Your LinkedIn Profile: The Complete Guide to Creating an Exceptional Job Seeker Profile (Part I)

February 16, 2023 | By | 2 Replies More

linkedin profile

A job seeker’s LinkedIn profile is critical to their success in making LinkedIn work for them.

Is your LinkedIn profile working for you? Or are you buried in the sea of 800 million other members when a recruiter does a candidate search?


Next up!  The Job Seeker’s Complete Guide to Building an Outstanding LinkedIn Profile, Part II


Even if you’re happily employed at the moment, having a healthy LinkedIn profile is a must. I emphasize “healthy” because creating your LinkedIn profile is not a one-and-done event. Your profile needs to be nurtured to be kept alive! Like anything, if you don’t regularly tweak and update your LinkedIn profile, and your interaction on the platform isn’t consistent, your profile will become lifeless.

Waiting until you’re laid off to engage with your LinkedIn network is a mistake. Aside from the fact that calling to your connections for help after a long absence on the platform looks tacky, recruiters who view your profile will see that you haven’t recently updated your page, and move on to someone else. Your LinkedIn profile represents your career. If it looks stagnant, so do you.


linkedin profile waiting


In this two-part series, we’ll learn how to create an exceptional job seeker LinkedIn profile that not only looks good but also attracts recruiters to you for positions you actually want (or would want).

There are a lot of blocks need to build an effective LinkedIn profile. Today, we’re going to cover some of the first key parts to begin crafting a LinkedIn profile that will work for you:


Purpose of a LinkedIn Profile

What makes an engaging profile?

Your LinkedIn profile photo

The #OPENTOWORK green banner

Your LinkedIn location

Going public

Your LinkedIn name

Customize your LinkedIn profile URL

Your name tagline

Your About section

7 Points and suggestions


The purpose of a LinkedIn profile

linkedin community

Your LinkedIn profile is to help you connect and engage with other people on LinkedIn. Interactions should be give and take.


“A strong and attractive LinkedIn profile is crucial for connecting with people in your network,” says a blog post on Wordvice. “Even more important for job-seekers, an outstanding profile will help you engage with your target audience of hiring professionals, including recruiters, HR staff, and hiring managers, as they scan the field of LinkedIn profiles for qualified candidates. Your profile should thus be interesting and attention-grabbing so that these busy professionals will take the time to read through all the information in your profile.”  [Emphasis added]

Engage with your target audience. Engaging is what your profile and presence should do for you. Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume that you write and file, and then tweak when you need it. Although there are some similarities, your LinkedIn profile should be interactive and engaging. The more engaging your profile is, the higher your chances are of gaining network support and attracting recruiters in your time of need.


What makes an engaging LinkedIn profile?

Many components can make a profile engaging. And each plays a role in helping a recruiter find you. Each element also contributes to your overall potential as a candidate. We’ll break down those elements below.

But first, take a minute to consider the goal of your LinkedIn profile. Ask yourself, what is it I want my profile to achieve? Helping you find a job isn’t sufficient. Nor is a broad goal such as attracting recruiters good enough. Because, do you want to attract ALL recruiters? Of course not. Do you want just ANY job? Of course not!


linkedin profile direction


So be clear about what industry you’d ideally like to work in, what position you’d ideally like to hold (based on your experience and skills), where you’d ideally like to work from (Chicago? Remote?), and also what image you’d ideally like to portray. These ideals should direct you as you craft each element of your LinkedIn profile and manage your online presence.


Key elements of your LinkedIn profile

Unlike other social platforms, LinkedIn is a place where you must put your best face forward. You have a lot of control, so you get to show the world only what you want them to see, without worrying about a cousin tagging you in an embarrassing childhood photo. LinkedIn is a place where you can be and look your best self.

While LinkedIn gives you a lot of control, this means you also need to show a lot of restraint. Think twice about everything you put out there. Starting with your profile photo.


Your LinkedIn Profile Photo

linkedin profile photo

Your LinkedIn profile photo speaks volumes. Make it count!


LinkedIn gives you the option to upload a photo, and you should not waste it. Some people are hesitant about adding their photo for whatever reasons. Try not to be one of them. According to contributor Rhett Power, “LinkedIn users who include a photo receive 21 times more profile views than users without one. Profiles with a photo are 36 times more likely to receive messages.”

Everyone wants to see the face of someone they talk to. But keep your goals in mind as you select your photo. Your LinkedIn profile photo should represent you as a professional. Think of this profile photo as your “job interview face.”

Whether you’re a job seeker or still happily employed, what image do you want to send out? What personality do you want to convey? LinkedIn photos should not be glamor shots, family photos, or pictures of you engaged in some irrelevant activity. They should be face shots of you alone, looking neat, friendly, and ready to network. Profile photos give first impressions, and first impressions count!


