This talk is for any professional who is looking to optimize their LinkedIn profile in order to be seen as an industry professional or leader in order to expand their network or land their next career opportunity. We'll be covering how to optimize your profile for a job search, understanding how recruiters use the platform, and how exactly you can take advantage of the algorithms used to make yourself visible
Welcome, welcome. So, if you don't know me, thank you, Kevin for the introduction. My name Kara Dennison, and I help professionals land their next fulfilling dream job. So a little bit about me: I spent my career in human resources. I was a corporate recruiter, so I helped people get jobs at the company that I worked for, and so I spent a lot of my time as a corporate recruiter, and a senior HR leader.
I'm also SPHR certified, which is a Specialist in Human Resources. I did a lot of recruiting, implemented an applicant-tracking software, so I know about the software systems that sit behind job boards, and I know a little bit about what it is like as a recruiter and as the candidate going through the jobs, the job boards, the job search - things like that.
So the reason why I quit my job and I started my company as an executive career coach in helping people find their jobs is, because as a recruiter, I like to sleep at night, and it was really difficult for me being a recruiter watching the applicant track ing system that I implemented kick back candidates who were qualified because of the way that the software systems were set up.
So what I was noticing as a corporate recruiter is that they, the people who were getting hired, especially as you advance in your career, were the ones who were circumventing the process, the traditional process of apply online, wait for the recruiter to look at your resume, have the recruiter give you a call, and do an interview, and the ones who were getting the jobs who were bypassing that system, and instead getting directly connected to the hiring manager, and having an effective conversation with that hiring manager.
So, what I teach, and what I am really passionate about, and you can absolutely find me TikTok - I teach a lot of my strategies for free on TikTok. My TikTok by a is just going to be Kara Dennison SPHR, and you can check me out there, as I teach you you have to have a strategic job search.
The five key aspects are mindset, really being confident, and I love the last speaker, is being confident and really knowing what you're going after, and branding yourself towards that next step which is going to be resume and LinkedIn, which is the next part, so being branded effectively and on your resume in LinkedIn, networking and interviewing effectively, and then salary negotiation. That is a little bit about me, what I do. So, I am super, super pumped. Kevin, drop my TikTok in the chat. Love it, go and follow me. I would love to definitely follow you guys back. If you put a comment in any one of my TikToks that you came from You Got This, I will follow you back. Okay.
So now that we've got that all out of the way, let's dive into that key part about branding - LinkedIn. So LinkedIn I'm a geek about. I absolutely love Lynn. It is one of the most under utilized social media platforms. That is kind of what it is. It is a social media platform, but it is a professional platform. And so there is a lot of really great ways to use LinkedIn, especially if you're in a job search, or if you are just looking to advance in your career, and, if you're watching this today, I have a feeling that that is something that you want to do eventually, right? It is climb up that ladder, make more money - who doesn't want to make more money? And be seen as a professional as to what you do.
So, there are a lot of ways to really optimise your LinkedIn profile to be seen as that industry expert, how to utilise it so that recruiters can find you, head-hunters can find you, and you to be seen as that industry expert. I want to talk about how you can optimise different parts of your profile, and then also talk about some of the unique interesting things about the LinkedIn algorithm that not a lot of people know. Why do I know this? One, I've helped thousands of people optimise their profiles, and I also have people who work at LinkedIn who have told me a little bit about the algorithm and what recruiters are looking for. Okay.
So I'm going to start at the very beginning which is the home page. When you're looking through the home page, and you're scrolling through, some of the things, and sorry for all the people popping up, you're getting free advertising for some people who are looking! So as you look through, and you're scrolling through the home page, what are some of the things that pop out? Your picture, your name, and your headline, your title.
So, as you go through this, these are some of the key things that you're going to want to think about when it comes to driving people to your profile. It is your picture, it is your name, and your headline. Now, there's not much you can do about your name, and that's fine, but you want to make sure that first and foremost you have a picture that clearly shows your face. We went past someone else who has a little bit of a further-back photo, and it is hard to see their face. Studies show that recruiters tend to click on your profile when they can clearly see a more clear picture of your face. So that is one of the first things.
