As an HR professional, a great LinkedIn profile can help you grow your expertise and make the most of any future career changes or job searches.
Despite this, compared to Tiktok or Facebook, many HR pros aren’t as active on their LinkedIn pages. While the task can feel daunting at first, it doesn’t need to be! Simply getting started will go a long way in impacting your engagement and visibility on LinkedIn
Even if you’re not looking for potential job offers, LinkedIn is a great resource to build your professional network and learn more about current trends in your industry.
To help you get started, we gathered the best LinkedIn profile tips to optimize your page and get you feeling confident about your LinkedIn. Check out the 15 tips below!
1. Update Your Profile Picture
Updating your profile photo is one of the best changes you can make to your LinkedIn. It may seem obvious, but a high-quality headshot will give a face (literally!) and personal touch to your page. It also lets users know you’re not a bot!
This should be the first step before you start building your network or sharing posts. A clear profile photo shows you’re active on the platform, and will increase the likelihood of receiving connection requests or messages from recruiters.
A headshot shouldn’t be a selfie or a cropped photo. In fact, you can take one easily: all you need is natural light and a friend to capture a close-up picture of you. Some companies offer their team professional headshots, so reach out and see if you can organize one for your team!
Pro tip: use the same LinkedIn profile picture for your email or Zoom account too. It lends to familiarity, which is especially helpful if you end up booking a call or email chat with a new connection.
2. Revamp Your LinkedIn Headline
Your LinkedIn headline is an opportunity to summarize the work that you do. It’s your first impression on the social media platform. Potential connections should be able to scan your headline and learn what you do at a glance.
Your headline’s capped at 120 characters, so be succinct but use language that makes you stand out from the rest! Try going beyond a job title and hit on a few keywords or expertise.
Here are some formulas to help you get started:
- “I help [audience] [outcome] while [gain]”
- “I help [audience] [outcome] without [constraint]”
Pro tip: give potential employers a reason to reach out! Or think of a hook to encourage a target audience to follow you. Stay clear of vague buzzwords like “driven;” try to be clear and snappy.
In this example from Sarah, she uses specific buzzwords and talks about her role:
3. Personalize Your Cover Photo
LinkedIn offers default cover options so you can add some color to your page, but this is prime real estate to build your personal brand. Remember, the goal is to make it easy for anyone to learn about you at a glance!
Jeff Bond, the executive producer for Cooleaf’s podcast The Great Retention, is co-founder of the podcast agency Chat with Leaders Media. His background photo is not only eye-catching, but also includes relevant keywords and a synopsis of his agency’s mission.
You can create a personalized cover photo on the design app Canva. They even have templates you can use to make an eye-catching design!
As an HR professional, this is a great spot to add a visual of your certifications, like your badges. You can also take it to the next level, and highlight a few focuses like DEI, employee engagement, or benefits management.
Pro tip: Your company may provide branded banners for employees to use on their LinkedIn pages. If not, you can always bring this idea to your design team to help with your organization’s employee advocacy!
4. Don’t Shy Away from Your Profile Summary
The “About” section at the top of your profile page is your opportunity to summarize your career so far. Don’t just list your work experience, share wins from previous projects or jobs and add your professional goals. This will help you really stand out to hiring managers!
Check out this example from Cooleaf team member, Teresa:
You can tell she knows her stuff! Her LinkedIn summary is engaging because it seamlessly breaks down highlights of her work.
When you write your own, keep these tips in mind:
- Kick off with something eye-catching. A stat or what sets you apart as an HR professional.
- Write in first-person, as if you were talking to someone. This keeps things relatable and engaging!
- Take a look at job descriptions so you can list relevant skills or similar buzzwords or key phrases.
- List concrete results because of your work. Did you lead a new initiative in your department? Did your work contribute to positive employee survey results? Tell us!
- Don’t be afraid of length. You get 2000 words here, but make it easier for readers by breaking up your summary with bullet points and paragraphs.
5. Go Beyond Daily Tasks in Your Experience Section
Like a resume, your public profile will list out your role history but keep the relevant roles depending on your job search or HR role. Don’t list every job you’ve had.
