The Crossroads of Special Operations

Thursday, May 6, 2021

How to build and utilize your LinkedIn profile | Sam Havelock

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If you’re serious about your job search, simply having an online CV or job seeker profile on a couple job boards isn’t enough to get noticed. Top recruiters and HR managers use LinkedIn as the platform for discovering new talent, and it creates a space for you to build your network. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, then you’re missing out on a network of over 740 million job seekers and employers.

LinkedIn has and always will be a trusted network of true professionals handing out jobs to those who seek it and providing talent across every industry sector. But how does one get noticed the “right” way on LinkedIn?

Build. That’s the answer you have been looking for. To effectively cut through the noise of more than half a billion LinkedIn users, you need to build your profile from scratch and slowly create your niche network. Here are five easy steps you can follow to make your LinkedIn profile stand out to employers and job seekers alike.


Throughout the years LinkedIn has leveraged advanced technology using intelligent digital, social, and mobile solutions for both potential employers and job seekers. LinkedIn has become a revolutionary platform for progress for employers and job seekers. Unlike other job websites, LinkedIn allows you to add recruiters and other people of interest to your virtual network, making it the best website for connecting directly with recruiters. But just how do you “build” your profile on LinkedIn?

Top employers are on the hunt for worthy seekers who possess a certain level of knowledge in a broad array of skills, and those who have deep knowledge or ability in a single one. Keep this in mind when filling out your profile. Just remember, everything you put on your profile should be above board. Lying on your LinkedIn profile will have the same effects as lying on your resume.

Step 1: Own Your Profile 

There is no particular standard for sourcing candidates on LinkedIn. Different recruiters often utilize LinkedIn search in their own way. An HR manager from a rising start-up might favor using advanced search filters to find job candidates within an established network. Another talent scout might opt to pay for LinkedIn Recruiter to expand their networking and search capabilities. In both modalities and sourcing techniques, you want to improve your search ranking by optimizing key sections of your LinkedIn profile.

Creating your LinkedIn profile starts out in a similar way to other social media platforms. Choose a professional picture, fill in some personal details, create a password, and supply your email address.

Once you’ve gone through those simple steps, you may now proceed in crafting an efficient, search optimized LinkedIn profile. Yes, SEO makes your profile rank higher for the types of jobs you’re most interested in. When adding your experience and skills, utilize LinkedIn’s autofill suggestions. These are the terms recruiters use when creating customized and advanced searches. LinkedIn can also use your experience to suggest new jobs to apply for where you may be a good fit.

Step 2: Making Connections 

Once you have filled in your work history, education, and skills, it’s time to add people to your network. When building your network, start with connecting to professionals you already know such as your coworkers and friends. If you are just starting out in the work force, focus on connecting to people who went to the same school as you.

Once you have built a small group of connections, start utilizing the different network categories such as “people with similar roles” and your location. This enables you to grow your network in your niche and in your area. Having connections with different companies and people within your industry give you a higher chance of being reached out to by recruiters.

Step 3: Crafting Your Headline 

Your LinkedIn headline is the first major piece of information that shows up alongside your name and profile picture. This is one of the first things a recruiter will see about you. The best headlines showcase your skillset, specializations, or job title. Include what you do and how you stand out from everyone else.

Step 4: Make Contact 

Once you have filled out your profile and built a network of relevant connections, you’re ready to begin applying for positions and reaching out to HR managers. Initiating the first contact can help turn your LinkedIn connections into real life connections. Growing your network is half the battle, getting others to know that you are a real person with real credentials is the other half.

You can also follow different pages, join groups based in your industry, and follow companies and recruiting agencies. Search for companies and agencies that focus on your niche or that serve your location (or a location you want to be in). This can get you an “in” to different HR managers and help you grow your connections.

Step 5: Clean Up  

Once you begin contacting recruiters and HR managers, continue to edit and clean up your profile. You may have forgotten to add a skill or need to adjust your wording. If you update or change your resume, your LinkedIn profile should be adjusted to reflect this. Lastly, don’t forget to keep your contact info up to date and check your messages. And remember, transparency is the best policy, so keep everything above board.


Sam Havelock is a former Navy SEAL, Founder and CEO of SOFX, and SOFX Talent. SOFX Publishes the Largest daily newsletter in Special Operations and never rents, sells, or shares their subscriber list. You can sign up for the newsletter HERE. SOFX Talent is a global recruiting agency that matches high growth companies to the talent they need to scale using special operations informed human performance models. To receive more details about how SOFX might be able to help your company, please email us at Talent.sofx.com.

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