a serial number at the end that looks like this: linkedin.com/in/jaime-chapman-21s54df42
(I made that URL up, it’s not my real profile. THIS is my real profile: www.linkedin.com/in/chapmanjaime and yes, feel free to add me, mention that you read my LinkedIn article for brownie points!)
To customize your URL, click the top right of your profile “Edit public profile and URL” and then modify it as you wish.

Experience and Education. This section gives a sneak peek of your work experience, skills, and education. I always recommend adding the companies you’ve worked for so the logo shows on your profile rather than a grey box. Also, add details in this section, you can add text under both the jobs and education you’ve held, which allows you to hit more keywords. 
For jobseekers, keywords are life.

Recommendations. A few recommendations on your profile can go a long way. This section is located almost at the bottom of your profile, so if someone is looking this deeply into your experience, they’re interested in you. People don’t just write recommendations for you, you must ask for them. 

The secret.

LinkedIn is all about engagement. Remember those 104 million daily users? Tap into them. To get found on LinkedIn, you need to get active on the platform. It’s all about building relationships with people! 

Add connections with people you already know with a goal of reaching 500 (trust me, you already know 500 people). Follow a few influencers from within your industry and some of your favorite celebrity influencers. Follow companies of interest, movers and shakers in your region, people with recruiting and HR titles or your desired job title. 

Now that your account is set up and you’ve got a solid foundation of connections. Get active! Start liking, sharing and commenting on posts. Create your own posts and content. Most importantly, use the instant messaging feature to reach directly out to your network and start building those relationships. 

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