Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Your Edtech Job Hunt

Jobs & Careers

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Your Edtech Job Hunt

By Zach Demby     Sep 5, 2018

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Your Edtech Job Hunt

This article is part of the guide: How to Score a Job in Edtech: Tips From Experts, Experienced Job Hunters and More.

LinkedIn is one place that recruiters and hiring managers go to find qualified candidates in just about every industry. If you’re looking to break into edtech and show potential employers what you can do, spend some time tweaking your LinkedIn profile. We checked in with managers at LinkedIn and here are the tips they shared to help you maximize your chances and create a stellar online resume.

1. Include a Strong Headline

By default, your headline will be set to be your current job title, but you’re able to change that. Rather than just listing your title, be creative. Describe what you do professionally, share your interests, and strive to make a good first impression. Think critically and strategically when crafting your headline. How do you want to be known in your industry? Keep it short, but include the core of what you do.

It’s important to remember to be creative without overthinking your headline. While the idea of being a social media magician may sound fun, it may also give potential employers the wrong impression. Instead, try something like “Proven demand generation expert” or try more of a description, “Helping People Get Results on Social Media.” The idea is to show them what you can do, not just what you’re doing now.

2. Give Your Profile an SEO Tune-Up

Here’s a look under the hood: Recruiters and hiring managers discover profiles much the same way you sniff out new websites with your favorite search engine (It’s Bing, right? ...right?). That means to be discovered, you’ve got to do the same work that websites do to get views: put the right keywords in the right places. What does this mean for your profile? Put keywords in your summary, in your skills section, and even in your descriptions of past job experiences.

How do you know what keywords you should include? Research which industry keywords recruiters and hiring managers are using. Identify the kinds of positions you want. Then search for job descriptions on Linkedin and other jobs boards (Note: if you’re looking for edtech jobs, you should definitely search the EdSurge job’s board). When you’re reading these job descriptions, take note of the common threads. Which words and phrases show up repeatedly? These could be specific skills, knowledge and experience with certain products, certifications or other items. Make a list of these, with the most frequently found at the top. Now you’ve got a list of keywords to include in your profile.

One note of caution: don’t overdo it. There’s a difference between having a profile that has the right key words and having a profile that looks like a keyword salad. Use them thoughtfully and appropriately.

3. Choose the Right Profile Picture

We’ve all heard that you should never judge a book by its cover, but if you’re looking for a job you’re also old enough to know that’s exactly how people judge books, fine wines and yes, people,too. (Thank you, Tinder. Or not.) If you want your profile to make a good impression, you’ need a great profile picture. While professionally photographed images are ideal, they are by no means necessary. You just need a clear, clean and crisp image of yourself. Choose an image that is in focus, where you look professional and approachable and one clearly shows your face. Also note that there are a few things you definitely want to avoid: group shots, unflatteringly cropped images (no ghost hands, please!) or images where you’re not professionally dressed. According to Linkedin, members who include a photo get 21 times more profile views and up to 36 times more messages.

4. Use Your Summary Wisely

The summary is one of the most important parts of your profile and often it gets neglected. It’s the first description s potential employers will see after your headline and headshot. Use this statement to get people hooked and interested in reading more about you. Your summary should be at least 40 words—but not 400! It’s a summary, not a biography. Think about the types of roles you want and the types of companies you want to work for. Include keywords relevant to your industry and the types of positions you’re seeking.

Start your summary off with something a well-crafted sentence or two that describes the value you bring to the businesses you’ll be applying to and summarizes your personal brand (how you want others in your field to view you). Give a short overview of your career and include relevant achievements, awards and accolades. Even better if you can include quantifiable data (revenue, for example).

Don’t limit your summary to just the professional, share your personal side too. Share your values and passions. LinkedIn’s talent blog includes some great examples of summaries that will serve you well.

5. Keep Your Profile Up-to-Date And Show Off Your Work!

Your LinkedIn profile should be a living document—something that you constantly update with fresh information, achievements and awards. It’s a great place to show off the work that you’ve done, so be sure to upload samples. These can include examples of professional documents you’ve created, for instance, articles or documents, powerpoint presentations, or other examples of your work. Go ahead and link o an online portfolio if you have one. The important thing is to give potential employers a taste of what you can produce.

But don’t stop there. Linkedin also allows all of its members to blog. Take advantage of that feature! You can contribute an insight on a relevant article or even comment on something that another person in your industry has written. (For instance, link to an EdSurge piece and offer your point of view!) Share helpful articles you’ve found online that are relevant to your industry. Blogging is a smart way to demonstrate your knowledge and your interest in the field. Not only will this reflect well on you, it will also help you stay relevant to Linkedin’s search algorithm and more likely to be noticed.

6. It’s a Social Network... Be Social

Having a strong network of connections will help you when comes time to look for a new job. Not only can connections help you to find a job, hiring managers often look to see what connections you have when considering you for a position.

Even if you aren’t in sales, you shouldn’t neglect your connections. Reach out to people you know professionally and connect with them. Be polite and customize the connection request where possible to give it a personal touch. Don’t be afraid to ask people you’ve worked with before for references or to endorse you for specific skills. Each of these connections carries value, so be thoughtful and outgoing in your requests for connections.

Maintaining a top-notch LinkedIn profile is an art form. And so why not start by sharing both this piece—and other tips that you may have to help others use the site well!

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