It’s important to have a strong digital presence when looking for a new job, and LinkedIn is probably the most important place to start.

Your LinkedIn profile will give potential employers a snapshot of your education, experience, career and connections. That’s why it’s important to keep this platform up to date and optimised…and luckily I’ve got some easy tips to help.

STEP ONE: Profile Picture
It may sound basic but make sure you have a high-quality, professional picture on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you’re in good lighting, that you’re looking neat and tidy (hair, beard etc) and that you’re wearing professional clothing. Also, your face should be clearly visible and you should preferably be SMILING. Everyone would rather work with a happy human.

STEP TWO: Use Your Background Photo
Your background photo on LinkedIn is like your cover photo on Facebook, and sits behind your profile picture at the top. You can be more creative with which image you choose to use in this space. Many people will depict the company they work for or highlight key skills in a graphic format. This is PRIME real estate on your profile. Tip: Ensure the image is 1584 px wide by 396 px high (4:1 proportion) for best quality, and so elements aren’t cut off.

STEP THREE: Be Creative With Your Heading and Use Keywords.
Your LinkedIn heading is the first piece of copy people will see when they land on your profile and it’s the perfect opportunity to make them pause. 

For example, instead of saying: ‘Head of Sales at (example company)’ say: ‘Creative Sales Agent and Change Maker at (example company).

STEP FOUR: Write An Eye-Catching Summary Section
The summary section is an excellent place to tell potential recruiters a bit more about WHO you are, albeit in less than 2,000 characters. Use keywords relevant to roles you’re applying for and make updates as often as necessary.

The first 265-275 characters of your summary will be shown before someone has to click “See More”, so make sure your opening line hooks visitors to your profile.

Following this section, you should consider including media such as documents, links and videos. This is a terrific way to show off your knowledge and talent.

STEP FIVE: Make Sure to Thoughtfully Populate the Education, Experience & Skills Fields
While you should definitely be making an effort to show off your educational achievements, work experience and skills on LinkedIn, you should carefully consider their relevance before listing them.

For example, don’t list every job you’ve ever had if you have a super-long work history. And don’t list roles and experience irrelevant to the industry you’re applying for. Think smartly about what skills/experience may be most appealing to your employer and focus on those. People have short attention spans, and by featuring too much information you risk diluting the impact of what really counts.