Improving Your LinkedIn Profile Before Searching for a Job

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By Lexie Brada

Did you know that 45% of people who say they have a Linkedin profile have not updated it recently? That's not surprising - after all, it's not exactly the most exciting social media platform out there. You might think that this number, which is under half of the people who took part in this survey, doesn’t seem that bad. However, considering that Linkedin is one of the most popular ways to look for jobs and have jobs reach out to you, having un-updated information can create a huge hassle for everyone involved.

The logical step is to…update your Linkedin. This may be easier said than done. If that’s the boat you’re in right now, unsure how to update your profile before looking for your next job or internship, you’ve come to the right blog.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online resume. It's a great way to show potential employers what you have to offer and distinguish yourself from the competition. But just like any good resume, your LinkedIn profile needs to be kept up-to-date and polished. Here are our best tips to brush the dust off that Linkedin profile you were asked to create and haven’t looked at once since to make it the thing that tips the scale on your next interview.

Complete All Sections

Make sure your profile is complete.

This may seem like an obvious one, but we’ve all fallen victim to the ‘oh, I’ll do that section later’ and then never getting around to it. Now’s the time to super-focus and get all the sections completed, to the best of your ability!

That means filling out all the sections and providing as much information as possible. The more complete your profile is, the more professional it will look.

Keep it Up to Date

Now that everything is filled out, it might do you some good to make sure the things that were already finished are still currently true of your situation. Or, that it’s still reflecting you as the person you wish to be seen as. Just because something was your dream job once (and you heavily focused on this on your LInkedin) doesn’t mean it is now, and you want to be sure that the profile that employers see is as current as it possibly can be!

Got a new job? List it!

Got a promotion? Update!

Got a new degree or went back to school? Make sure to slap it on there!

‘Today’ is better than never; even if these events happened a while ago, you should still update all the information so when you start sending out job applications, it’s all already there.

Find A Good Photo

Make sure that your profile photo is recent and professional. No one wants to hire someone whose profile photo is from their college days, taken in a bar bathroom (no matter how good the lighting was). You don’t need to drop hundreds of dollars on professional headshots. It will make your profile look clean and proper if you choose to, but it’s not necessary.

Here are some tips for choosing a good non-professional photo for your Linkedin Profile:

  • Choose a photo that has only you- not a huge group of people
  • Pick one where you’re looking at the camera
  • Don't use heavy edited photos- save that for Instagram
  • Find a photo where you’re smiling, or at the very least, not making a strange face
  • Clothing that is simple, often solid-colors or large patterns, are often better seen in small thumbnails and won’t be too loud
  • Find clothing that looks professional; if you went to a wedding recently, or a work function, these may be great places to find a picture. It should go without saying, but you shouldn’t be wearing something inappropriate for the picture

Present Yourself

Anyone can go on and update a standard list of what they’ve done in their past, but using Linkedin as a way to market yourself will elevate you from the candidate pool. Like any other resume, this means putting your best foot forward to prove to your potential employers that this career is the best fit!

Add some media to your profile. This could include links to articles you've written, presentations you've given, or even just photos from industry events you've attended. This helps give potential employers a sense of who you are and what you're interested in. Give them more than just a bullet-point list of what you’ve done; show them!

Next, take a look at your summary. Is it engaging and well-written? If not, it's time to spruce it up. Remember, the summary is your chance to sell yourself to potential employers, so make it count.

Finally, take a look at your list of skills. Are they relevant to the jobs you're interested in? If not, consider adding or removing some skills to better reflect your experience and qualifications. Once again, anyone can upload their job experiences on Linkedin, but organizing and highlighting certain aptitudes is more subdued, but will give a very professional and well-thought out appearance to the page. We’re not asking you to lie or over exaggerate what you’re good at; instead, consider making the things you do well clear or try to match your own skills to those that will best suit the career of your dreams. For example, if you’re in a job that requires lots of multi-tasking and you’re really good at that, a potential employer should be able to see right away that you’re great at multitasking!

The Little Fixes (How to Elevate Your Profile)

The next few tips below are just taking your profile from ‘okay, you spent the standard amount of hours on it’ to ‘wow, this person knows how to work a LinkedIn profile!’. You want to be the latter.

Write a compelling headline: Your headline should be more than just your job title. Try to include some keywords that describe your skills and experience.

Take some time to customize your URL. This makes it easier for people to find you online and gives your profile a more professional appearance. Simply go to "Edit Profile" and click "Edit URL" in the right-hand sidebar.

Get endorsements and recommendations: These can come from co-workers, bosses, or even clients. The more endorsements and recommendations you have, the more credible you will appear to potential employers.


As a reminder, these tips can work for any sort of new search. Whether it’s for a job or for an internship, having an updated LinkedIn is vital to your success! Remember to also update it every so often, or whenever something changes. Taking a few minutes here and there now will help you for the next time you have to search again and not leave you with a mountain of work to do later.

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