LinkedIn isn’t the boring B2B platform that you might think it is. LinkedIn is a vibrant social media platform full of inspiring creators trying to connect with like-minded people, share their knowledge, and esteem their audience to success.
LinkedIn users are desperate for people like you to join in and connect. Read these LinkedIn hacks so you can join the party, get spotted by your desired contacts, attract work or grow a following to 13,000+ people in a year.
These LinkedIn hacks, not in any particular order, are truly well-thought-out insights. Plus, there are some not-to-be-missed tips from LinkedIn’s best creators.
In this article:
- LinkedIn Hacks to Optimize Your Profile
- LinkedIn Networking and Growth Tips
- LinkedIn Posting Hacks
- LinkedIn Hacks for Job Seekers
LinkedIn Hacks to Optimize Your Profile
1. Complete your entire profile.
Whenever you sign up for a platform where you want to stand out, your first goal should be a complete profile. This is a rule to live by in an online space.
By filling out your profile you’re communicating to the algorithm that you care. Plus, information is data. With the data you put on your profile, the LinkedIn algorithm can work in your favor — putting your profile in front of the people who will be most interested to see it.
So, carve out a couple hours, grab a coffee, and work through the next 10 LinkedIn hacks. It’s never too late to optimize your profile, and we’re taking you through every step.
2. Think about keywords.
Your most valuable connections could be searching for someone just like you in the LinkedIn search bar. By optimizing the content throughout your entire profile, you will increase the chances of appearing for relevant searches.
A quick search for “Virtual Assistant” returns profiles that are optimized for this search term.
From the screenshot we can see keywords are used:
- In the headline “freelance virtual assistant working with…”
- Within the experience section “Virtual Assistant at…”
We’ll cover headlines and experience sections in more detail shortly.
3. Personalize your URL.
If you start using LinkedIn properly, it will be a source of leads. For job searchers it’ll become a place you’ll be eager for potential employers to see.
But first, you need to personalize your URL. Here’s how:
- Log in and head to your profile.
- Click “Edit public profile & URL.”
- Check the top right.
- Click the little pencil to edit the URL.
Keep the URL simple. Use your name if it's available.
By using your name in your LinkedIn profile, you’re one step close to optimizing your LinkedIn profile for Google.
As seen in the screenshot below, if someone searches for my name, they’re going to come across my LinkedIn profile — and I couldn’t be happier about that. LinkedIn is the primary source of my leads and clients, so it’s a great place for people to find me.
4. Think about your headline.
Chima Mmeje has a formula for writing LinkedIn headlines, one I followed when I first started taking LinkedIn seriously.
In an article on LinkedIn Marketing, Mmeje says, “I have a simple formula for writing LinkedIn headlines: What you do + Who you do it for.”
5. Use a great image.
Great profile-picture etiquette is useful not just for LinkedIn, but all of your social profiles: Just smile!
In her LinkedIn post on profile pictures, Jan Adams tells us to smile, and all the reasons to do just that. A simple smile goes a long way and will increase your chances of connecting with those you want to meet the most.
A recent study that breaks down the perfect profile photo found that a smile with visible teeth influences how a person is perceived. A smile increases perceived competence, likability, and influence.
6. Optimize your banner.
Needless to say, your banner should grab attention. Even better, it should clearly define your offering and give your viewer a reason to stay on your profile.
The CTA in the banner directs visitors to the featured section, where they can potentially begin their journey by starting with a call.
Another compelling (and highly functional) LinkedIn banner belongs to Jasmin Alić. The banner offers a consistent brand experience for Hey Jay. The banner shares what Alić does and shows examples of his clients.
Alić uses his banner to help qualify leads. He tells profile viewers he’s fully booked in 2023 and taking hourly calls only. The bell icon with the text “never miss my posts” is a subtle CTA to encourage viewers to follow for more of his great content.
7. Add a link.
On LinkedIn you can add a link straight to the page you most want people to visit. In the screenshots above, you can see a link directly to a website.
Jasmin Alić has customized his link with “Lean my copywriting secrets” to help encourage click-throughs.
Erin Balsa adds a splash of personality to her link text with the playful “Don’t click this link.”
8. Provide contact details.
If you’re open to being contacted on LinkedIn, make sure to add your details.
Simply click the pencil in the top right of your profile and scroll down until you find them.
