We’ve already established having a LinkedIn profile in today’s business world is a must. However, how do you make your profile one that works for you and not against you? Over the next several posts I’ll address the top LinkedIn tips for you to follow when making sure your profile is ready to be seen.

Being found by hiring managers and executive recruiters starts with completing as many fields as possible on your LinkedIn profile. We’ll begin with the following five fields to complete:


Name. You get 20 characters for your first name and 40 for your last name. I suggest you add a hyphen to your last name and add more information about you. For example: Sudermann – Strategic Search Advisor. That used only 36 of 40 characters and now I have another option of being found on LinkedIn or a Google search.


Headline. When someone scans your LinkedIn profile, they are drawn first to your LinkedIn headline. Like reading a newspaper—you read the headline first. The headline has the same essential function as the top third of the resume’s first page—the space that hiring managers give six seconds to gain an impression. By default, LinkedIn populates your headline with your current employer and job title. Most people stick with the default headline. Big mistake if you want to be contacted for new opportunities. Avoid being like most people.


Location and Industry. When looking for a new role, your location is important in determining whether or not you are found by a hiring manager or a recruiter. When a search is conducted on LinkedIn, location is almost always searched first as companies typically want local talent. If you are willing to relocate to a specific city, then put that location in your profile. If you prefer to remain open to relocation, then you can indicate your location as the United States (Zip Code 00000).


Photo. I highly recommended that you add a photo to your LinkedIn page. A close-up (headshot) of you in professional attire on a plain background is best. A LinkedIn profile is only considered complete when you upload an image into the profile’s photo space. A complete profile allows you to connect with more people—40 percent more people, according to LinkedIn.


Summary. With two thousand characters at your disposal, your LinkedIn summary is where you differentiate yourself from your peers. Don’t do what everyone else does and copy-paste your resume into the summary field. The summary is your brochure, where you showcase what you do, what you know, what you are looking to do, and the value you bring to an organization. Make sure your profile has three or four keywords, key phrases and acronyms associated with your expertise.


Be sure to read the rest of my LinkedIn tips in my next two posts!