How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Searching | Sarina Russo

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Searching

By Sarina Russo Editorial Team

LinkedIn is the leading professional networking social media platform. If you’re looking to connect with industry peers, stay up to date on business news or find work, then this is the place to be.  

According to Matt Youngquist, President of Career Horizons over 70% of new jobs are not advertised online and instead are filled internally or via word of mouth. ¹ In the era of social media, it’s become more important than ever to self-promote yourself.  

The perfect place to do this is LinkedIn. 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source and hire potential candidates. ²   

With so many people already on the platform, you must make the most of it and make your profile stand out from the crowd. 

Upload a great profile picture

Your profile picture is the first thing employers and recruiters see when they visit your profile. It’s the first impression they will have of you.  

A good profile picture should be of you, have good lighting and show your personality. As it will be posted on a business-orientated social media platform, it will also need to be employer-friendly. This means no crazy weekend photos or photos of you pouting into a mirror.

As this will be the first photo people see of you, you should be easily recognisable. This means avoiding having several people in your display picture because this could lead to confusion.

What is the ideal size for a LinkedIn profile picture? 

The ideal size for a LinkedIn profile picture is 400 x 400 pixels. However, if you upload a photo, not in these dimensions, LinkedIn will give you the option to crop it to size.

Please keep in mind that when you upload your display picture it will have a circle frame around it. This frame is used on your LinkedIn Profile. If an employer clicks ‘saves as’ and downloads your profile picture it will revert to the original square size.  

Add the #OpenToWork photo frame

Let your LinkedIn community know you're open to work. In June 2020, LinkedIn launched an 'Open to Work' photo frame to help job seekers become more discoverable to recruiters. 

Profile frames are a great way to stand out from the crowd and if you’re looking for work, then we highly recommend you implement this feature.  

How do I add the #OpenToWork photo frame? 
  1. Log into LinkedIn and visit your profile 
  2. Click your display picture 
  3. Under your profile picture, you will see the word 'frames'. Select this. 
  4. Choose the green #OpenToWork frame and click apply.   

Write an attractive headline  

Your LinkedIn headline is the first section on your profile and is located under your display picture. The headline, which holds up to 120 characters, acts as a heading to your profile and lets people know what you do and what you can offer.   

An example headline for a recent university graduate could be: Tax Accountant | Seeking Entry Level Position | 2020 Grad Student, JCU Brisbane | Former Intern at EzyTax  

📖 Related Story: What is Social Screening?

In addition to it appearing on your profile, your headline also shows in searches next to your display picture. For recruiters, this will be the first thing they read about you so it’s important it’s direct and appealing.    

To achieve this, we recommend using keywords such as your current job title, the field of expertise, skills, past education and work experience. Keywords like these will also boost your profile’s algorithm and help it appear in more searches.  

Tip: LinkedIn’s algorithm picks up keywords and boosts profiles that display them. Include keywords in your headline to appear in more searches and reach larger audiences.

Make your summary interesting 

Gone are the days of the basic, cookie-cutter profile summaries that just state your profession and top skills. 

Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate and should be used to showcase your amazing self. It's the place where you get to show colleagues, recruiters, and industry peers who you are. The real you. 

Your summary is much larger than your headline and has a 2,000-character limit. We recommend getting creative and using this space to tell people your backstory and what ignites your spark.  

A great example of this is Katrina O’s, a Software Developer at Crown Data Systems.  

This is how hers reads:

Katrina O LinkedIn About Section
Katrina O's LinkedIn About Section - Sourced on 27 September 2021

Tip: LinkedIn uses the summary section in its algorithms. By including keywords in your summary, your profile will rank higher and become more visible. 

Get professional recommendations  

Similar to how Uber ratings work, LinkedIn offers professional recommendations. At the bottom of your profile, you will see a section called ‘recommendations’ where you will be able to view received and given recommendations.   

On LinkedIn, you can give written recommendations to anyone whose work you would like to recognise, whether that be past or current. In return, they can also recommend you for your work. 

This is a great tool for recruiters as it allows them to quickly gauge whether a person will be a good cultural fit for the available job.

Quality over quantity is important for this section, so we recommend only asking current or past colleagues to give you recommendations. If a recruiter sees a friend or family member has left you a recommendation, this may tarnish your chances of employment.  

Upload your resume for future job applications 

If you're applying for jobs and want to save time, then this is the perfect tip for you. On LinkedIn, there is a function where you can save your resume for future job applications. 

Then when you’re applying for a job on the go, it’s already saved and ready to go. 

How to upload a resume for future job applications: 
  1. Log into LinkedIn and visit your profile 
  2. Click your display picture 
  3. Select 'Settings & Privacy
  4. scroll down to ‘Job Application Settings’ and click ‘Change’ 
  5. You will now be in ‘Manage your resumes’. Scroll down this page and click ‘Upload’ to add your resume 

File types accepted include: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt, and .txt formats. 

Tip: While this tip does save time, we recommend creating a tailored resume specifically for each job listing you apply for.

Complete a few LinkedIn courses

Expanding your knowledge and skillset is a great way to advance your career and stay relevant in your field.

A simple accreditation could be the reason you get hired over someone else too. The job market is competitive, so whatever you can do to get a step above the rest, the better. 

LinkedIn Learning is a great place to upskill. They offer 16,000+ courses taught by real‑world professionals and on completion, you receive a certificate that can be added to your LinkedIn profile.

To access LinkedIn Learning, please visit:

How do I add a LinkedIn Learning certificate of completion to my profile?
  1. Log in to your LinkedIn Learning account
  2. Click your display picture 
  3. Select ‘Learning History’
  4. This is where all of your LinkedIn Learning courses will appear. To the right of a completed course, click the downward-facing triangle and select 'add to profile'.

Only courses you have completed will be added to your profile.

Write interesting posts 

Writing posts is a great way to reach a larger audience outside of your network.  

LinkedIn is always innovating the way users can post and share the news with their connections. In the past few years, they have come up with some stellar concepts that have transformed the way people engage with each other.

When scrolling through your LinkedIn feed, you would be hard-pressed to find many single sentence statuses, and this is because of the wide range of posting options. 

When you first click ‘create a post’ the following options will appear:

  • Photo content
  • Video content
  • LinkedIn events
  • Upload an article
  • Attach a document
  • Celebrate an occasion (Welcome to the team, Give kudos, Launch a project, Work anniversary, New position)
  • Create a poll
  • Share that you’re hiring
  • Find an expert
  • Offer help

All these options are available from your personal profile, in addition to any company pages you may manage. 

What is a good beginner post on LinkedIn?

If you’re new to LinkedIn, we suggest starting simple and keeping your posts relevant to your field of expertise.

A post with a short explanation (1-2 paragraphs) and a link to an interesting article is a great first option. These perform wonderfully on the platform and tend to build great engagement.

If you’ve nailed this and want to give your post an extra exposure boost, we recommend including an open-ended question and of course, a few hashtags (3-5 max). Open-ended questions are great in LinkedIn posts as they entice users to engage and start discussions. Hashtags also lend an extra hand and help reach people outside of your network who are also interested in that topic.

Tip: Make sure your posts visibility option is set to either ‘anyone’ or ‘anyone + Twitter’ if you want to reach a larger audience outside of your network. Once your visibility option is saved, it will become your default visibility option.


[1] A Successful Job Search: It's All About Networking, Retrieved 4 August, 2021, from: on 

[2] 95% Of Recruiters Are On LinkedIn Looking For Job Candidates. How To Impress Them. Retrieved 4 August, 2021, from: 


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