As you’re scrolling, make sure to fill out every field possible. A complete profile is a sign to the LinkedIn algorithm that you’re serious about your profile and the platform.
9. Shine in the experience section.
Your experience section is really important. We’ve already touched on how keywords within search are using the words and phrases in the experience section.
If you want to be found in search, think logically about what people might search in order to find you. Include that information in your job titles and the description.
To get even more out of this space, add case studies with thumbnails and be detailed in your description. Share your roles and responsibilities in previous roles.
One great but underrated feature is adding media. By adding media you can present information in a visual and appealing way. Plus, you can link people directly to case studies or pages on your site.
10. Take your time on the about section.
If someone is interested in reaching out to you, they’re highly likely to check out your about section. Writing this section well is essential.
In their LinkedIn Profile Review Extravaganza, Nicholas Thickett and Morgan Smith share many LinkedIn hacks. In the video below Smith and Thickett demonstrate how short the about preview is and why it’s important.
They explain, “The preview is all you see until you click ‘see more,’ so one thing to keep in mind is you need to earn the click more with just that piece of text. The copy has to be engaging.”
In the screenshot above Morgan Smith starts with a friendly “Hi, welcome to my LinkedIn profile” before sharing more about their shared podcast, what it’s about, and exactly when you might want to listen.
In the video below, Thickett and Smith continue to discuss the about section. They share the importance of leading with statements about you and leading with the history that gave you your knowledge and experience.
11. Put the most important items first.
The outline of your LinkedIn profile is totally in your control. You can move items within sections around. Order your profile with the most important data at the top. Make sure it’s your latest and/or most relevant job that’s right at the top of your experience section.
12. Use the volunteer section.
Your volunteer section is your opportunity to share the causes that matter to you, as well as the ways in which you’ve given back. You might be able to showcase genuine passion for your job if you’ve done it on a voluntary basis for causes that mean something for you.
Even if your volunteer work is not related to your job, it’s still worth filling out. It says a lot about your values and passions.
For more LinkedIn hacks on setting up the perfect profile, watch the video below. Rimi shares more ways you can optimize your LinkedIn profile and stand out.
LinkedIn Networking and Growth Tips
13. Send personalized invites.
On a free account, you can send 100 connection requests per week. If you’re going to connect with other LinkedIn users, make your connection meaningful.
Don’t just hit “connect.” Follow up and add a note. Tell the person you’re connecting with why. Top LinkedIn creators or senior managers get hundreds of connections per day, and it’s overwhelming. Make sure your connection stands out with a note.
14. Reach out to your connections.
Social media is here to be social — yes, even LinkedIn.
“Almost all my podcast guests come from LinkedIn. I mostly see really cool stories posted and then DM people about that specifically,” Goodey says. “Almost everyone is really keen, and I think that’s a combination of being connected for a while or reaching out about something specific.”
15. Comment, comment, comment.
LinkedIn loves comments. It’s clear from the notification system that LinkedIn wants to keep its users active in the comments. Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn will notify you when someone replies to your comment or pops a comment on your post.
Furthermore, LinkedIn will notify you if someone comments on a post you simply reacted to. LinkedIn wants to bring you back to the discussion taking place on the content you showed an interest in.
16. Look at interesting views.
From your LinkedIn feed page, you can click to see who’s viewed on your profile. You can click through and filter viewers to interesting viewers. Your interesting viewers may include people who can further your career.
If they’ve expressed interest in you by viewing your profile, there’s every chance they’d be receptive to a connection request or message.
17. Find your voice and post.
This one should go without saying, but if you want people to find you on LinkedIn, you have to post. Posting regularly is a sign to LinkedIn that you’re active and that you want people to see your posts.
Haris Husejnovic, CEO at Robinize, uses LinkedIn to find recruits for his business. He advises that those seeking recruitment should have “at least some activity, if not posting, then liking and following other creators.”
Husejnovic looks for signs of activity in the forms of posts, but also banner images. If someone hasn’t replaced their banner, it looks like they’re not active on the profile at all.
It’s common to feel apprehensive about posting. You might worry about who’s reading — or perhaps how many people aren’t reading. Practice makes perfect. You’ll find your voice and posting will become natural.
Indiana Julian now has a following of over 3,000. She plucked up the courage to post to LinkedIn and shares some of the benefits in her post below.
