Around 500 million people around the globe are using LinkedIn for job searching, networking and highlighting their professional expertise. With about 40% of those people using it daily, figuring out how to stand above the fray can be challenging. If you want to appear in more organic searches and receive more interest from recruiters, you will need to overhaul your profile. Follow these tips to optimize your LinkedIn account for maximum exposure.

Optimize your LinkedIn account with these tips

1. Include a professional photo

With social media being prevalent since the mid-2000s, including a personal photo with your profile, shouldn’t be anything new to you. A recruiter, hiring manager or a CEO of a company will not take your profile seriously if the most visual part of it is missing. Uploading a headshot of yourself should be step one.

While many people may say that you must be in formal business attire for your photo, you should be open to match up your clothing ambiance with the industry you work in. For example, if you are an accountant, you may want a suit and tie in your professional photo. However, if you are a creative writer or an artist, you can probably get away with a nice headshot in something less stiff to wear.

2. Think Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

To create or completely overhaul your LinkedIn profile, you should be thinking like a content writer. What do content writers do? They optimize their copy by including relevant keywords throughout it to help it get ranked and to add exposure. Use relevant keywords in the following places throughout your profile:

  • The headline – this doesn’t just have to be your current place of employment. You can be creative here.
  • The summary – this is about you, but also is a good place to insert keywords.
  • Your experience – do not forget to update your last employment descriptions with keywords too.

This can be a time-consuming task. Recruiters, human resources and hiring managers use keywords to search for people who might be a good fit for their open position(s). If you optimize for the industry terms these decision-makers are searching for, the more likely you’ll appear in their results.

3. Edit your LinkedIn URL to match your name

Get rid of that burdensome URL LinkedIn initially assigned to your profile. It’s easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL that matches your name. For example, if your name is “Elizabeth Turner,” you could update the URL to ‘‘.

You can edit this by going to the ‘Contact and Personal Info’ section of your profile. Your profile will also rank on Google if anyone is searching directly for your name.

4. Boast your achievements

You have the option on LinkedIn to include any projects, languages, honors & awards, patents, publications, certifications, volunteering and more into your profile. This is a great area to showcase your skills even more. For example, an employer may look harder at someone who has a specific certification over someone who doesn’t have one included.

Also, if you’re currently unemployed, volunteering is a great asset to have listed on your experience as well. It shows that while you aren’t currently working, you are still improving yourself and the others around you.

5. Add and accept invitations to connect

According to Convert with Content, the more contacts you have the more likely you are to show up in the LinkedIn search results. You can add people by searching specific industry search terms or directly from your ‘phonebook’ on your cell phone. Remember to include a personalized note with each invitation.

6. Be active and update regularly

This may be the toughest aspect to follow through with. Whether you want to gain followers/connections or continue to be relevant. It’s important to be active in the newsfeed often. Update your status with articles you liked or wrote, projects you lead or any general update on your career. The key to social media engagement is to be consistent.

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