This section is an opportunity to share your areas of expertise and what you brought to each role. Avoid listing your day-to-day responsibilities!
For this profile section, your goal is to depict your career arc as an HR professional. Tell any potential hiring manager about that organization in 1-2 sentences, any relevant promotions or honors you received, and details of your accomplishments.
Think of the hard skills versus the soft skills you want to highlight depending on the role. Did you manage a growing team through difficult change or lead recruitment? Did you host job interviews or develop the organization’s employee onboarding?
Check out this example from Jess, Cooleaf’s Senior Director of Customer Success. We love her inclusion of the target client, challenges, and what she led:
6. Actively Build Your Connections
Even if you’re not actively looking for job opportunities, it’s important to check in on your LinkedIn profile to build your professional network.
It may seem obvious, but increasing your connection increases your profile views. The LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes 1st level connections, so the more connections you have on LinkedIn the more likely that person will see your activity or posts on their main newsfeed.
Start by reaching out to classmates, friends, previous coworkers, or former managers to connect on the social media platform. And don’t forget to send requests to teammates at your current job!
If you’re an HR professional who regularly attends conferences, webinars, or learning and development courses, be sure to follow up with speakers, instructors, or anyone you meet at these events.
More importantly, don’t shy away from reaching out. Send connection requests shortly after you attend or met someone. You can space out your requests by aiming for earlier in the week when people tend to view their emails or LinkedIn notifications.
Just always remember to send a personalized note and include why you’d like to connect along with your request. Don’t be afraid to add an invite to hop on a video call either!
LinkedIn also shows your 2nd degree connections, so if you’re looking to meet others in different industries or companies, why not reach out to that mutual friend for an intro?
7. Engage With Your Network
Give yourself some time each week to comment or interact with posts on your main feed. LinkedIn even loves when we vary our reactions (ie: the thumbs-up to the lightbulb) on posts because it shows you’re reading or authentically responding.
Many people use LinkedIn to post articles relevant to their industry or share career news. Actively leaving a thoughtful comment on these posts helps the LinkedIn algorithm, which wants to encourage you to keep networking.
This does take time but even a post or two once a week will boost your profile views. It might also increase your own connection requests.
You can also follow thought leaders in your industry and leave thoughtful comments on their posts. If you get into a discussion with someone or agree with someone’s comment, be sure to send them a connection request!
Take it to the next level by searching relevant hashtags for your industry or goals. Things like #remotework or #DEI can help you find others outside your circle sharing opinions or industry news. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment on these posts either. Often it’s a more authentic way to start a conversation and connect.
8. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups are niche communities in the platform, where you can meet others in your industry and share pertinent news or thoughts.
Start by searching industries like healthcare or job titles. There are several active HR communities you can join, but there are even LinkedIn groups for hobbies or volunteering. Once you’re more active on the platform, LinkedIn will also suggest groups for you to join too!
Within the groups, it’s important to be active by commenting and reacting to other people’s posts. Groups are highly active and can get you seen by more LinkedIn members and potential recruiters.
Check out the high impressions, or the number of people who viewed this post from teammate Georgette. She posted a general poll about return-to-office which sparked comments and got people voting.
9. Don’t Over Think it - Just Post!
Let’s talk posting. Creating that first post can feel intimidating, from what you should say, to how you should present yourself professionally. So here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Post a relevant article on your industry and share a few takeaways that resonated with you.
- Share the good news! Either about your company, a new job, or a project win.
- Post a funny #WFH photo. The internet loves a good pet picture!
- See a work meme that resonates with your industry? Share it! Just make sure it’s work appropriate.
- Grab a blog post or article from your company’s website. Tag your company or give some kudos to your digital marketing team and tag the writer. Tagging will get those involved in the conversation.
- Share a great employee engagement quote that resonates with you. You can even tag the person who said it.
- Re-share someone else’s post and add your thoughts. It’s a great way to boost others’ profiles and get active on the platform.
- Make a poll! Polls are a fun, interactive way to get people’s thoughts.
