When I decided to pivot my career out of web design and into UX writing, the thought of engaging more in a social media platform I hadn’t paid much attention to for the last several years sent low-key dread shivers down my spine. LinkedIn is sort of this beast that I hadn’t figured out to tame yet, nor did I really have the desire to learn how to. But the potential payoff was too huge to be ignored. And in the end, it did end up helping me design the career I wanted for myself.
The following suggestions are a combination of tips I got from my UX writing career mentor and things I discovered on my own just through engaging more with the platform and seeing what others in the field I admired were doing.
First, let’s establish a shared set of goals:
- We want to be found by recruiters and potential employers
- We want to stand out in the crowd of others in our field and make a first impression that intrigues viewers to learn more about us
- We want to engage in a purposeful way because our time is valuable
- We want our information and resources to be as easy to find as possible
Rewrite your headline
This sets the tone for everyone who sees you, so it’s ‘go big or go home’ territory. Your headline is the line of text that appears under your name on your profile. It should set you apart, make an impression, and contain keywords since it is searchable by LinkedIn’s internal search engine.
Your headline should include:
- A unique job title
This should include the job title you want and something unique about you that will make you stand out that’s still relevant. You should be creative while being concise (sort of like our job as UX writers!).
- Any specialization or focus
You may want to include a specialization, focus, or niche passion here that will stand out to recruiters or employers. For example, I have ‘accessibility advocate’.
- List your top verticals
Specify a few (I recommend three) industries or types of companies that you’re either especially interested in working in or that you have a background in.
Make the most of your About summary
Your About section is an opportunity for you to describe yourself and show that you speak the language. Use relevant keywords such as UX writing, content design, user research, voice and tone, user flows and journeys, product design, content style guide, personas, empathy, etc. Describe what sets you apart, the verticals you’re interested or experienced in, and include your email address for recruiters or potential employers to be able to easily reach you directly.
Upload your resume
You should make your resume as easy to find as possible. When you look at someone’s profile on LinkedIn, their featured posts are always near the top. Here is how to make your resume appear easy to find to recruiters.
Add your resume by creating a new post and selecting ‘Add a document’. Upload a PDF of your resume and write a short description along with some relevant hashtags. It will display an image of the first page and make a really slick-looking display. If you have a nicely-designed resume, this will make you stand out even more.
To add your post to your list of featured materials, click the three dots at the top of your post and select ‘Feature on top of profile’. You’re all set.
Add a link to your online portfolio
If you have an online portfolio of any kind be it a website, Miro board, or even just a public Google doc, you can add it to the top of your profile. Click the edit icon on the top right of your profile. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you’ll find the section called ‘Website’.
Paste the URL of your portfolio in the ‘Link’ section and then under “Link text’ write however you want the link to appear within your profile.
Be a creator
As content designers, it would only help us build our reputation as such by creating content, right? Whether you run your own blog, publish stories to Medium, contribute articles to publications, or just once in a while write some long-form posts and publish directly to LinkedIn, you should take advantage of all that content you are producing by setting up your profile for creator mode.
This will do a few things for you. It will allow you to be found more easily by people who are interested in the topics that you tag, thereby growing your reach, influence, and reputation. It also changes the ‘Connect’ button on your profile to ‘Follow’ and lists the number of followers you have on your profile along with the topics you write about in the form of hashtags. Now you’ll look like an authority in your field! Who wouldn’t want to hire you now?