A Guide to Getting Started on Linkedin

It’s no small feat to amass over 20,000 followers on Linkedin and to create a company centered around HR, using Linkedin as a primary tool for recruiting, but that is precisely what Joey Walters, CEO of HRPreneur has done.

Many think of Linkedin as a virtual resume. They upload their experience and forget about the platform, but Walters believes “Linkedin has the potential to be a great recruitment tool for sourcing and marketing your brand, but it’s important that you make the most of the platform for optimum results.”

How do you make the most of the platform? Walters breaks down several essentials to gain traction on Linkedin, especially if you’re looking for a job, selling a product or service, or trying to promote a brand.

Select the Right Picture

            Your photo should look professional and reflect your brand. People like dealing with faces as opposed to only text. Studies show that you get 30% more clicks in search results when you have a picture, and you’re 7 times more likely to come up in a search if you have a photo. Furthermore, you want to make sure that your photo makes you look both professional and approachable.

Craft Your Headline

Your headline, along with your name and picture, is what comes up in search results. Based on this, a user will decide whether to click on you or a competitor. Make sure your headline talks about what you do and not who you are—i.e. “Recruiting Java Developers to Top Tier Consultancies in Canada” instead of “Consultant or Recruiter at Agency X,” which means very little. You have 120 characters at your disposal, so make the most of them.

Write a Summary

The summary, which is the bio section, is where people go to see what you are all about and what your track record in the industry is. If you get someone to take their time to check this out, you will want them to read 2-3 paragraphs about what you’ve done, what you can do for them, and something memorable. Remember to add your contact details at the end of this section if you want new people to get in touch.

Customize your Public Profile URL 

            You can make your personal profile look more professional by customizing your Linkedin public profile URL. When you sign up, Linkedin will automatically assign you a URL with a long number to identify your profile, but this can be changed to your name, company, etc., in order look tidier and make your profile easier to find.

Make Quality Connections

            Linkedin is all about the connections. The more you have, the better visibility your profile will have, but it’s also about quality connections. It’s worth identifying who the “super connections” in your field are and start connecting with them. If they have 1,000+ relevant connections, that will save a lot of legwork.

Practice Good Etiquette

There is nothing revolutionary about the best way to connect with people. Take genuine interest in the other person. Personalize your invitation versus sending out a canned response. Have a look at their profile to find things that you might share in common. Are you a member of the same group? Did you notice that they are connected with someone you know? Did they go to the same school? Do they share the same passion? Use these questions to help build rapport with your invite message. The worst thing that can happen is that they either ignore you or reply politely that they only connect with people they have met.

Engage with Your Connections

Once you have built a network of connections, it is important that you engage with them. You can do this by starting conversations, liking their updates, sharing your own updates, or trying to provoke discussion. Be sure to stay industry-relevant.

Post Status Updates

            Posting status updates is a great way to build engagement with your connections and get your brand seen. When anyone likes or comments, Linkedin will share the post to their newsfeed.

Here are a few ideas about what you can share:

  • Share valuable information that educates, inspires, or entertains your audience, such as relevant industry articles, general business advice, etc.


  • Share a vacancy every now and then, but do it the right way. Instead of pushing out a link to a job specification on your site, describe the opportunity and what makes it unique.


  • Share events you are going to. If someone in your network is thinking about going, they may reach out. It also shows you are out and about amongst your clients and candidates. If your company hosts these events, these should definitely be shared as well in status updates and listed in the events section.


  • Share long-form posts about professional topics using Linkedin’s publishing platform. If you’re an expert in your craft, make the most of this feature to share your knowledge and get yourself seen. Consider it an opportunity to position yourself as a “thought leader.”

There are several other ways to optimize your Linkedin profile to get hired, make sales, or build a brand, but Walters listed the essentials of what you need to get started. If you’d like to connect with him, please connect with him on Linkedin or visit