Stand Out for Success: Optimizing Your LinkedIn

Optimizing Your LinkedIn - Style Nine to Five

Admit it, writing about yourself is a daunting task. It’s hard to know exactly what to say, especially to an employer who’s using your words to determine if you’re the right fit for their company. If this is how you feel, a blank LinkedIn page is probably your nightmare, but perfecting your profile is a lot easier than it seems.

First, get the basics out of the way, like your profile picture and list of skills. Once that’s done, let’s make some edits – to your actual profile, as well as your approach!

Tailor Your Skills

You should be tailoring your page to the job of your dreams. Each section of your profile should be written with your career goal in the back of your mind. While writing, think about what someone hiring for your dream job would be delighted to read. Scour the Internet for job postings of your ultimate ideal role, even if that role is currently out of reach. Pick out all of the most common qualifications that show up throughout these postings and especially keep an eye out for traits you already possess. Once you have your list, tailor your LinkedIn to highlight the specific skills and accomplishments that would land you the job of your dreams. 

Even your prior jobs that don’t seem like they will set you on the right path are useful. Pick out any responsibilities you had or skills you learned at prior positions that have even slightly helped shape the passion for your ideal work. For instance, say you want to work in digital marketing and it feels completely unrelated to your previous job at a bookstore – it doesn’t have to be! Maybe setting up the displays showed your creative vision and potential for art direction! Each job you have is another step towards your end goal, so look for the reasons why.

Get Creative!

Don’t shy away from getting creative with your page, either. Yes, this is a platform where you should be as professional as possible, but that doesn’t mean that even hiring managers don’t get bored of the lists of skills they see in every resume that passes over their desk. LinkedIn is the perfect place to get innovative, to truly tell your story and ensure that employers see your authentic self.

Perfecting Your Summary

The summary section is where you have the most creative freedom, so harness your storytelling abilities and use it well! Try to think about what in your life would catch a reader’s attention: What’s a time when you’ve overcome obstacles on your career path? What’s an accomplishment that you’re particularly proud of? Where did the passion for this career path come from to begin with? You don’t have to tell the full story, just enough to make employers care – most importantly, enough for them to understand how much you care.

Any time you write anything, the first sentence is one of the most important parts – you need to make sure that you hook your reader from the opening line to ensure they’re glued to every word that follows. Plan out what you’d like your summary section to say and use one of the most enticing parts to introduce yourself – a statement that would set you apart from other LinkedIn users.

Here’s an example of what an optimized LinkedIn summary for a Digital Marketer might look like:

Marketing is what I do best – let me prove it by marketing myself.

Marketing is more than a career for me – it’s a love of mine, fostered by years of Photoshop experimentation and spur of the moment Tweets. My passion for digital marketing began around the time I’d first hit 5000 followers on my art Instagram. Five years later and I just recently scored a client 300 Instagram followers in a month alone.

During this time, when I wasn’t producing creative content for Netflix’s social media accounts or optimizing my own blog with the help of keyword research, I was balancing my Honours Marketing degree with a plethora of graphic design freelance gigs. All of this has brought me to where I am today: making you fall in love with brands through clever social media posts littered with SEO and paid marketing campaigns featuring my original artwork.

Writing your LinkedIn profile is intimidating at first, but it can be fun if you let it. Think about it: your resume is meant to be concise and focused on skills, your cover letter is meant to be tailored to the company you’re applying to, but your LinkedIn profile is the one thing recruiters see where you can be uniquely yourself. Make sure it’s your best self that shines through!

Still unsure about your LinkedIn presence? Book a LinkedIn Profile Refresh with Style Nine to Five’s Founder, Christie Lohr, to see what further improvements can be made!

Emily Morrison is a freelance writer and media professional with passions for film and storytelling.

Feature Image: Adobe Stock