We love how Cooleaf teammate, Melissa shared her thoughts and experience on this project the team did with partner Soltech. It made it more engaging:
Posting always feels intimidating when you’re starting out, so a good rule of thumb is if something interests you or incites emotion from you, others might feel that way too! Be sure to write 1-2 sentences for your post, add a relevant hashtag, or tag a coworker who might have thoughts. It really is as simple as that.
10. Write a LinkedIn Article
Writing an article on the platform is one of the best LinkedIn practices, but if a post was intimidating, you might pause at writing a LinkedIn article.
Creating a LinkedIn article will take more time, but it’s an impactful way to grow as a thought leader. LinkedIn’s algorithm gives preference to articles written on the social media site, so you’ll get more traffic or followers on your profile page.
What you write about is completely up to you but a few ways to get started:
- Write about a project you worked on and why it made an impact.
- Find a relevant industry article and share your opinion.
- Spot a trend in your field? Create a post to share about it and pepper in your thoughts.
Your goal is to position yourself as an expert, so remember you are! You bring your own, individual perspective to what you do and how you do it. Speak from your own experience and open up conversations.
You’ll not only put yourself out there to new opportunities but you might learn something new!
11 . Add Media to Your Profile
LinkedIn pages also allow you to share additional media from videos to PDFs at the top of your profile, so you can highlight projects you’ve worked on.
If you’ve been part of a webinar or created a detailed presentation, take the recording or create a PDF version and talk about the project. What was the goal? Did you collaborate with anyone? What results did it garner?
Using additional media gives LinkedIn users different ways to interact and engage with your page. It’s also a way to show your own credibility with successful projects!
12. Give Skill Endorsements
Endorsements and recommendations at the bottom of your LinkedIn page is another way to highlight your skillset.
Skill endorsements can be anything high level from time management to leadership. You can personalize what these skillsets you want to highlight by selecting under the Skill section like below:
Once you have your skills listed, connections can hit the “endorse” button on a skill. The more endorsements you receive adds more credibility.
It’s up to your connections to proactively hit the “endorse” button on a skill, so don’t be afraid to reach out to current or previous coworkers. You can also get the ball rolling by surprising a connection with an endorsement or even a review of their work.
13. Take Time to Leave a Recommendation
If you’ve endorsed a skill for a previous coworker, take it up a notch by leaving a testimonial of their work.
Called “recommendations” on LinkedIn, a personal testimonial from previous collaborators showcases your skills and what it’s like to work with you.
LinkedIn users might need to invest more time to write their recommendations, but it’s another opportunity to leave a positive impact on someone’s profile. It might also encourage them to spread the love too.
This might be because Cooleaf’s all about recognizing your peers, but we love to think of this as public recognition. Shine a light on that person’s hard work or what impressed you while working with them. Be specific too!
You can also actively reach out to connections to ask them to leave a testimonial. After working on a project together, you can send a personalized note to a teammate or manager to ask if they’d leave a recommendation about your work together. Positive recommendations from others speak volumes to hiring managers or potential connections.
14. Personalize Your LinkedIn URL
It sounds small but personalizing your LinkedIn profile makes it easier to link out to your page. You can do this by going to your LinkedIn page and going to your Public Profile Settings on the top right of your LinkedIn page.
LinkedIn automatically gives you an auto-generated profile URL that’s pretty bulky, so changing your URL will help you in a few ways. First, changing your URL helps your page to be found if anyone’s searching for you. It also makes it easier for you to link it out on relevant email outreach or if you’re listing it on your resume or cover letter.
15. Stay Active!
As HR professionals, being an active part member in your network not only helps you build connections, but it keeps you up-to-date with the latest in your industry.
Staying connected on the platform through LinkedIn groups or on your main feed will keep you curious and encourage you to learn from different perspectives too.
So make it a goal to stay active every month.
Set a reminder to review your LinkedIn notifications every week. Routinely favorite relevant articles when you stumble on them.
Build time in your schedule to share them on your page. Even if you’re busy, like or comment on your connections’ posts.
It might feel daunting, but you’ll gain traction on your LinkedIn page the more you’re active. So get ready, get set, and post!