I spent more than 9 years in recruitment and I’m pretty sure I have seen thousands of resumes/CVs/LinkedIn profiles during my career 🙂 Even though I’m no longer hiring, as a Software Engineer, I still have opportunities to do reviews (e.g. as part of my initiative where I’m helping #WomenInTech – check my Twitter and Instagram for more details).
Below are my tips for getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile (based on my profile).
1. Background photo
What kind of picture you can put there? I’ve seen people adding the logo of companies they’re part of, photos where they’re together with their teams, companies’ motto/slogan. It can be also something more personal like the city they live in or favorite tech stack 😉
If you have many social media accounts use it to showcase them. The same goes for having your blog or YouTube channel – this is extra space that is visible and can help you stand out!
As you can see, I have information about my blog set as a background photo. There’s a high chance every person visiting my profile will notice it and decides to check the website (Pro tip: use this approach on every social media that enables setting background photo, this will help you build/promote your personal brand).
2. Profile photo
You can find many statistics online showing that users who have profile photos are getting more views and the ratio of their LinkedIn invites being accepted is higher (I’m always a little bit hesitant to accept invites from people who don’t have profile photo as it might be some fake account). It also helps you look professional and increases the credibility of your profile.
You don’t need a professional photographer. Find a good background, light, put the smile on and that’s it. I took most of my profile photos myself using my mobile. The current one is also taken by me:
3. Your full name + customizing your public profile URL
This one is important, especially if you have special characters in your name/surname. My full name is Elżbieta Mościcka, but as I am working with people from all around the world, I knew that this might be difficult to remember or pronounce for some of them. Therefore, I decided to go with a short version of my first name: Ela Mościcka. Small, but really powerful change, I highly recommend you doing the same 🙂
When it comes to customizing your LinkedIn profile URL all details can be found here, but the most important part to remember is:
it is a “must-have” if you have special characters in your name. My auto-generated URL based on my name (Ela Mościcka) was something like this:
All because of “ś” in my surname. The problem with this is not only lack of readability, but something much worse: imagine* situation where you add this kind of a link to your CV when applying for a job, and a person who clicks it will see the “profile not found” page!
(*not “imagine”, this happened to some of my candidates as I was always clicking through all links in their resume making sure that when CV will be sent to Hiring Managers, all will be fine – I was always double-checking and letting them know if something wasn’t working as expected).
Now it’s https://www.linkedin.com/in/elamoscicka/ (all I did was changing “ś” to “s”).
Don’t leave this space empty: it’s the first thing people see BEFORE they decide to click on your profile for more details.
Use this space as an opportunity to showcase the most important things for you / the ones you’re most proud of.
If you’re e.g., an Engineer who also does some community activities (being a speaker, mentor, having own blog, podcast, etc.) don’t be afraid to mention it in the Headline as well.
Add it if you want your profile to be found by others (Pro tip: Recruiters are often searching by locations when looking for candidates).
6. “Open to” section
This one is powerful when you’re looking for new opportunities. Why? When Recruiters/Sourcers will be using “LinkedIn Recruiter” license and looking for candidates, they have the option to start from those that have “open to” on their profiles. This means your profile will be viewed before candidates who don’t have that option enabled.
You can specify what kind of work you’re open to by selecting “Job titles”, “Job locations”, mark if you’re open to remote work, what is your start date and type of jobs you’d consider (full-time, contract, part-time, internship, temporary).
Choose who can see you’re open to work – all LinkedIn members or only Recruiters:
Many people are doing a mistake and just copy/pasting things from their Experience section. Don’t do this.
Highlight some of your achievements or areas you’re most passionate about. When looking for a job write here what you’re interested in / what you’d be open to (both in terms of tech stack and roles/products, etc.). This will help you attract the right people to your network 🙂
Have posts/information you want others to find easily? Make sure to add them to this section. You can then reorder them however you want.
Keep it updated with Title, Company, Location, Start/End date, and Description. You can also add Media (external documents, photos, sites, videos, or presentations).
Not sure how your Experience section should look like? Feel free to check mine or the people I’ve mentioned here.
While adding this section don’t forget about the exact dates. I’ve seen many profiles without a Start/End date and some Recruiters might be using these criteria when hiring e.g. intern roles.
11. Certifications, Skills & Endorsements, Recommendations, Accomplishments
I believe that every additional activity you’re doing brings extra value, so if you have something to add here, great, do it. It might be volunteering experience at programming workshops, courses you did in your free time, acting as a mentor & more.
Be honest and don’t add the language(s) you don’t know. Don’t say you’re fluent/native speaker when your level is intermediate/communicative. Your skills will be later checked by Recruiters/team members and not saying the truth can easily exclude you from the recruitment process.
13. Create your LinkedIn profile in English language
By keeping your main LinkedIn profile in the English language, you increase your chances of being found by someone from the recruitment team. Check here how you can set it in an additional language: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/1717/create-or-delete-a-profile-in-another-language?lang=en
14. General Advice
ALWAYS keep your profile updated, you never know who might find it interesting and reach out to you 😉
Thanks for reading & have a nice day,