The second thing is going to be this headline. So, this is something that we really want to focus on when it comes to optimizing your profile. So I'm going to go into my profile balls I don't want to pick on anyone, but we're going to use my profile as an example here. So as you can see, I have my headline as I help high-achieving professionals land their next fulfilling dream job. As I'm a business, I want to attract clients to my profile and click on that. If you're in a job search, this is where you want to optimise your headline in order entice your ideal recruiter or decision-maker to click on your profile as well. People leave the most recently title at your most recent company is it the headline.
LinkedIn forces you to do that, because as you add in a new experience section, that's what it is going to put for you. It is executive career coach and CEO would typically be my default headline. You can change it by clicking this pencil right here, scrolling down, and changing your headline here. Now, since you guys are developers, or engineers, or business analysts, or things like that, you might want to put a headline that talks about the result that you can bring.
At the end of the day, decision-makers, hiring managers, the people that you're working for, they're going to be hiring people who can bring results and bring impact to the team. So you want to tease them with that. So, if you're potentially a software developer, let's just use that as an example, you might say "Software developer focused on implementing solutions that drive results for Sass companies", something like that, right? You want to bring something that is a teaser trailer, if that makes sense, to your headline, because that's what is going to show up in the home page, and we are going to talk about why that is so critical a little bit later when we talk about the algorithm of LinkedIn, but you want something that is going to tease people to click on to your profile.
Okay? After that, once people were getting people on your profile, we are going to talk about some ways to optimise the profile for a quick glance. Why I say a quick glance is, because when it comes to your resume, and your LinkedIn profile, you only have about six to ten seconds to grab people's attention and show them what you're made of.
A lot of time, people forget to have a banner profile image up the top here. It's really easy to create a banner profile image on canva.com. You can grab a template, type into the top LinkedIn banner image, and you can create just a quick and simple one. It doesn't have to be so aggressive over here. Or you can Google an image that relates to what you do. Far too often, I either see no-one has a banner profile image, or something that decent relate like a city scape, or a picture of a beach.
We as people are visual creatures, and this is a really great opportunity to give a punch to your profile that visually talks about who you are and what you do. If you're using a software developer as an example, maybe you have a banner profile image that has pictures of computers, or software, or something like that up there, so really right up front, it's honing in your brand, and who you are, and it gives another visual clue as to who you are. So, up top, we have a visual representation, we have a headline that speaks to exactly who you are, and what you're going after, and we can move on through to the rest of your profile.
Now, "Open to work". I'm sure you've seen people with a green banner across their picture. A lot of people, there is debate of is that good or helpful? I'm not sure? Should I put it? Should I not? Here is going to be my recommendation: at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable and confident in your LinkedIn profile, so do what is best for you. My buddy at LinkedIn who works with a lot of recruiters overwhelmingly - and this is not an actual study, so there is no actually data to back this up - but overwhelmingly, the informal data is that recruiters tend to not click on those profiles that have the "open to work banner" as it comes across as a little bit desperate.
I recommend instead doing the "open to work", and putting it to recruiters only. This will show up that you are open to work, and that you're ready to be hired to recruiters, and you're going to start showing up in their recruiter licence when they're searching for people. I recommend that you fill in as many titles as makes sense for you. Up get five. And filling in all of this stuff, but, it's not going to show up with that big old banner on your profile picture, but it is going to start showing up for recruiters searching for people like you, okay?
As we move through, you will see we have the analytics and resources and stuff on your profile that will not show up for other people. You have a lot of great resources and things available to you on your profile, such as a feature section, what I recommend especially if you are in like a project management role, or artistic-type role, a creative field.
This is a great way to start showcasing your resume for any type of industry or niche, but also your projects, special projects, your portfolio, things like that, so this is a really great section. If you are looking through your profile, and you're like I don't have a feature section, how do I get that? You can just click "add profile section" and all of these are going to show up. That's how you can get them, okay? And you hit plus.
I'm going to go back. I know I'm moving very, very fast, but if you have questions, throw them in the chat, and I will get them to you, okay? Moving on down, your about section. This is typically how I would love for you to write your "about" section. Mine is a little bit different.
I love these check marks. If you want to grab them, come on over to my LinkedIn profile, connect with me - I would love to be connected with you - but go ahead and copy and paste these check marks into your "about section" and here is the format. You have about 2,500 characters, so maximize that.
This is where you can get a little bit more personal, but what I really recommend is the format of having about a paragraph at top that makes it a little bit personal about what you really focused on, what your specialty is, and underneath that, some impressive accomplishments that you have achieved throughout your career that you can input there with the check marks.
