How to Make a Strong Impression on Linkedin

If you want to land a new job, you need to care about your LinkedIn page. According to Forbes, 95 percent of recruiters use the professional social networking platform to either identify appropriate candidates or learn more about applicants who have expressed interest in their open positions. 

So, how do you make a strong impression on the social networking platform? Here are the most important elements to incorporate into your LinkedIn profile. 

1. Upload a professional, industry-aligned headshot. 

One of the surefire ways to get noticed on LinkedIn is to use a professionally taken headshot, not a cropped snapshot from your trip to Cancun. 

Make sure your headshot: 

  • Is professionally taken: Unprofessional photos aren’t high quality and may include stilted or awkward angles.
  • Shows a close-up of your head and shoulders; half-body shots don’t look great as thumbnails. 
  • Meets the expectations in your industry. Do most people in your field wear business or casual attire? Are they smiling or looking serious? Be sure you fit within the conventions your peers use. 

2. Use the summary section of your page to describe yourself, your career, and your values. 

Resume and cover letters can feel a bit, well, dry. They convey who you are as a professional but say little about you as a person. 

That’s why the Summary section of your LinkedIn profile should be something of a relief to write. In this section, you should tell a story about yourself and your career. Write about three paragraphs (and no more than three!) describing yourself in first-person (“I am a long-time financial analyst …”). Talk about where your career has taken you and where you hope to go in the future. 

In the final paragraph, write at least a few sentences about who you are outside of work. What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have a family? Where are a few places you love to go? This section helps recruiters understand who you are as a person and whether you would fit into their company culture. 

3. Talk about what you’ve achieved in your career history. 

Some candidates don’t make the best use of all the sections of their LinkedIn profiles. For instance, have you filled out your Work Experience section for the last 10 to 15 years? If you have only included your most recent position or positions, then you’re not describing your career history effectively. What’s more, the list of jobs should be the same or similar to the ones mentioned on your resume. 

Also, don’t simply list your position responsibilities, either. Instead, use the STAR method to identify your key achievements in your past roles. 

STAR stands for: 

  • Situation 
  • Task
  • Achievement
  • Result 

Be as quantifiable as possible when writing your STAR statements. You can also use these on your resume. 

Submitting Application Materials that Get You Noticed 

Although it’s important to use your LinkedIn page effectively, it’s equally — if not more — important to submit standout resumes and cover letters directly to hiring managers to the extent possible. Paul Wigglesworth, CPA, and founder of Career Moves has more than 22 years of experience helping over 600 accounting and finance professionals land new positions with over 100 different Connecticut companies. 

Schedule your career consultation with Paul today!