Many of my clients start a LinkedIn profile and ask me what to do next. My response depends on the reason for having a LinkedIn profile. For many professionals, after creating a profile the next step is to optimize it to build a network and open learning opportunities.
How is a profile optimized?
Start with the basics which are understanding LinkedIn profile parameters. LinkedIn limits characters for each section of a profile. The count includes letters, numbers, spaces, and punctuation. Here are a few of the profile character limitations:
Headline (title) – 120 characters
Summary – 2,000 characters
Recommendations – 3,000 characters
Vanity URL – 30 characters
Enhance The Summary
A profile summary is an opportunity to show work skills and some personality. Consider the audience (readers) and your professional goals. The first 250 characters of the summary section are important because that text is reviewed by recruiters and other professionals.
Summary content can include professional contributions, affiliations, and other information to convey your value. If hobbies contribute to your professional story—maybe you traveled the world and are fluent in five languages—then include it. The summary tone and words have an impact on readers.
Complete Profile Content
Similar to an applicant tracking software (ATS), LinkedIn engines use keywords and phrases to make virtual connections. Add content to the profile sections to create a complete profile.
You can view your profile keywords by going to your profile page and on that page select “Search Appearances” to understand the number of times your profile appears in a search result. You can also learn where your searchers work and what your searchers do. You can also view the keywords searchers used to find your profile. It’s another way to verify that your profile content is supporting your career goals.
If you want to attract recruiters to your profile, then the content should be strategically written to adhere to recruiter needs and the LinkedIn algorithm engines. Recruiters tend to like hard skills and keywords throughout the profile—within the headline, job titles, summary, and work experience sections.
Work experience, education, and other LinkedIn profile sections should provide complete and updated information.
When networking with peers or considering industries, join and participate in LinkedIn groups. Share professional articles, photos, and videos to generate visibility and networking opportunities.
There are many reasons to join LinkedIn, and while LinkedIn offers many opportunities, it is not vital to career success or progression. Like all social media outlets, LinkedIn is a platform that can help boost your online persona. You will get out of LinkedIn what you put in, and like any endeavor, it takes effort and time to generate results. Of course, if you need LinkedIn profile writing help you can contact me.