“A strong LinkedIn photo makes all the difference,” writes former Forbes contributor Aliza Licht. “In fact, in a recent LinkedIn survey, nearly one-fifth of hiring managers say they have eliminated a candidate from consideration because of inappropriate photos online. And, profiles with photos receive up to 21x more profile views, 9x more connection requests and up to 36x more messages.”


Professional photographer Kyle Cong offers excellent tips on taking a photo for your LinkedIn profile. Check them out!


The #OPENTOWORK green banner

Besides posting an attractive, professional, and friendly looking photo, LinkedIn gives users the option to frame their photos with banners that read #OpenToWork. You can find this option on your own page by following the steps illustrated below. If you are currently employed and wish to maintain confidentiality, you can decide to only allow registered recruiters to see your frame.

how to add the linkedin open to work banner

Follow these steps to add the green #OPENTOWORK banner to your profile photo, and make it seen only to registered recruiters.


“LinkedIn further notes that turning on Open-to-Work, either privately or in public, increases your chances of being messaged by a recruiter by 2x, while members who add the Open-To-Work profile frame are 40% more likely to receive messages from Recruiters,” writes Social Media Examiner content and social media manager Andrew Hutchinson.


Location, location, location!

If you want a better job, you need to be found. That means including your location on your LinkedIn profile. You don’t have to include your street address, but a city and state are necessary.

“Members with a location listed receive up to 19x more profile views, and 28x more likely to receive a message to start a conversation,” writes Forbes contributor Aliza Licht. “Including the city where you are based makes you up to 23x more likely to be found by other members in your geographic area. More than 30% of recruiters rely on location information to find candidates, so the more details you have, the more likely you will be found and connected to your next opportunity.”


linkedin profile location

In order for recruiters to find you, you need to share your location.


Sharing your country is not enough. When recruiters search for candidates, they use a city as a keyword, not a country. If you live in a city with multiple zip codes, include your zip, too. However, the city and zip code you list should be where you want to work, not where you live. If you live in Chicago, Illinois but want to move to Tampa, Florida, then the latter location should be on your LinkedIn profile. Otherwise, you will not come up in a candidate search for Tampa.


Going public

Another important location factor is your visibility setting. You need to have your profile visibility set to “Public.” While this may feel weird at first, remember: What can’t be found won’t be seen. Many recruiters do searches on LinkedIn while not logged in. Even with a location posted, you won’t show up in their candidate search results if your profile is private.

If you want to change your visibility settings, here’s how:

linkedin profile public

Follow these steps to make your LinkedIn profile public, to ensure you are included in a recruiter’s candidate search.


Hello: My name is…

You have a lot of creative freedom with what name you use on your LinkedIn profile. However, I recommend using the same name you would if you were to apply for a job. Nicknames and personal handles are inappropriate. For example, John (“Smitty”) Smith is best saved for Facebook. On your LinkedIn profile, John Smith will do.

I encourage you to use your education designations, if they’re a master, or higher. Or special certifications, if they apply to the direction in your career. If they aren’t, omit them in your name. For example, if you’re a registered nurse but seeking to transition into a different industry, using RN after your name may detract from the brand you’re now trying to create. In that case, you’ll want to reserve that for your education section.

More recently, LinkedIn has given users the option to include gender pronouns, which will show up on your profile after your name. These options include: she/her, he/him, and they/them, or Custom. Also, it’s uncommon for users to include prefixes or suffixes, such as Ms., Mrs., or Jr., and Sr.

If you have a name that can be difficult for some people to pronounce, or if you just want to say “hello,” you can now record your voice and people can hear you! In my case, it’s unusual to have so many vowels next to each other, so my last name gets chopped up a lot. People also aren’t sure if the “G” in my name is soft or hard. To clear this up and avoid potential embarrassment, I recorded an enunciation of my name, and now people can listen to it, if they so choose.

linkedin profile audio

Record a 10-second greeting, or say your name to help others pronounce it.


Here are easy step-by-step instructions for setting this up on your own page. And you are welcome to say other things aside from your name. You could instead say, “Contact me!” or “Happy holidays!” It’s up to you.


Customize your LinkedIn profile URL

Correct name placement goes beyond what people see on your page. It includes your LinkedIn profile URL. I still see many people on LinkedIn with several garbled numbers at the end of the URL to their LinkedIn profile. If you are one of them, it’s time to upgrade and really own your profile! Here’s how:

Custom linkedin profile URL

Getting your own LinkedIn profile customer URL is easy. I suggest using your first and last name as you would want to appear in a candidate search.


LinkedIn profile tagline

The tagline—the content directly beneath someone’s name—is one of the most critical elements of a profile, yet one that is under-used the most. This is understandable because trying to decide what to put there can be confusing. What, exactly, is supposed to go there? A job title or the company one works for? An industry? One’s skills or philosophy in life? I’ve seen all of these, for better or worse. Let’s take a look at your tagline.

