Steps to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for a New Job in New Year

By Alison Webster on January 8, 2021

Key Points:

  • Spend time developing your About section with what you’ve done and what you are looking to do next
  • Optimize your Skills section
  • Showcase the same person on your resume
  • Always keep it professional

New year, new job? Studies show that January and February tend to be among the most popular times for job searching. Fortunately for you, CNBC and ZipRecruiter report, 15% of companies increase their job post from December to January. If you’re struggling with how to be searchable for recruiters, keep in mind you’re LinkedIn profile can be optimized. Taking ownership of your-digital-self as you prepare for the next career move can be the difference between a fulfilling day or having the Sunday blues. I recently had the opportunity to sit with the Spectraforce Recruitment Team and learn about what makes for an effective LinkedIn profile. Below are revealing answers to the questions I asked the team:

What are some key areas a candidate should spend time developing when filling out their LinkedIn profile?

A: A profile should be fully filled-out (i.e. profile picture, full name, etc.). What we mean is, profiles should be easy to read with the same career trajectory as their resume. The About section must tell a story of what the candidate has done and what they are looking to do next. Spend time developing a searchable headline. It is important to be clear and concise to keep the recruiter engaged. Furthermore, fill-in the Education section and/or License & Certifications to bring validity to your experience. Lastly and often overlooked, the Skills section! Be sure to add relevant skills for the recruiter to understand your background and capabilities.

Where should a candidate showcase their personality?

A: Recruiters initially observe personalities based on associations and people or companies they follow. We also notice engagement (i.e. commenting) outside of work hours. This showcases their interest and gives insight into the cultural fit of the candidate. 

Do LinkedIn profile photos matter? 

A: Yes – Profile photos matter! It is your virtual handshake. More and more hiring managers are requesting LinkedIn profile links, so a professional picture can help sell a candidate through. Selecting the right profile photo is essential – candidates who include the right profile photo receive 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages, according to LinkedIn.

What should we know about the skills, endorsements & recommendations sections? How does that help a candidate?

A: The best way to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to utilize the Skills section. Recruiters search for skills and start the reach-out process from there. The Endorsement, as well as the recommendations section help recruiters, figure out who to reach-out for employment and skills verification. When a trusted friend tells you about a business, you transfer that trust to the company. Similarly, when a trusted professional recommends a person on LinkedIn, trust is transferred.

What may discourage a recruiter from reaching out to a potential candidate?

A: It discourages a recruiter from reaching out to a candidate when there are various gaps in the Experience section. If there seems to be an unclear map of a candidate’s career path, the gaps raise some red flags. Most recently, the Activity section has become a section recruiter evaluate. As one recruiter mentioned, “we are reviewing the comments for unprofessionalism or radicalism.”

What is the best way for a candidate to approach a recruiter?

A: Recruiters are often inundated with potential candidates hoping to be placed in a job that brings joy. However, potential candidates fail to research what the recruiter specializes in. There is no one size fits all for recruiters. Look for recruiters in your ideal industry, once found, reach-out with a well-written message and resume attached. Recruiters want to help, but it’s difficult to do so when the potential candidate has offered little to no information. 

A transition can be scary, so spend time assessing what is important to you, understand your values. Once you are aligned a new job can be the perfect way to add more joy to your day-to-day. I hope this interview helps provide useful insight as you prepare for your next role. If you are looking to avoid the Sunday blues, fill-out a profile at – We’re always hiring!


Image courtesy of Canva

Recruiters Interviewed: Lucas Edmisten, Abriel Forrest, Gideon Akinsola, John Kay, Jakob Lagerstedt

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