So it might be as a seasoned software developer with five to ten-plus years of experience, I focus on doing this, this, and this, and leading highly successful teams to develop the software for Fortune 500 companies, whatever, right? Some of my key achievements include ... and then you're listing out some of key achievements.
This is because, again, decision-makers, recruiters, they want to see what you have accomplished and how you can bring the same type of results to their organization and their team. And why I love the check marks is because it is another visual cue. When people are scrolling down big chunks of text, it is very easy for them to lose their attention span. And so, having a visual cue to break that up with your key achievements, not only is it going to be read more likely, or more often, but it's going to break up that, and it's going to make sure that your key achievements are read more often.
As you go through with your experience section, I want to make sure that the bullet points in there are going to be bullet-pointed, and that they have metrics, and that they are impactful. So, if you need help with that, my team, we do resume-writing and LinkedIn optimizations - we can help you with that - but I also recommend as well taking what you have on your resume, and reputting it on to your LinkedIn profile in the experience section if you're struggling with that. I'm going through this very quickly because I want to get through a couple of others things, and I know I'm almost running out of time already, Kevin.
Oh, my gosh! So skills! Skills are kind of, really glad niece tips are helpful, and I'm glad that you guys are live-updating. Skills are really, really important. A lot of people freak out about the key words in your LinkedIn profile, and you will probably even see some of the headlines have, and we saw them on the home page earlier, and I don't know if you guys noticed, you have key words in the headlines separated by the lines. You don't necessarily need to do that. I don't necessarily recommend that.
I like having my headline with little sentence because it feels more genuine and a little bit more relational, instead of having key words in you your headline. Here is the dirty little trick or secret: your entire LinkedIn profile is key word-rich. Recruiters can find you based on anything that you have in your LinkedIn profile. So you don't need to do that in your headline as long as the rest of your profile is filled with all of your achievements and your results, every single word is a key word. But, what is - I'm sorry! I meant guys just in general, but ladies and gentlemen, my apologies, I should have been better about that. Sorry, Celine.
So, what is really interesting with skills is that those are specific key words that recruiters will use to search for when it comes to looking for candidates in relation to the jobs that they are recruiting for. So, what I mean by that, what are the two different key words? One is they can find you based on anything that you have in your profile, but in their recruiter licence, what they will do is they will look for people who have certain skills in their profile.
So, you have literally 50 skills - I have 48 right now, I have two slots open in case I want to add any more in. You have 50 opportunities to put skills into your profile. One of the biggest mistakes that I see from people all the time is that they don't have either all 50 skills filled out on their profile, or they haven't done a skills audit recently.
Maybe you've set up your LinkedIn profile a few years ago, or you've pivoted it in your career, or it's been a while since you have had a chance to look at your skills. Now is a good opportunity if you're live-updating your profile, or it's been a minute, take a look at your skills, because a lot of times, sometimes people when they're looking through your skills, you have skills that are kind of wasteful, like, for instance, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Microsoft Office. That's kind of wasteful when it comes to the fact that you have 50 skills.
Take a look at your skills. Make sure they are relevant to the jobs that you're going after so that be found by recruiters and their recruiter licences. Ways that you can edit this by the way is you click into the skills. You're going to reorder them this way. You can add skills with the plus sign, or if you want to delete a skill, you just hit the little pencil mark, and you can delete the skill there, okay?
All right, I know I'm going crazy fast here, but I want to talk for a second about the LinkedIn algorithm. So, now we've found out a little bit about how to update your LinkedIn profile, a couple of other things that you can get recommendations as you see, I've got a whole bunch of recommendations you can also put publications, and projects, and honours, and awards, and organizations, and all of this amazing things that you are able to put on your LinkedIn profile - and this this is so important, is your resume should really be just a document of your achievements, your education, and your core competencies.
Your LinkedIn profile is a little bit more about getting to know you on a little bit more of a personal level. Again, this is professional, but a little bit more of a personal level. There are some really cool things that you can do on LinkedIn to make this a little bit more relational. One of the things here is that you can add an audio - a ten-second audio to your profile. Most of the time, and the reason why LinkedIn put this in, is because to pronounce your name, but you get ten seconds, so what I do, and I'm going to play it for you now, you can introduce people who visit your page.
