Digital marketing professionals are a hot commodity. In fact, a recent study by LinkedIn shows that digital marketing is one of the top 10 most in-demand jobs worldwide.
I decided to dig a bit deeper and, using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, found that there is outsized demand for digital marketing and especially SEO experts as compared to other potential digital marketing hires.
If you are in search of a new digital marketing role, it is a seller’s market.
That is, provided that you position yourself on LinkedIn as a highly skilled digital marketing professional who is a great match for the roles you seek.
While there are plenty of places aside from LinkedIn that you might apply for a job or be recruited (including company job boards, classifieds, and other job listing sites), nearly every recruiter or hiring manager will check out your LinkedIn profile at some point during the hiring process.
It’s a great way to build business, too. I’ve generated more inbound emails for both potential roles and consulting opportunities than I have received through my personal website.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile takes more than just uploading your resume and adding a few accomplishments, though. It requires proper thought in terms of how you structure your profile and the use of the right tools and keywords to optimize your profile.
You need to demonstrate to the potential employer that you are a good fit and stand out from the thousands of other digital marketer profiles.
In this column, you’ll find tips and best practices for optimizing your LinkedIn profile to help you land that digital marketing interview and new role you’re after.
Profile and Background Photos
Remember that your LinkedIn profile represents you as a professional. Use a neutral profile picture with a plain background. The picture should only include you; leave your significant other or friends out of the shot.
The background (the image you can put at the very top of your profile) picture should be something related to your industry or hobbies. Use this space to highlight what you are passionate about.
If you have spoken at a conference, you could use a picture of you speaking. Or, try a screenshot of something related to your role.
Your LinkedIn Headline is Prime Real Estate
After your name and picture, the headline is the next most noticeable thing on your LinkedIn profile.
Use it to grab attention and highlight your skills with a well-crafted sentence or a couple of phrases.
For example, a solid digital marketer’s headline could be: “Digital marketer with 5+ years of experience building paid & organic strategies through SEO, SEM, and Email Marketing.”
Highlight results-based specifics, where possible, such as: “Led a team of 8 digital marketers to improve retention by 25% annually.”
Customize your LinkedIn headline based on the types of roles you’re seeking and your relevant experience.
Make it yours and don’t be spammy. The headline maxes out at 220 characters and you should use all of them.
Complete Your Profile
Ever see that progress report that LinkedIn uses to encourage you to fill out more of your profile? LinkedIn gives complete profiles more visibility than incomplete ones, so this is a step you don’t want to miss.
Fill out all sections in your profile, including:
- Contact Information.
- Skills and Endorsements.
- Current Jobs.
Include Something for Your Current Job – Do Not Leave This Field Blank
One of the critical parameters in the LinkedIn search algorithm is your current job position. Therefore, do not leave this field empty.
Even if you are unemployed, add something that you are currently working on such as a volunteer role helping someone with digital marketing.
Be aware that your current job is also the default headline if you haven’t created one.
If you’re really stuck and grasping at what to put as your current position, add an entry for what you are looking for, eg.: “Seeking opportunity in the digital marketing field.”
Add your work experience accurately so that recruiters have a complete picture of your career timeline.
Don’t feel the need to list exact months, as many times just the years will suffice. You also don’t need to put every job you have ever done, especially if they are not relevant to what you hope to do in the future.
Choose the Right Keywords
Your LinkedIn profile is searchable, so make sure that the terms recruiters generally use to search for professionals like you are in your LinkedIn summary page.
Example: For digital marketing jobs, include keywords such as “Digital Marketer,” “SEO,” etc.
You can also edit your profile picture name and banner name to the keyword, thereby improving the chances of getting searched for your profile.
Cleverly use the specific keywords you want into the Summary, About, and Description page to optimize for search.
Don’t overdo it, as hiring managers and recruiters will be turned off by spammy profiles. Use your primary keywords and only add synonyms when they are appropriate.
Showcase Your Talent, Accomplishments & Work Skills
One of the nicest features of LinkedIn is that you can showcase links, media, articles to your work directly in the About section.
If you have been featured in a magazine or video, you can highlight this. You can share links to your works and completed projects, too. A good portfolio of completed works/projects helps recruiters understand your unique skills and experience.
Be sure to list your past accomplishments while showcasing your skills. Quantify the growth or savings achieved, just as you would on your resume.
For example, if you helped a company improve sales with SEO, you could share that, “SEO for example.com improved the visibility of their products on Google, resulting in a 15% increase in sales.”
Add Certifications, Licenses, Experiences
LinkedIn is a unique platform where you can not only list your qualifications, certifications, and licenses but tell the story of your learning and experiences, as well.
Make sure your descriptions include the experiences you had while working on projects and certifications.
Add all of your digital marketing skills throughout your Experience descriptions. There are plenty of industry certifications from tool providers that you might want to attain to show your experience with these tools.
Google has a handful of certifications, too, which look great on your LinkedIn and are worthwhile simply for the knowledge you’ll gain while studying for the tests.
Posting on LinkedIn
Apart from the above best practices for optimizing your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to regularly post updates related to digital marketing to increase your visibility on the network.
Try sharing your perspective on a project you’ve executed, a summary on new developments in online marketing, or opinions you have about digital marketing news and events.
If you aren’t ready to post just yet, you can begin by commenting on posts by industry leaders, friends, and colleagues.
Regular activity on LinkedIn helps your profile to stay visible in your network and might also help you with higher visibility in LinkedIn’s results.
Industry buzzwords: Ensure that you post things relevant to your profile, experiences, qualification, and interests. Do not unnecessarily use industry buzzwords or jargon that is not easily understood.
Ignoring connection requests. I personally accept every connection request. LinkedIn is a social network and a larger network will only help your reach. You can always delete connections if they spam you, but in my opinion the upside is always greater.
I have met fascinating people through connections on LinkedIn that I would not have otherwise accepted had this not been my rule.
Copy/Pasting Your Resume: Create a compelling story about your expertise, skillset, and experience. Copy/pasting your resume with emphasis on your previous jobs and roles will not entice recruiters or win HR managers’ interest.
If you are a marketing expert with expertise in digital marketing, make sure your profile is built around the same and concisely shares ample information to the reader.
Embellishing Your Profile: Your professional reputation must be taken seriously, and one should only mention verifiable facts and accurate details.
The Bottom Line
Every LinkedIn profile can be optimized!
Pay attention to the details and be thoughtful about what recruiters and the companies you want to work with are looking for in their digital marketing hires.