“I only started posting here around eight weeks ago, sticking to around two posts per week … through this platform I’ve been able to: expand my network globally to like-minded people, share ideas and learn from other young business owners, gain confidence and kick the imposter syndrome (most of the time!), build genuine friendships and connections with incredible marketers, help others understand the assistance and marketing services I offer — gaining awesome clients along the way,” Julian says.
LinkedIn Posting Hacks
You may be surprised to hear, but posting and using LinkedIn is all about having fun! If LinkedIn becomes a chore, your personality might not shine through. Find a way to post in a way that keeps you motivated and your audience engaged.
18. Create carousels.
Sam Browne from HARO SEO grew rapidly on LinkedIn and became a top 200 creator. Browne credits some of his success to carousel posts. One carousel earned him an impressive 12,000 followers in 24 hours.
On carousels, Browne says, “Carousels allow you to break up a long, unappealing text post and turn it into something interactive and fun.
“I tend to post 1-2 times a week, rather than 5+ days a week like most creators. That’s because I spend hours on each post, with the goal of every one of them being genuinely interesting, surprising, insightful, and inspiring to my readers,” Browne says. “By doing this over and over again, I’ve been able to grow from a few hundred followers at the start of 2022 to over 45,000 today.”
Below is the post that helped Sam Browne grow. See what you can learn and how you can use carousels to grow on LinkedIn.
19. Make use of video.
Megan Thudium is a LinkedIn consultant for sustainable brands. Video is a major part of her LinkedIn strategy.
“Video is still relevant. Video posts receive one of the highest engagement rates on LinkedIn, next to carousel post,” she says. “Video remains a top content type to drive brand awareness and conversions.”
If you want people to find your posts, try video. Every engagement helps push your content out to the network of those who react, repost, or comment.
20. Post at the same time every day.
I’ve found that posting between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. every day is most effective for my audience, but it’s more important that you post when you are most inspired and ready to put great content out into the world of LinkedIn.
Both Indiana Julian and Sam Browne posted 1-2 times per week and reported great success on the platform.
21. Create a posting process.
Like anything, a good process makes life easy! If you’re going to commit to LinkedIn, help yourself out by creating a process. I share my tried-and-tested process in the post below.
This works for me — and finding something that works for you will make light work of LinkedIn.
22. Pin featured posts.
You can pin posts to the featured section of your profile. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Post something.
- View the post, then click the three dots in the top right corner.
- In the menu, click “Feature on top of profile.”
You can use your featured section to promote your services, share your best posts, or introduce yourself.
Brianna Doe makes great use of this space. She shares her curated job board, a link to her website, and a top-performing post. The featured section is promotional for Brianna Doe, but also useful for her profile viewers and followers.
23. Use images and GIFs in posts.
It’s no secret that media such as video, images, and GIFs all increase post engagement. In fact, LinkedIn says that posts with images receive 2x the engagement than those that don’t.
Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn doesn’t make adding GIFs easy. You can’t insert them from the post editor. Instead, you need to fetch a link from a resource like Giphy, paste the link into your post, and the media item will show up in your LinkedIn post.
Pro tip: Once the GIF is showing in the post, you can remove the link and the GIF will stay in place.
24. Tell your story.
If you want to reach people in a way that matters, you’ll want to share stories. Your connections and followers want to hear your stories in a way that is relatable to them.
In his post below, he credits great storytelling with success on LinkedIn. Rathod advises that through storytelling you “make the reader believe they’re reading their own story. The details don’t have to be of their life. But the pain points and promise of transformation does.”
25. Add a bio to the bottom of a post.
You never know when a post on LinkedIn might land on a stranger’s feed. Your post may even go viral.
One way to quickly share what you do with an unknown audience is to add a bio — almost like an email signature — at the bottom of your posts.
You can share what you do and what you share on LinkedIn and when. It might encourage someone to head over to your profile, follow, or connect.
Here’s an example of Megan Thudium’s profile.
26. Consider creating your own hashtag.
If you’re posting content in a series, you can add a hashtag that groups certain content together.
Before you choose your hashtag, search it in the LinkedIn search bar. If no one else is using it, claim it as your own! Your own hashtag makes your most valuable content searchable for your most engaged followers.
Kristina Azarenko uses #seokristina. A quick search on this hashtag and you can find her content, neatly grouped together.