I will play it. "Hi, I'm Kara, and I help people land their dream job. Follow me here for maximizing tips on your career." You have ten seconds. I would be shocked - I'm always shocked when I run across a profile that has utilized this thing. This is a great way for you to stand out from your competition. So, if you connect with me on LinkedIn, let me know and, if you have done this, I would love to hear it.
I tell this tip all the time, and hardly anyone does it, and it is a fantastic way to stand out from your competition. You can actually add a video here as well. So, you will see, it is going to start talking. You will see that my face starts talking here. These can only be updated on the mobile app. So you will have to log in to the LinkedIn app and do the audio and the video via the mobile app in order to do that, but this is a fantastic way to add a little bit of a relation al intro to your profile, okay? And, it is a great way also if you do have a unique name, you can just pronounce your name, or just say, "My name is Kara And I'm a software developers focusing on x, y, and z and connect with me on this LinkedIn profile." I'm loving the guys that you ladies and gentlemen are getting your minds blown. This is awesome.
One last thing: LinkedIn algorithm, because I'm sure Kevin is like, she's going close to her time, I think I'm getting close to my time, am I? Yes, I am. I've got ten more minutes. So, the LinkedIn algorithm. Now, when you go to activity, show all my activity, I post a lot. So you can see there are articles that you can post, so I posted, I haven't posted an article in a while. I post articles on Forbes, but I haven't had a chance to put them into LinkedIn yet.
You can post articles like blog post articles. You can do posts which are just sort of like posts with pictures, and things like that. Or you can do text form posts. How you do these by the way is you have to go to the home page, and you have to do it this way, so you can upload a photo, you can do a video, you can do an event, or you can write your article right here.
The reason why I'm telling you this is because LinkedIn has an absolutely phenomenal opportunity for you to be seen as an industry leader. Currently right now, 98% of the content that is being shared on LinkedIn is only being shared by 2% of the users. 98% of the content being shared by LinkedIn is being shared by 2% of the users. So that means that just by sharing, you are going to be in the top 2%.
The other cool thing about LinkedIn and its algorithm is how content is being shared. So, I'm just going to do a quick scroll and let's see if we can see it. I will see at the top. Okay, perfect. So, see how Robynn, this story showed up on my home page. I've no idea what this is about. But she is a second-degree connection. I'm not connected to Robynn at all, but her post showed up on my home page, even though I'm not connected to her. The reason why is because Pamela, who I am connected to, first-degree connection, liked this post.
The way the algorithm works is your post gets shared exponentially and gets the chance to go viral because your post can get shared to second and third connections of your first-degree connections, as long as they like it, comment, or do any of these little emoji things, right? What is really interesting is that you connect with me on LinkedIn. I have 11,000 followers. If I like it, all of a sudden, that gets blasted out to my following. If any one of those followers like it, or comment on it, then it gets blasted out to their followers. Which is kind of wild. No other social media platform has an algorithm like this. If you go on Instagram, you only see people that you follow on your home page. TikTok is a little bit different because it was the "for you" page, but LinkedIn has the chance to have your posts go viral, and the fact that only 2% of the users are only sharing content, it means that you can be seen as an industry professional, or an industry thought leader just by having a very simple basic content strategy plan.
To let you know, I only had about 1,000 connections two years ago, and I have over 11,000 connections. So this is something that is really, really wild, and if you're in a job search, I do this for clients all day long. It is we optimise their LinkedIn profile, and that is why you need to have an optimized LinkedIn profile before you start your content plan, because, as you're going through, and you're posting, and now again, secondary connection, you want people, if they like your post, to be intrigued, and, when they click on it - I'm going to Lewis LaDavia as an example, you want them to like what they see.
You want them to be really like, "Wow, I want to connect with them, I want to follow them because they're an industry professional." So that is a little bit about LinkedIn. I'm going to - can I stop sharing now? I'm going to stop sharing. Get my face. Oh, hi! There I am.
So that is a little bit about LinkedIn. That is how you can be seen as an industry professional in the very fastest of ways to share with you. And also, how you can really be seen and show yourself to a lot of people with a very basic content plan. So I went through the comments. It looks like everyone was following along pretty quickly. And updating. What I will would really love for you guys is to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Actually, I wondered if I could share - I won't share again. Connect with me on LinkedIn. Feel free to connect with me in any way that makes sense with you. If you need sense with this or like our team to do it for you and take all the work off your plate, we can actually do that as well.