5 LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers

If you are out of work, then you are among millions of people that have an updated paper resume in hand to mass mail to those companies seeking new employees.

LinkedIn Tips for Job Search

What’s interesting is that many of the unemployed don’t realize that 90% of the jobs out there are found through networking both offline and online. Social media networking websites, such as LinkedIn, act as a networking tool to build relationships with those hiring. So, that begs the question – what does your LinkedIn profile say about you?

A while ago, I had written a blog post on the 7 LinkedIn Profile Tips to Make You Stand Out. Although that article was written specifically for business professionals and entrepreneurs, the article highlights a number of tips that can be used for the employed and unemployed. To further assist those seeking either full-time or part-time jobs with their local businesses, let’s further drill down into those tips together to help you get that job you want by highlighting the 5 most important LinkedIn tips for job seekers.

1. Use your real name & picture. Don’t try to inflate the name field with a bunch of degrees you may have earned or some keywords that you feel will help you get noticed. The name on your hardcopy resume should be your name on your LinkedIn profile. This not only helps a potential employer find you online (because they do search your name when deciding to hire you) but also gives consistency between your person, resume and job application.

2. Optimize your headline. Don’t let the last job you had be what displays in your headline. Think about the job you really want and what keywords an employer would use to find that perfect employee. Make the headline catchy but use keywords that will make you stand out from the crowd. For example, my headline’s first word is “Philosopher” although I am a search and social media consultant. Why? I have a degree in Philosophy with a concentration in logic. This shows that I am analytical and detail oriented while at the same time grabs a person’s attention. Be creative but be truthful.

3. Highlight your previous experience. Even if you feel it may be trivial, include all your past employers and experience. If a past job seems irrelevant, give it a twist. For example, say you spent 2 summers as a McDonald’s cashier while in college – highlight the customer service experience or time management skills. If you walked dogs for a year as a teenager and got paid to do so – chalk that up to entrepreneurial and leadership skills for running your own successful business. Even if you volunteered, highlight the team building skills gained. Each previous experience illustrates who you are, your story and gives an employer further insight into the quality of previous experience.

4. Make your profile more social with applications. If you have a blog, are going on a trip or even read books, then add one of the many LinkedIn applications to your profile. Employers want to know the quality of character their potential employees bring to the table. Show that you are attending business events and employers know you are serious about your field. List a new team building book you are reading and the company knows that you have great potential as a team player and possible leader. Fascinate them!

5. Show you’re serious about your field with keywords. LinkedIn not only has a built in search engine for people to find you but is easily indexed by the most popular online search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo! Using keywords throughout your profile is crucial to bring potential employers to you. Don’t know what keywords to use? Easy! Just look at the job descriptions you have been applying to online and the keywords used in other successful people in your field. What words pop up most? What titles are you seeing for your dream job? (Which you qualify, of course.) Use those keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile to help potential employers find you!

There is so much you can do with your LinkedIn profile as a business professional or a job seeker. Just because you are out of work doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t optimize your LinkedIn profile. Actually, this is the best time to optimize that profile to make it stand out.

90% of jobs are found through networking. LinkedIn is the social media tool that you really must use. (click to tweet)

It doesn’t matter which field you are in or even if you are going to touch a computer at your dream job – what matters is that someone at that company does use a computer and it is your responsibility to make sure they find the right information about you online.

If you feel you want to take the next step and hire a consultant to help you beyond these 5 steps, please feel free to contact me to discuss Professional LinkedIn Profile Optimization Services.

Do you feel comfortable using LinkedIn to find a job? Have you found a job or even your dream job after optimizing your LinkedIn profile? I’d love to hear from you!


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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Raquel M. Franzen

    Hello Shannon,

    I am also a Milwaukee resident and have been struggling to find a permanent position for the past 2.5 years. I do not use LinkedIN to its fullest. I have worked several temporary positions these past 2.5 years in the financial area. It has been such an uphill battle to find a permanent position. I definitely do not feel at all comfortable using LinkedIn to find a job. In fact, I do not really know how to utilize it to its fullest. Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I am definitely lacking in the social media area and just wanted to let you know that your article was useful to me.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Raquel – Finding a full-time position is difficult at this time but not impossible. Definitely use LinkedIn to its full potential and check out its event section. There are a great number of networking events listed on LinkIn for the Milwaukee area that will help get you connected with the right people.

      Good luck!

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  • Mitsue

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any ways to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Stolen content is a huge problem online but there are a few things you can do to monitor it.

      First, set up a Google Alerts for any specific trademarks, business name or keywords that you own. This will help notify you of any content that exists out in the world wide web.

      Second, put copyright notices on your content and watermarks on your pictures. This doesn’t stop people from stealing but it helps a bit.

      Third, follow through with any content that you see stolen. Notify the owner of the website and, if they ignore you, notify the web host. Sometimes just a simple request can make the largest impact.

  • Zeeshan

    Though LinkedIn has been around for quite sometime now, the reach and the effect of it has been neglected by many of us. With easy to use features and tabs, setting up a LinkedIn profile is an easy task. But how many of us do that? This simply means we are losing out on many golden opportunities. So waste no time and setup a professionally built LinkedIn profile now.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Well said!

  • Glenn

    Interesting insights. Have tried optimising my profile and I can see the results.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Glenn – An optimized profile on any social media network is crucial these days as each social media network has it’s own algorithms for search. Today, there is more and more evidence that the social media networks are feeding the global search engines (such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!) and that an optimized profile on any social media network is proactive in being found and becoming an authority figure in your niche.

      • Digital Project Manager

        Thanks for this info

        • Shannon Steffen

          You are most welcome!

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  • Zachary @zacharykreid

    Great tips Shannon. What a find you were via Twitter 🙂 So I know this is an older article, but it has some good info. On my LinkedIn profile I highlight my International Business experience, but probably need to mention my blog more. If I was an employer I would be interested to see it. Will take a look at apps / plug-ins as I currently don’t use any. Thanks for the great info, take care!

    • Shannon Steffen

      Happy to help, Zachary! If you have any additional tips, please let me know.