Thousands of professionals use LinkedIn every day to connect, research, and apply for their next opportunity. Think of it like the first virtual handshake you give a recruiter. If it is blank or overly casual, your profile could be the one thing keeping you from landing your dream job. In this guide, we’ll help you optimize your LinkedIn profile to stand out from the crowd, complete with examples.

1. Craft a Compelling Headline

The headline is located under your name and profile picture. It will appear on your profile page and, more importantly, the Networking page. Your LinkedIn headline is one of the first things people see, so make it count. Instead of simply listing your job title, use this space to highlight your key skills.


Before: Marketing Manager at XYZ Corp

After: Digital Marketing Expert | Driving Growth through SEO, Content Strategy, and Social Media

2. Have a Professional Headshot

A professional headshot does not necessarily mean you need an expensive photoshoot to capture a recruiter’s attention. Many phones have amazing quality cameras with portrait modes that can capture equally good quality headshots. 

Tips for a Great Profile Picture

  • Use a high-resolution image
  • Dress business professional
  • Ensure good lighting that does not cast awkward shadows
  • Stand up straight in front of a blank, clean background
  • Push your hair away from your face
  • Smile and relax

3. Write an Engaging Summary

Consider the summary section as your elevator pitch. If a recruiter had 30 seconds to meet you, what are the key things you would want them to know about you? Start with your years of experience, where you are currently working, and any significant recent accomplishments. Then, end the summary with what kind of opportunities you want and invite them to connect with you. 


Before: Experienced in digital marketing and content strategy.

After: With over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, I specialize in creating data-driven strategies that drive growth and engagement. My expertise includes SEO, content marketing, and social media management. Passionate about helping businesses scale, I have a track record of increasing website traffic by 50% and boosting lead generation by 30%. Let’s connect and discuss how I can help your company achieve its marketing goals.

4. Highlight Your Experience

When listing your job experiences, focus on your achievements and the impact you made rather than describing your job duties. Use bullet points for readability and quantify your accomplishments when possible. You want to convince recruiters that you are perfect for the job, so lean into action verbs and impactful adjectives. 


Before: Responsible for managing social media accounts.

After: Strategically managed social media accounts, driving a 40% boost in follower engagement through innovative content strategies and interactive campaigns. Spearheaded a team of 5 to develop a cohesive brand voice, achieving a 25% surge in brand recognition.

5. Showcase Your Skills

LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 skills. Make sure to include a mix of both hard and soft skills relevant to your field. You can also have others endorse your skill, meaning they can verify you have that skill. Prioritize the top three skills you want to be endorsed for, as these will be most visible to recruiters. 


  • SEO
  • Content Strategy
  • Social Media Management
  • Data Analysis
  • Team Leadership

6. Leverage LinkedIn’s Featured Section

If you work in a creative industry, use the Featured section to highlight your top achievements, posts, and work samples. This section is highly visible on your profile and can be a great way to showcase your best work.


  • Feature a top-performing blog post you authored.
  • Highlight a professional presentation or webinar you delivered.
  • Showcase a media interview or article featuring your insights.

7. List Your Certifications and Education

List relevant certifications and degree(s) to validate your skills and qualifications. You can also include any industry-specific awards or scholarships that can enhance your credibility. Ensure any certification you share has a photo or a link to the certification so recruiters can verify its authenticity. 

8. Highlight Volunteer Experience

Volunteer work can demonstrate your values, work ethic, and skills. Include any volunteer roles that helped you develop relevant skills or make a difference in your community. 


  • Volunteer Social Media Manager for Non-Profit ABC, creating campaigns that increased online donations by 20%.

9. Customize Your LinkedIn URL

Once every section of your profile is filled, you should customize the LinkedIn URL to your profile page. A custom URL looks more professional and is easier to share. Ideally, it should be your name or a variation of it.




10. Be Active and Engage

Regularly engaging on LinkedIn by sharing content, commenting on posts, and joining relevant groups can increase your visibility and showcase your expertise. Like any other social media, the more you engage with it, the more people you connect with.

Tips for Engaging with LinkedIn

  • Share your thoughts on polls.
  • Comment on new posts from your friends or coworkers.
  • Join and participate in LinkedIn groups.
  • Publish articles to share your knowledge and insights.

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is a continuous process as you grow professionally. By following these tips and regularly updating your profile with new achievements and skills, you will significantly enhance your online presence and attract opportunities instead of chasing them. Remember, your LinkedIn profile is often the first impression you make professionally, so make it count!

Expand Your Job Search with TalentAlly!

Why limit yourself to one job board? TalentAlly, a rebrand of the Professional Diversity Network, connects job seekers across the nation with companies that truly value DEI. We have an extensive list of open positions across industries on our website. Plus, come to one of our many virtual, in-person, or hybrid job fairs across the nation where you can meet companies face-to-face!