5 Tips for a Compelling LinkedIn Profile

linkedin Jun 01, 2023

           You’ve no doubt heard it time and time again - the best tool for a successful career transition is networking. According to a LinkedIn survey, 85% of job seekers are finding their next career position through networking. That makes sites like LinkedIn invaluable in your job search, meaning having a compelling professional profile is critical. 

            At ESEL, we have compiled what we think are the five essential tips for creating a compelling LinkedIn profile.

  1. Be Consistent With Your Identity

It may seem a no-brainer, but hiring agents must know your name. Your name is part of your brand, so make it clear to everyone who you are. Be consistent with your name across all your job search tools - LinkedIn profile name, the name on your resume, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL. All of these tools should reflect the same name.

If your name is William Smith, but everyone knows you as Bill, your LinkedIn profile, resume, email, and LinkedIn URL should reflect Bill Smith.

In job search mode, we encourage our clients to have a separate email for job search correspondence. Keep it. A good rule of thumb for your email address is [email protected]. Having a separate email you use only for your job search lowers the possibility of missing an email or losing an email about a job inquiry. A new email address is less likely to be jammed with promotional emails and junk.

  1. Use LinkedIn to Tell Your Story

            Do not think of LinkedIn as an online resume. Instead, think of it as your autobiography. Take this opportunity to tell hiring managers who you are. Your resume is an answer to a question – that question is the job posting. On a resume, you are telling the hiring agents you are qualified for the job they posted.

            On your LinkedIn profile, you are telling the hiring agents who you are. Your profile is an opportunity to give them a view into your thoughts about current and past jobs, show your interests through groups and organizations you follow and join, and utilize your headline and summary to introduce yourself to the hiring agents and people in your network.

            Unlike your resume, in which you never use “I” statements and only use bulleted accomplishment statements, your LinkedIn profile should read like a story – a story written by you about you. Use “I” and write complete sentences. You can write about your job experience and discuss your responsibilities and what you enjoyed about those positions.

  1. Have Both a Profile Picture and a Banner Picture

            You must have a LinkedIn profile picture. The picture should be a head and shoulders close-up of your face. Use a plain background and have no objects behind you in the image. Dress professionally for the industry or career you are pursuing. SMILE! Yes, even the Marines must smile.

            LinkedIn offers the opportunity to express yourself with a banner photo. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to express yourself, your ideas, your values, and even your location or desired location by utilizing this space. You can also use this space to connect yourself with your career. For instance, if you are a pilot, maybe use an image of a plane. If you want to live in Texas, use an iconic image of something relating to Texas. Be creative and express yourself.

  1. Utilize the Skills List

            You may not realize it, but the skills list on LinkedIn can help identify jobs you are most qualified for. LinkedIn allows you to list 50 of your top skills. Utilize the entire 50. Research the industry and careers you are interested in and learn the top skills that successful people in those fields have. Look at job postings and compare the skills listed to what you share on your skills list. Adjust as needed.

            The second step to a valuable skills list is to have others endorse your skills. The best way to get someone to endorse your skills is to endorse theirs. Typically you should endorse two to three skills on someone’s list. Only endorse a skill that you are confident they possess. In return, etiquette suggests they endorse two to three of your skills.

  1. Build Your Network

            The biggest advantage and foremost reason to have a LinkedIn profile is networking. Connect with people you have known in your past. Connect with retired military service members. Talk to them about their transition. Connect with people who work in the industry or company you are interested in. Connect with groups and people who can help you through the transition.

            You can utilize LinkedIn to find jobs specific to companies and even locations. When you find a company that interests you, look at the people connected to that company. Request connections with hiring agents to set up informational interviews.

            These five tips will get you started in building a compelling LinkedIn Profile.