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15 Steps to Optimize LinkedIn Profile

Proven Ways to Raise Chances of Standing Out among Other Job Applicants

Written by HRCap, Inc.

May 11, 2023

90% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn in search of potential candidates. As a result, 122 million people received an interview via LinkedIn, and at least 35.5 million were hired through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has changed the way that job seekers around the world can find a job. However, many need to take the proper steps to strengthen their LinkedIn Profile. A strong LinkedIn profile can be especially beneficial for professionals actively searching and applying for jobs. By optimizing their LinkedIn profile, users can reap the following benefits.

Benefits of Optimizing LinkedIn Profile

  1. Elevating Employability

  2. Increasing Networking Capabilities

  3. Expanding Learning

  4. Building Personal Brand

  5. Establishing Credibility

15 Steps to Optimize LinkedIn Profile

Though optimizing LinkedIn profile may sound daunting, we have broken it down into 15 simple steps to make it easy for anyone to strengthen their LinkedIn profile to boost their chances of elevating their employability and future job prospects.

1. URL: Customize Link

Instead of using the default LinkedIn URL, users should customize it to make it look cleaner and more professional. This can be especially important for people who have a common name. The following variations are possible customizations to apply to the LinkedIn URL:

  1. Full Name [john-smith]

  2. Full Name + Title [john-smith-digital-content-manager]

  3. Full Name + Company [john-smith-hrcap]

  4. Full Name + Industry/Expertise [john-smith-marketing]

  5. Brand Name [everyday-marketer]

2. Photo: Use a Professional Picture & Appropriate Banner

Choosing a professional headshot for the LinkedIn profile photo is essential for a good first impression. Additionally, LinkedIn users should consider using an appropriate banner image that complements their personal brand.

3. Headline: Construct a Captivating Headline

A captivating headline should describe what the professional does and what value they can bring to the table, rather than just the current job title position. For example, instead of stating "Marketing Manager," consider including "Marketing Expert Driving Growth & Revenue."

4. Location

Professionals should list their current location to improve the chances of LinkedIn recruiters reaching out. This will assist recruiters and hiring managers that are searching for potential candidates in a particular location. Instead of listing the specific town or city, job seekers can increase their chances of marketability by listing the closest metro city location. We advise not to list just the state or country as that may cause recruiters or hiring managers to question the profile's credibility.

5. About Summary: Tell a Unique Story and Build a Personal Brand

The About summary should showcase the LinkedIn user's personality, skills, and experience that tells a story about their career journey. Instead of writing everything that would go on a resume, users should highlight their skills and value proposition that include relevant keywords.

6. Activity: Demonstrate Thought Leadership and Unique Insights

To show their subject expertise in their field, professionals should share their unique insights on industry trends and current events and engage with other professionals in their network by commenting and sharing relevant content.

For example, a LinkedIn user might share an article about the latest marketing trends and add their own commentary on how these trends will impact the industry. This can help them build their personal brand and establish themselves as knowledgeable experts in their field.

7. Experience: Provide Details and Accurate Career History

Professionals should ensure that their work experience is updated and highlight their achievements and responsibilities in each role to give potential employers or recruiters a clear understanding of their capabilities. The experience section should also accurately reflect the resume because hiring managers, who have received submitted resumes, may look for additional information or verify through LinkedIn. Additionally, professionals should include metrics or results that demonstrate the impact they have had in each work experience.

For example, instead of "Responsible for growth," provide metrics by elaborating as "Increased revenue by 15% in Q3 2022" or "Increased website traffic by 30% through email marketing."

8. Experience: Tailor with strategic keywords and skills

Within the experience section, professionals should tailor their work experience with strategic keywords and relevant skills to their industry. This will increase the chances of their profile appearing for recruiters looking for candidates with specific skills or experience.

9. Experience: Share Related Media

Additionally, LinkedIn users can attach multimedia content to their specific work experience to showcase what they have created, whether it is an image, video, website, or presentation. This will help recruiters and hiring managers gauge their skill level and expertise.

10. Showcase Education, Licenses, and Certifications

Including relevant education, licenses, or certifications that demonstrate their qualifications for a particular role or industry can help LinkedIn users stand out from other candidates. It will also demonstrate their commitment to ongoing learning and professional development.

11. Skills: Highlight Skills with Endorsements and Recommendations

Highlighting relevant skills and getting endorsements and recommendations from coworkers, clients, or mentors can help professionals demonstrate their skillset. This can also help build credibility and trust with potential employers or recruiters. Having relevant skills endorsed also raises the chances of their profiles appearing first when recruiters conduct targeted keyword searches for those specific skills.

12. Connections: Widen your network and Engage with Others

LinkedIn users should continue actively seeking to connect with professionals in their field and others who share similar interests because it increases future job prospects. Having a smaller network also limits people outside of their network from being able to view the individual's profile. Limited connections also indicate to recruiters or hiring managers that the user is inactive, reducing the likelihood of them reaching out about potential opportunities. Therefore, we recommend professionals grow their network to at least 500 connections.

To actively add connections, LinkedIn users should write a personalized message to raise their chances of the person accepting. It is also important to note that following and connecting are different: following an account will notify the user of any new content or activity of the followed person, whereas connecting with a user will be added to their network if they accept the connection request.

13. Engage with Companies, Groups, and Subject Leaders

Professionals should join and follow the vast network of interest groups to learn and network with other professionals within the same field or industry. LinkedIn users can also follow companies and industry leaders to stay updated on trends in their field and find resources to upskill and reskill. Following companies and subject leaders on LinkedIn can also increase visibility to potential employers, as they may monitor who is following them.

14. Adjust Profile Settings

LinkedIn users can adjust their profile settings to increase their visibility to potential employers, recruiters, or everyone by turning on "Open to Work." However, we suggest turning on "Open to Work" so that it is only visible for recruiters and does not show up for their current employer or coworkers. There is also an option to have an "Open to Work" frame that goes around the profile picture, but we generally advise against this because it will be visible to everyone.

15. Update Profile Regularly

LinkedIn users should always regularly check and update their profiles and continuously apply all the previously mentioned 1-14 steps to maintain an active, winning profile.


Optimizing LinkedIn profiles may open up future growth opportunities through job transitions and professional networking. Therefore, professionals should take greater ownership and accountability to proactively optimize their LinkedIn to raise their chances and widen their reach.

As a global HR consulting firm, we also proactively coach and work with HRCap STAR Candidates with their LinkedIn profile optimization. In the spirit of giving back and fulfilling our ongoing corporate social responsibility, our expert recruiters and career coaches will be giving away free consultations to our newest LinkedIn followers to celebrate our upcoming company anniversary.

Follow us on LinkedIn and be on the lookout for our post on the LinkedIn consultation giveaway.

Source: HRCap, Resume Writer


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