GUIDE 2022

How to Optimize a Technical Writer LinkedIn Profile

Want to optimize your technical writer LinkedIn profile for better visibility? No worries. We have got your back.

LinkedIn is the most famous professional networking platform worldwide, where the objective is to build connections and market your skills to a broader audience. Many recruiters and hiring managers turn to LinkedIn for additional information about potential job candidates. Therefore, creating an eye-catching, optimized LinkedIn profile that helps you stand out in the sea of technical writers is crucial. 

Here is our guide you can follow to create a standout technical writer LinkedIn profile that is both optimized and up-to-date:

Tips to Optimize Your Technical Writer LinkedIn Profile

Your technical writer LinkedIn profile is the foundation of your professional brand online. Prioritize optimizing your LinkedIn profile if you want to grow your business and build your brand. To help you with this, we are going to cover some key steps and tips to follow for the better optimization of your technical writer LinkedIn profile:

Make the Right Impression With Your Profile Photo

Your profile photo is a major element of your LinkedIn presence. It plays a great role in getting your profile noticed. The research shows that LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots receive 14 times additional profile views. Therefore, it is important to look likable, approachable, and trustworthy – attributes that are crucial to getting prospects to engage with you. 

However, striking a balance between a social site and a professional recruitment platform is difficult at times. To help you with this, here is what you should consider for optimizing your technical writer LinkedIn profile:

  • Take a Professional Headshot – Headshots work great as they provide a more personalized feel than a distant full-body shot. If you choose a picture taken from far away, your face will appear quite small, and viewers may experience difficulty finding you. So, upload a photo that has only your head, neck, and top of your shoulders.
  • Use Soft and Clean Lighting – Lighting can change the look and feel of your photo in every way. To up your lighting game, avoid direct sunlight and harsh fluorescent lighting. Try taking a high-resolution photo anywhere that is out of sunlight or when the sun is setting to help soften the light. You can also take a photo inside using the light from the nearby window to illuminate your face and give your skin a natural glow.
  • Dress for Success – Wear what is appropriate for your technical writing industry. If you wear jeans and a shirt most days, wear that outfit in your photo also – likewise if you wear a suit. Also, try wearing solid colors as they tend to do best on camera. Avoid getting over or underdressed. Also, keep accessories to a minimum.
  • Avoid Distracting Backgrounds – Recruiters will judge you on your background also. A busy or distracting background will pull the focus from you. Go for simple, clean backgrounds or blurry environmental backgrounds.
  • Keep It Simple – When choosing, go for a solo photo for your profile. If you use a group picture as your profile photo, recruiters may experience difficulty finding you.
  • Choose the Right Expression – We all know that a smiling person is more likely to attract others’ attention than a serious-looking person. The same goes for your profile photo. So, wearing a smile in your photo is good to appear warm and approachable. Before taking a picture, you can also consider practicing in front of the mirror to see which expressions suit you the best.
  • Pick an Updated Photo – It might sound obvious, but your picture should give viewers a clear idea of what you look if they meet you today. Make sure your LinkedIn profile photo is up-to-date.
  • Follow the Standard Photo Size – When it comes to the photo size, use the headshot with your face taking up 60% of the frame. Make sure you have the right-sized image for your Linked profile to avoid resizing it. LinkedIn recommends a profile photo size of at least 400 x 400 px for best results. You can also add a larger picture, but make sure its size is around 4 MB.

Below is an example of the right professional headshot:

Stephanie Aurelio

Let Your Headline Do The Talking

Optimizing your headline, which appears under your name, is important as it is quite visible and searchable. A LinkedIn headline matters 46% more to prospects than your experience. It is the section of your profile where you describe what you do in 220 characters or less. This part is your opportunity to show the world what you are capable of and what services you offer.

When it comes to your headline, here are the best practices to follow:

  • Add a catchy and informative title – Call yourself a technical writer to show up in the search results
  • Show your value proposition (what you are good at)
  • Set yourself apart from other technical writers
  • Use relevant keywords like Technical Writer or Tech Writer that your target audience (hiring managers, recruiters, and employers) uses a lot
  • Remain accurate and honest
  • Add multiple skills if you posses

Here is what you should avoid doing to your profile headline:

  • No need to make it too long – get to the point
  • Avoid using multiple emojis since it can give an unprofessional impression
  • Avoid using vague words like Master Technical Writer.
  • Refrain from advertising that you are looking for a tech writing job because it can make you look desperate. You can use other better ways to share that you are seeking new work opportunities.

An example of a good headline that makes an impression is as follows:

Headline

Share Your Location

When it comes to location, it is better to list yourself in or near the city where you would like to work, no matter where you live at present. Hiring managers search by geography to reduce the number of potential candidates. So, if you wish to move to a different place than your current location for a technical writing job, there is no harm in listing it on your profile. However, you should clarify it during the interview process.

Adding a specific location to your LinkedIn profile allows for better search results, in addition to taking your online network offline. So, try to add your location similar to the following example to make finding you easier for hiring managers or recruiters.

Location

Provide Useful Contact Information

Wanted to share your LinkedIn profile URL with someone but realized that it is a confusing bunch of numbers and letters? No need to worry. LinkedIn gives you a chance to customize and add a touch of personal branding to your link. Also, changing it is super easy when you know how to do it.

