A recruiters guide to LinkedIn profile optimisation

23 January 2021|In Blog|By Sean Anderson

When did you last update your LinkedIn profile page?

Chances are it’s been a while. But the fact is, your profile is like the shop window of your personal brand and your recruitment business. It affects how many connections requests you get, the number of engagements your posts receive, and the number of people getting in touch with you.

Optimising your LinkedIn profile so it accurately reflects who you are and what you do is therefore crucial.

Here’s how to do it right.

Make a great first impression

As soon as people land on your LinkedIn profile, they’re going to make snap judgements. They’ll be asking themselves: ‘Is this person credible and can they help me achieve my goals?’

Three key elements will influence their answer to that question:

  • Your profile picture
  • Your banner image
  • Your headline

Choosing an awesome LinkedIn profile picture

Your LinkedIn profile picture is the very first thing people will look at. It needs to represent you as trustworthy, approachable, and personable.

Here are some tips for putting your best face forward:

  • Smile! People are more likely to connect with you if you look friendly and approachable.
  • Ensure the photo is of a high enough quality. If you can get a professional snap, great. If not, portrait mode on your iPhone can produce decent results
  • Keep the background clear. White backgrounds are the standard, but if you can find a colourful background, even better.
  • Keep it recent. We all looked better 10 years ago, but your profile picture needs to be up to date to reflect who you are now.

Check out these example of great LinkedIn profile pictures for inspiration:

(Optimised LinkedIn profile picture dimensions: 400×400 pixels)

Picking the perfect banner image

People often overlook the banner image on their profile, but it’s a key opportunity to build trust with whoever’s visiting.

According to LinkedIn, the most successful banner images feature the profile’s owner looking authoritative. Photos of you presenting to a large crowd or meeting someone influential in your field are ideal for your banner image.

If you don’t have pictures of this, your company logo and strapline is a great alternative.

Here are some examples of effective banner images:

(Optimised LinkedIn banner image dimensions: 1584 x 396 pixels)

Nailing your LinkedIn headline

Your LinkedIn headline appears under your profile picture. If you leave it unedited, LinkedIn will automatically put your latest job title here – but that’s a massive missed opportunity!

You’re much more than your job title and a title alone won’t help visitors answer the question of whether you can help them.

I recommend viewing your headline as a mission statement for your personal brand. You need to concisely sum up what you do, who you do it for, and how you do it.

Take my own LinkedIn headline as an example:

I say what I do (help people build brands that attract business online), who I do it for (recruitment agency owners), and how I do it (inbound marketing, personal brand coaching, and the RAG podcast) – all in just 22 words.

The trick is to not make it hard for people to find out what you do – that should all be covered off in your headline.

With an approachable profile picture, an authoritative banner image, and a clear mission statement as your headline, you can rest assured your LinkedIn profile makes a great first impression.

Write a LinkedIn bio tailored to your audience

Your ‘About me’ section should be an extension of the headline you’ve already written.

Don’t fall into the trap of writing about your life story, your values, or your vision. Nobody’s coming to your profile to hear how proud you are of your achievements – they want to know what you can do for them.

As such, keep your bio tailored to your target audience.

A great way of starting your bio is asking three questions to which your audience will answer yes. Think about your audience’s ambitions and pain points and construct the questions around them.

For instance, if your goal was to attract candidates into biotechnology firms, you could write:

‘Are you analytical, dedicated, and passionate about medical science?

Do you dream of working with some of the top research institutes in the country?

Do you feel stuck in your current role and are ready to take the next step in your career?’

The key is to get a cascade of yeses from the reader. This will encourage them to read on and discover how you can help them reach their goals, whatever they may be.

The rest of your bio should feature facts and stats that build your credibility, a layout of your processes, and finally a call to action (CTA). CTAs in LinkedIn bios tend to be contact details, so direct people to DM you, give you a call, or however else you’d like to be contacted.

Showcase your best content

You know by now the importance of sharing content on LinkedIn. But there’s a catch – your brilliant posts don’t hang around in the LinkedIn feed forever.

That’s where the featured content section of your profile comes to the rescue.

It’s the place to show off all your best content so people can see it regardless of whether they view your profile today, tomorrow, or next year. It allows your audience to get a more well-rounded opinion of who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.

Bear in mind, the featured content section will only let you select featured posts from the last two weeks or so. It’s therefore worth regularly checking-in to ensure you’re able to pin your best posts.

Stick the landing with well-written company info

Most people fill in the company information section of their LinkedIn profile like a CV. This is fine but not ideal.

Why? Because – again – it shouldn’t all just be about you.

Use this section to reiterate how your skills and expertise can help your audience reach their goals.

Here are some useful tips for smashing your company info section:

  • Use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. You need to talk about your business as a collective rather than a one-man-band.
  • Position your company as the guide in your audience’s story, not the hero.
  • Layout your deliverables so people know what to expect when they work with you.
  • Include a CTA to let people know how to contact you.

And there you have it. If you’ve followed all the advice set out in this guide, you should now have a LinkedIn profile to be proud of.

Of course, there’s more to personal branding and LinkedIn marketing than just your profile page. For more valuable insights on using LinkedIn to build your brand and win more business, join the Hoxo Academy today.