If you are in the job market, do not underestimate the value of an optimized LinkedIn profile. It’s your professional landing page, and it ranks alongside your resume in career search importance. According to Jane Deehan, Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, “The LinkedIn profile page is the foundation for your personal branding.” With more than 700 million users, LinkedIn is a powerhouse for recruiters, industry players, and hiring managers. Let’s review how to write a sharp LinkedIn profile.


1. Select a Professional Profile Picture

First impressions are important. Invest in a professional photo of yourself for your LinkedIn profile, or take advantage of technology and use your camera phone to capture a current, polished appearance. Dress professionally, smile, and avoid background clutter.


2. Increase Your Visibility with the Right Headline and Summary

Strengthen your headline or tagline to target the job title you are seeking. This is also a place to use keywords that are relevant to your field. Well-chosen keywords help with your visibility and search rankings. For your summary, tell your authentic story. Describe your professional passions and include your areas of expertise and competencies.


3. Expand Your Network

One way to grow your LinkedIn network is to synch your profile with your email contacts. This act enables LinkedIn to suggest connections. After meeting with industry contacts or hiring managers, expand your network by following up with a LinkedIn connection request. Keep your network up to date and be on the lookout for ways to expand your professional connections.


4. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile’s Experience Section

Elaborate on your current and past responsibilities and duties. Avoid using generic work descriptions and instead highlight your core accomplishments and quantifiable achievements. Use the C-A-R method to describe challenges you faced, corrective actions you implemented, and the problem-solving results of your actions.


5. Seek Endorsements

Endorsements from LinkedIn members further cement your skills and enhance your credibility. Review your network, and reach out to connections with a polite message requesting an endorsement. Don’t forget to return the favor and endorse the skills of those members who replied.


6. Stay Active

Maintain an active role in your network. Increase your visibility by liking, sharing, and commenting on relevant posts. Add comments to show how the content aligns with your values and experiences. Your comment may draw additional comments and elevate your LinkedIn profile across your network.


7. Follow Key Industry Players

Following the right influencers will help you spot the more interesting and relevant content to share. It also demonstrates your dedication to your industry and elevates your profile.


8. Take a Skills Assessment

Take the LinkedIn skills test and strengthen your personal brand. Post a Verified Skills badge on your profile. You can retake assessments as often as you like and are not obligated to display your test results. Data shows that candidates with verified skills are more likely to be hired for coveted positions.


9. Share Content

Share content that adds value, including case studies, blogs, white papers, and other brand content. Demonstrate your business interests and commitment.


10. Identify Your Certifications and Professional Development

In addition to your formal education, list all certifications and professional development training you have acquired that are relevant to your job search.


Statistics show that a significant percentage of companies, hiring managers, and recruiters rely on LinkedIn to identify promising candidates for open positions. Set yourself up for success with an optimized LinkedIn profile that sets you apart from the competition. To learn more, see our comprehensive LinkedIn Optimization Guide.