Once again, remember as you craft each section of your LinkedIn profile, to keep the purpose of your profile foremost in your mind. Whatever you write in your tagline should support that goal. Also, remember that whatever you put in your tagline should be searchable, both on LinkedIn and search engines.

Your tagline should align with where you’re going, such as a particular position or industry. It doesn’t serve you to include your current company and advertise for them by including them in your tagline. Save that for  your Experience section. (Coming in Part II) Nor does it benefit you to waste this valuable space with wording a recruiter won’t use in their candidate search.


goal of linkedin profile


Say you are looking for a job in the accounting industry. Your tagline reads, Highly experienced accounting professional, with Acme Corp.

Out of that entire line, recruiters would use only ONE word in their candidate search! They wouldn’t use the keywords professional, experienced, highly, or your current company. (Unless the company is Meta, Salesforce, etc.)

Instead, try using positions you’re interested in, along with other terms from a job description a recruiter might use in their candidate search:

Accounting / Finance Manager | Senior Accountant – Provide financial reporting, revenue reports, and ensure compliance. Detail-oriented and technologically savvy.

Linkedin profile premium hashtags

Before and after using keywords that target what a recruiter would use in a candidate search.


Now, almost every word in your tagline is one a recruiter would use in their candidate search to fill a position for which you want to be contacted. They would even include the words used in the comment about your skills. And, if you are a LinkedIn Premium member (which I recommend), you can increase your search-ability by including more terms with hashtags—something recruiters also use!


LinkedIn Profile “About” section

The About section is one of the harder parts of a profile. This is why so many profiles have skimpy About sections. On one hand, writing an About is akin to writing a resume summary, trying to fit the best of your career life into a nice brief story. On the other hand, there’s so much available space that it’s hard to come up with enough content. What do you put in this space?

Here are some points and suggestions for this space.


linkedin profile about section

The “About” section of your LinkedIn profile is personal, yet still professional. Give it thought, and include keywords.


First, write this section offline

Don’t write your first draft directly into your profile. There will be too much pressure to finish it up so you can move on. Instead, use a word processor. Then copy your finished prose into this section after you’ve given it the attention it deserves.


Second, remember to focus on the goal of your LinkedIn profile

As you write, omit anything that doesn’t help you advance that goal. As you do this, also keep in mind your target audience: who are you talking to in your About section?


Third, write in first person

While keeping the “I’s” to a minimum, write in the first person, using your own voice. Avoid making it sound like a publicist wrote about you. Be authentic, warm, but confident and professional.


Fourth, include a CTA

Always include a call to action (CTA) at the end of your About section, telling your target audience what you want them to do. This may be tricky if you don’t want everyone to know you’re job seeking, but it can still work. Simply by ending with a CTA such as, “To learn about how I help make businesses IRS compliant, contact me at” You aren’t announcing that you’re job hunting, but you’re still asking to be contacted for “information.”


Fifth, make your About section easy on the eyes

Avoid writing a big wall of text without paragraph breaks. Consider adding formats that include bullet points or arrows. LinkedIn does not offer bullets or arrows for the About section, but you can copy them from here and paste them in your text. (Use them sparingly to avoid looking gaudy or silly.)


Sixth, use keywords

About sections are searchable, so incorporate relevant keywords throughout your writing. I suggest looking at job descriptions of your top target positions, and using the top requirements for those in your composition. (Providing they pertain to you.)


Say it loud and proud

Seventh, and last, don’t be shy. Your LinkedIn profile is the place to toot your own horn. It will be for naught if you play down your experience, accomplishments, and skills. Include some impressive metrics from your resume to show off what a great catch you are.


Wrap up

We covered a lot today. You either feel overwhelmed or you can’t wait to get started. (Hopefully the latter.) A LinkedIn profile is an incredible marketing tool when used correctly. It’s like having your own full-featured portfolio hosted for free with one of the world’s largest communities, and having your target audience at your fingertips. Take advantage of this resource!


In Part II, we’ll talk about some of the other key sections of your LinkedIn profile, such as Experience, Skills, and Recommendations. We’ll also touch on the most important part of LinkedIn and what it’s all about: Networking.



Do you need help with your LinkedIn profile to make you stand out from other job seekers? Check out our LinkedIn Profile Remake Service!



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Category: Featured, Job Search, Networking, Social Media

About the Author ()

Pamela La Gioia is a resume writer and LinkedIn profile expert. She is also a pioneer in remote work, and has been researching and writing about remote work since the early 1990's. You can follow her on LinkedIn, for resume tips, LinkedIn insight, and general career help.

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  1. Mohammad RAWASHDEH says:

    Fantastic ?

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