Optimizing your LinkedIn profile to get seen more
When you’re setting out on a job search—whether it’s in the video game industry like we specialize in or another area—it’s essential to be on top of your LinkedIn profile. A well optimized LinkedIn profile has the power to do part of the job search for you, and while it may not be the most exciting social channel to spend your time on, any effort you do invest is going to be returned tenfold.
To tell you how to properly optimize your LinkedIn profile, we’re going to explain how recruiters use this channel to find new talent and potential hires. Then you’ll know exactly how to tailor your profile so it can start attracting opportunities you may never have seen otherwise.
Note: This article is easiest to follow if you have your LinkedIn profile open and ready to edit.
SECTION #1: How recruiters use LinkedIn
First of all, it's important to understand how recruiters use LinkedIn when looking for talent so you can increase your chances of showing up in their searches. Here’s what the LinkedIn Recruiter dashboard looks like to give you an idea of exactly what criteria a recruiter might be searching by.
As you can see, there’s a lot of different filters they can search through. Of these, the most commonly used are Job Title, Location, Industry, and Seniority. In especially niche jobs, recruiters may also search via Skills and Keywords.
Most LinkedIn Recruiter searches start with looking up who is in the desired location that possesses the specific job title that the recruiter is hiring for, though this isn’t always easy in an industry as diverse and ever-changing as gaming.
Therefore, most recruiters will search not only for the job title of the role they’re looking to fill, but also through a list of similar job titles that have overlapping responsibilities.
What that means for you:
- Job title. Your job title should follow a recognizable industry standard. Using a title like "Growth Ninja, Spreadsheet Wizard, or Marketing Superstar" will severely limit how often you show up in searches, whereas something simple and to the point like “Content Marketing Manager” will increase the visibility of your profile.
- Location. Your location should be specific rather than broad. It’s much better to say that you’re in “Berlin, Germany” than to just put “Europe”.
Now, as most job seekers will be able to tell you, hiring managers usually want people with existing industry experience — especially through LinkedIn Recruiter where the focus is on filling mid to senior level roles. Therefore Industry and Seniority are very important filters that recruiters rely on.
What that means for you:
- Industry. Choose an industry tag that’s most relevant to the job you want and add it to your profile. For candidates job hunting in video games, we suggest one the following: Animation, Entertainment, Computer Games, or Mobile Games.
- Seniority. LinkedIn’s idea of "entry-level" is a candidate having between 0-4 years of experience, which isn't reflective of most industries, so recruiters tend to rely on advanced filters when searching for a candidate’s seniority: specifically "years on the role" and "years of experience". This means it’s important not to cannibalize how much experience LinkedIn thinks you have by dividing how long you’ve worked at a company between too many job titles. Indicate any major changes in your responsibilities, sure, but keep it under one or two job titles where possible.
If a recruiter is still searching for candidates after inputting the above filters, they’ll usually fall back to Skills and Keywords to broaden their search. These are the most time-consuming parts of your profile to keep on top of, but it’s well worth doing so in order not to be overlooked.
What that means for you:
- Skills. To best optimize the Skills section of your profile, you first need a solid understanding of the skills that your dream job requires. You might already know what these are, but if you don’t then it can be easily found by searching through job descriptions in your field and seeing what skills companies ask for frequently. This will usually be in the “Requirements” or “Qualifications” section. Then you can use this information to make sure your profile is oozing with the sorts of skills a recruiter is looking for.
- Keywords. LinkedIn Recruiter will search for keywords throughout your profile, which means that every opportunity to add some text should be taken advantage of. Your About section, the way that you describe your past positions — these are perfect for placing a few well-thought-out keywords. Think about some that are specific to your profile, past experiences, and what you’re looking to do next (stylized art, game economy, TikTok marketing, team leadership, etc).
SECTION #2: How to build and optimize your profile
Now that we know how recruiters are using LinkedIn to access candidates directly, let’s talk about how to set up your profile with that in mind.
The most important things to remember are:
- Build your profile for the job you want, not the job you have.
- Write and format information in a way that’s easy to read and brings your most relevant skills, achievements, or traits to the foreground.
- Every text box is an opportunity to use relevant keywords.
Our main goal is to get you as many profile visits as possible from recruiters, and one thing that’s very important to cater to is LinkedIn’s algorithms. So let's start with the must-haves:
- Profile photo: Accounts with a profile photo get 21x more views than those that don’t.
- Location: Add your country, postal code, and your industry. If you leave this blank, you’ll be left out of the results.
- Experience: Add your most current position and at least two prior positions. This makes you show up an average of 16x more in recruiter searches and can increase your profile views by up to 29x. When writing about your experience, use bullet points and focus on your achievements in the role rather than a list of responsibilities. Try to tailor these towards your desired job, too, and add website URLs, projects you produced, or anything visual that will catch someone’s eye where possible.
- Skills: Add your professional skills by following the advice we laid out in the first section. You need to include at least five skills here which can boost how frequently you’re contacted by recruiters by up to 33x.
- Connections: You will need at least 50 connections to be favored by the LinkedIn search algorithm. If you’re unsure where to start, search for any schools you’ve attended or companies you’ve worked for in the past and see who you recognize.
Now that you’ve got the basics nailed, it’s time to frame and sell your experience:
- Headline: Aim to include 3-8 keywords/phrases that match what employers are searching for, along with an illustration of the value you bring to the table. Use metrics and past results here where possible. This could look something along the lines of “Talent acquisition manager experienced in scaling start-ups from 50 to 200 employees”.
- About: There isn't a formula to writing a good About section since it’s so dependent on your profession and how far along into your career you are, but we recommend the following structure:
- An opening statement that summarizes your work experience and your most noteworthy skills. Make sure to include relevant keywords here to increase your chance of appearing in recruiter’s searches.
- A few bullet points focused on your achievements to date. This will be even more effective if you can back these up with data.
- A closing statement about the types of opportunities you’re interested in and what a recruiter should get in touch with you for.
- Featured: The Featured area of your profile is a chance to highlight a piece of work, document, or collection of links that you want to draw extra attention to. Think about what you can include here that would leave the best impression on a recruiter. A few ideas are:
- Portfolio pieces
- LinkedIn or external articles written by you
- Decks and presentations
- Popular or insightful LinkedIn posts
- Your CV/resume
- A link to your other profiles or a link aggregator
- A general cover letter
If you follow the steps above you’ll come out with a very complete and compelling LinkedIn profile that will stand out to recruiters and industry professionals alike. Which leads us to our next guide!
Read on for how to map the video game industry in order to find relevant studios to apply to.