Here are seven things you should have on your LinkedIn profile

I’m a recruitment expert – these are the seven things you MUST have on your LinkedIn but probably don’t

  • Most people leave the ‘headline’ on their page as the default
  • Have you achieved ‘All Star’ status on your LinkedIn profile? 
  • READ MORE: The six mistakes on LinkedIn which stop you getting hired 

There are now more than 950 million people on LinkedIn, and the 20-year-old site is becoming the go-to place to find work worldwide.

But many profiles are still missing the details that recruiters are looking for, warns James Barrett, Managing Director at global recruiter Michael Page Technology & Transformation.

From having an ‘all star’ profile to having a customized headline (instead of just a job title), people all too often miss out the opportunity to boost their LinkedIn profile.

James Barrett, Managing Director at global recruiter Michael Page (Michael Page)

Up to 90 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and vet candidates, and with eight people hired via LinkedIn every minute, it’s important to ensure you’re doing everything to stand out, Barrett told

Create a custom headline

By default, Linkedin pulls your current job title and company and creates a headline for you – but leaving this as it is is a mistake.

The headline (which for most people is simply their job title) appears in LinkedIn searches, job applications via Linkedin, messages and recommendations.

Custom headlines make a big difference to your visibility (LinkedIn) 

Good headlines include skills and expertise, for example, ‘Engineer’, ‘Web Developer,’ ‘Passionate Tech Communicator’.

These will help you stand out both to algorithms and human recruiters.

Barrett said: ‘A customized headline instantly gets into the detail of your profile, setting your profile aside from those with just the standard ‘job role’ and ‘company’. When personalizing your profile, be creative to appeal to others in your field – and beyond. Similar to ‘dressing for the job you want’, it’s important to ‘customise for the job you want’ too.

Attention to detail will get you spotted on LinkedIn (Reuters) 

Achieve Linkedin ‘All Star’ profile status

LinkedIn says that ‘All Star’ profiles are 40 times more likely to show up in searches on the site – making you far easier to find for recruiters.

As you fill out your profile, it moves towards ‘All star’ status (Linkedin)


So what is an ‘All Star’ profile?

READ MORE: LinkedIn expert on how to do an out of office message 

It’s basically one that is 100 percent complete, with a picture, skills, job history and all fields completed.

To see what your status is, click on your profile picture on desktop, click ‘View Profile’ then scroll down on your profile.

You’ll see a progress bar: this starts at ‘Beginner’ and moves up to ‘All Star’ once you have done 100% of your profile.

Banner photos are important

Many Linkedin profiles miss out the ‘banner’ image in the background and just have a headshot – but this will instantly make the profile less attractive and less visible.

Choose something serious and related to the field you hope to work in.

Barrett said: ‘A strong banner image can entice recruiters and connections to your page, and immediately sets the tone for who you are.

Get endorsed by colleagues

Too few people bother to seek out colleagues and asks for endorsements, and it is important for profile visibility.

Barrett said: ‘Endorsements from your network help to celebrate the skills you excel at and provide credibility to your profile.

‘It is a key part of a strong profile that rarely gets utilized in the way it should. Reach out to connections you believe have a good idea of your ability and the key skills you possess to support what you have shared on your profile.

‘Remember, your endorsements show what type of worker you are so make sure you ask your connections to champion the skills that are reflective of your career path or job ambitions.’

Highlight your non-work skills

If you have a career gap, use the new ‘Career Break’ section to highlight important skills you learned during this period – whether you were parenting or travelling.

To find the section, go to ‘Add Profile Section’, then ‘Add Career Break’, then add a section explaining the skills you gained.

Barrett said: ‘Use the career break section on your profile and fill it with information on the skills you developed during that break. Celebrate the opportunity this time out of work afforded you and be open about how that’s made you a stronger candidate.

Have a summary with personality

LinkedIn is often seen as the slightly dull social network, but to draw attention your profile needs a splash of personality.

The best place to add this is in your ‘About’ section – rather than just saying who you are, put your passions and why you love your job.

Your summary offers a chance to express yourself (LinkedIn)

Your summary is highly visible on the site, and should be short, to the point and instantly communicate who you are and why you love your work.

Barrett said: ‘Users often forget to use the summary to inject some personality and show who they are beyond their job title and years in role. 

‘Remember that your profile is often the first glance for many into who you are, so take the opportunity to put your best foot forward and add some life to your LinkedIn presence.’

Some actual posts

Many people just set up a LinkedIn profile and hope to be found, but it’s crucial to do at least a few posts as recruiters will often look for these.

Barrett said: ‘Having an active profile will help appeal to recruiters as it shows you’re a keen mind in your field and willingness to engage in it.

‘It can be easy to fall into the trap of just ‘having’ a profile and letting it sit idle, rather than using it to its full potential. 

‘Regularly share articles and research you find interesting, comment on posts, and offer your two cents to show why your profile is a thriving hub of creativity and information. 

‘If you’re passionate about an industry hot topic or have a new perspective to add to a bubbling conversation, let your network know about it and put your profile to good use.’

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