LinkedIn is utilized for job searching, creating and keeping in touch with your connections, which is why if you’re utilizing LinkedIn for your job search – you want your profile to stand out. So we’ve compiled a list of tips that can help you.

Use A Professional Profile Photo

What does it mean to have a professional photo? There are a few aspects that you should focus on. For example, your photo should be a picture of you smiling, with bright light, and should include your entire face in the image. This photo should be in a more professional setting, and if you are not able to get a “headshot”, consider using a picture from an event, business meeting, wedding, etc. where you are in professional attire.

Choose A Distinctive Headline

Just as people can view your photo and name when they search you, your headline is also one of the first fields displayed. The headline should list keywords related to your job, title, industry, licensing, experience, etc. For example, you can showcase a skill highlight, your role and years of experience, your role and licensing if applicable, or even share that you are a recent graduate with your degree focus. However, sources suggest staying away from using the term “actively seeking positions” (click the link to find out why).

Ensure Your Profile is Public

When you’re looking to build an effective LinkedIn profile, you want to be searchable. How? By making your profile public. This allows other users to view your profile, regardless of your connection status between one another. This will open up your opportunities and allow you to appear in more searches.

Disclose Your Location

Did you know, that “members with a location listed receive up to 19x more profile views, and 28x more likely to receive a message?” says Inc. When performing candidate searches on LinkedIn, most hiring managers and recruiters search by location. Sharing where you’re located builds trust, allows you a chance to connect, and increases your availability for positions. If your location is irrelevant to where you are open to applying for jobs, specify that you’re willing to relocate.

Consider Adding a Cover Photo

This is not a necessity, but if done right, having a cover photo can impact your first impression. Consider images that are related to your hobbies, city, city preference, any photos of you at business meetings, speaking at events, job fairs, etc. If you’re stumped on what to share here – that’s ok! This is not a requirement. But if you have some images you would like to showcase, this is the place to do it. For some cover photo tips – visit Cultivated Culture’s 10+ ideas and samples, here.

Focus on The Summary Section

Your summary is the next most important aspect of your LinkedIn profile – so be sure to take the time to put the effort in. If you’re actively job searching, the summary should include what you are looking for in future positions, and the value you will bring to a new company. You should also include licensing that can be required for specific positions and any hard skills that will help you stand out.

Use Your Target Job Descriptions to Your Advantage

Job descriptions are not just available to express what a company is looking for in a prospective employee. They can also be utilized to build your profile. For example, if open positions online list specific programs, skills, experience, education, etc. – and they relate to your experience and background – be sure to include these terms in your profile and resume, as well. That way when scanning – these keywords are quickly noticed.

Avoid Buzzwords

However, you want to be careful with buzzwords such as go-getter, driven, innovative, organized, thinking outside of the box, team player, hard worker, passionate, motivated – you get the idea. These words distract a hiring manager, recruiter, or connection from grasping your expertise. Instead, focus on sharing results, what you’ve achieved, and what makes you these characteristics – without just listing them. If you are a team player – share how you are a team player using statistics or examples and showcase your achievements and skills that way. Utilizing numbers quantify your accomplishments and allow you to easily share your experience and expertise.

Share Your Experience/Achievements in the First Person Point of View

Your LinkedIn profile can be referenced in the first person. For example, in the summary, you can say, “I have 7+ years of experience in x, y, z”, instead of saying “Susan Smith has 7+ years of experience in x, y, z”. You want the person viewing your profile to feel that they are getting to know you. Not just reading Susan Smith’s experience and information.

Add An “Additional Experience” Section

The additional experience section should include any volunteer work that you have done, what languages you speak (if you speak multiple languages), any licensing that you have, any projects you have completed, or portfolios that you’d like to include. This will give the hiring manager or recruiter a chance to better understand your expertise and get to know you on a more personal level as well.