27. Be consistent.
Consistency is really important on any social media platform. It’s a signal to the algorithm that you’re taking the platform seriously.
Consistency is also important for building a following and nurturing relationships. If people know you’re on LinkedIn, they’ll look out for you on there. They’ll get used to your golden posts and search for you to keep up with what you’ve got to say.
Consistency, at least with some form of engagement on LinkedIn (even if it’s liking and commenting on posts), is an indicator that you live on the platform. People will know they’re likely to get a response from you if they reach out.
LinkedIn Hacks for Job Seekers
Job seekers want potential employers and recruiters to notice them. You can do this by optimizing your profile, and by connecting and chatting with the right people. More on how to achieve this below.
28. Be polite to recruiters: connect.
Recruiters use LinkedIn to find talent for their clients. If you’re actively looking for a job, reach out and chat with recruiters. Don’t be afraid to approach them first and be responsive to the messages.
29. Get Certified
Natasha Woodford, director of talent at Clockwork Talent, uses job seekers’ LinkedIn profiles to find recruits for her clients.
“Be sure to add industry certifications and specific skill sets that you’re accomplished in,” Woodford says. “These along with ensuring your professional experience is up to date will make your profile more attractive to both hiring managers and recruiters. It also makes you easier to find!”
Think of your LinkedIn profile as a hub of all of your relevant, professional qualifications. Any information you can add to bolster your expertise and authority should be featured on your LinkedIn profile.
Certifications are a sign of someone who is qualified for the job at hand, as well as someone who genuinely loves what they do. Taking the initiative to take a qualification shows genuine care and passion for your job.
30. Have a public profile.
You can control the privacy of your LinkedIn profile by editing it in the settings. If you’re hoping to find a job via LinkedIn, make sure your profile is public. In order for recruiters to find you via search, you will need a profile that is searchable.
31. Be professional.
LinkedIn is ultimately a professional network. Mike Hill, a digital recruitment consultant at Cloud Source Recruitment, uses the LinkedIn platform to find candidates. When looking for candidates he looks for “full profile with insight into current role and previous roles as a minimum.”
Professionalism is also important.
“Also, have a photo, preferably one which is not holding a beer from your summer holiday or skiing from your winter one,” Hill says. “Any insight/detail on key achievements is also powerful. Check spelling mistakes, especially in job titles (i.e., manger instead of manager), which can knock you out of searches.”
32. Use keywords from job postings.
You already know about the importance of keywords in LinkedIn from earlier in this article, but the importance of keywords came up again when it comes to finding work.
Hill says, “Avoid terms like Ninja, Guru, etc. and think about keywords that recruiters are likely to use that reflect your skill set and make you easier to find.”
Novelty job titles can be fun, but if recruitment is your goal it’s better to avoid them.
33. Use the “Open to Work” frame.
On the Open to Work frame, Hill says, “It has its uses and helps candidates come higher up in searches on LinkedIn Recruiter. Frustratingly, many candidates don’t update their status when they find a new role and cease to be on the market, which reduces its effectiveness.”
It’s worth adding the Open to Work frame in order to get to the top of searches, but the recruitment side of LinkedIn would be easier for everyone if we all kept our profiles up-to-date.
34. Ask for recommendations.
Recommendations are incredibly powerful for all job seekers. If you can get third-party credibility onto your LinkedIn, do it!
A former manager or colleague writing great things about you is more likely to persuade a potential employer to give you a chance than you writing great things about yourself.
A great example of recommendations done right is Kayla Ihrig, who has up-to-date testimonials from impressive clients.
As a content creator and digital nomad at Writing From Nowhere, recommendations from managing editors at well-known brands like GoDaddy can only help Ihrig’s chances of securing another opportunity like it.
35. Use and share your LinkedIn profile.
If you’ve gone through the effort of creating a perfect LinkedIn profile that you’re proud to share with the world, make sure you’re getting it out there. Your profile will pick up natural traction within the LinkedIn platform, but to get the most out of it you can drive your own traffic there.
Add your LinkedIn profile to your CV and update your email signature. When you’re submitting applications to jobs, you might find the hiring manager will take a look.
You might be able to use the “interesting views” hack from earlier to see if you’re getting any visits! It’ll give you an indicator of how engaged your potential recruiters are.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.