You can change your profile URL to your name or to match your portfolio website. In addition to making the URL look clean, it can also help search engines index your technical writer LinkedIn profile and make it easier for people to find you on the network. This setting is quite useful for people having common names, letting them use their name and control the rest of the URL.

You can also add your email address, home address, and contact number, but as it is optional, provide them at your discretion. Other things to do to make it easier for people to contact you on LinkedIn is to add links to your website and portfolio. This helps recruiters find your important contact information in a single place. If you want to add a link to your resume, you can also share it here. However, there are other methods also of uploading your resume to the profile, which we’ll cover in the next heading.

To add a link:

  • Click the edit icon on the right corner of your profile.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the window.
  • Click Add website right under the Website section.
  • Paste the link in the first field and add the text for the link in the text field.

Here is how you can enter a link to your portfolio:

Portfolio link 2

This is how Cody shares his key contact information on his LinkedIn profile: 

Codys links

Write a Brief Profile Summary

Another great LinkedIn technical writer profile optimization tip is that you should focus on your profile summary. LinkedIn’s About section is among the first things people would see when they visit your profile. Leaving this section blank is a huge missed opportunity, no matter if you have a great profile photo, customized headline, and detailed work and education history.

LinkedIn gives you around 2,000 characters to write a compelling summary to put yourself out there. Instead of writing long paragraphs, use a brief text to mention your writing skills, work experience as a technical writer, and professional interests to pull your readers in. Begin with a nice overview of who you are and what services you can provide to potential clients, and end it with a clear CTA.  It gives you the best opportunity to use your voice to let recruiters and prospective employers see who you are and what sets you apart from others.

Write a keyword-rich summary to increase your visibility to potential recruiters and prospects in search results. By adding keywords like content management, content style guide, technical documentation, user guides, and tutorials, you may attract additional views. Make it strong and update it as often as you need to ensure accuracy and relevancy.

Below is a great example of the About section from the profile of a Technical Writer at Twilio, Stephanie Aurelio:

About section

Turn on Creator Mode

If you are a technical content creator trying to gain influence, you must try LinkedIn’s creator mode. It serves as a helpful feature to increase your following, build a presence on the platform, form a community, and become discoverable by your ideal clients. You should benefit from the technical content you create by activating this feature. At present, creator mode is available for most LinkedIn accounts, and you can choose whether to turn it on for your profile.

On activation, this is what the feature does:

  • The Connect button on your profile changes to Follow.
  • Your profile shows the number of followers you have at present, together with the number of connections.
  • The profile displays the topics you post about on your profile as hashtags.
  • The Featured and Activity sections appear on top of your profile to highlight your content over work experience and create your voice with potential followers visiting your profile.
  • The Activity section on your profile no longer includes your likes, comments, and other similar activities.
  • You get streamlined access to creator tools like LinkedIn Live and newsletters, which helps build and grow the community of followers.

You can see the above-mentioned changes in the following LinkedIn profile:

Creator Mode

Upload a Tailored Resume to Your Profile

As soon as you create your LinkedIn account, you can use it in a number of ways to enhance your professional career. In addition to networking with other people in the technical writing industry, having your resume on LinkedIn also helps you gain exposure, letting employers and connections alike know you are seeking a job. Once uploaded, LinkedIn also uses your resume for job recommendations, helps build your network, and personalizes your feed.

While your profile offers a broader picture of yourself, your resume is a fact-based document customized for a specific job position like technical writing. So, upload a personalized resume to drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile. The most proactive way to remain in the sight of viewers is to make your resume a LinkedIn post that will occur in your connections’ home page feeds.

Add document

You can create a new post and click on Add a document option at the bottom of the window. Also, you can add a description and some relevant hashtags while uploading your resume.

Profile Resume

And to upload your resume with the post to the list of featured materials on your LinkedIn profile, click the three dots at the top right of your post and click Feature on top of profile. Now, you are good to go.

Feature on top of profile

Showcase Your Professional Brand With the Featured Section

LinkedIn introduces a new feature from time to time that you can use to make your profile a lot more appealing to hiring managers and colleagues, and the Featured section is one of them. It is a good opportunity to showcase the professional work you are most proud of. This feature allows you to provide evidence of your skills and work experience. You can highlight selected posts and add links to external websites, documents, or images.

Uploading content to the Featured section on your profile is simple. Here are the steps:

  1. Locate the Add profile section on your profile and click on it.
  2. Click Recommended dropdown.
  3. Select Add featured from the dropdown.
  4. Click + icon on the upper right corner of the Featured page.
  5. Select which type of content to feature.
  6. Follow the prompts.
  7. Click Save.

Add featured

To see what it looks like, you can visit Aaron Redshaw’s LinkedIn profile. His Featured section has a blog written by him and a link to his portfolio. If anybody clicks on any of the featured links, they get directed to his blog or portfolio website.

Aaron redshaw

On the whole, the Featured section is where you can upload or add items to your main profile. You can use it to display your work like tech articles, blogs, user guides, manuals, API documentation, and so on. Just, think of who you need to connect with, and share links in this section that will help you showcase your value.

Add Your Professional Work Experience

Your past work experience is considered the meat and potatoes of your profile. The Experience section on your LinkedIn profile is where you list your technical writing experience. It is your best opportunity to explain your duties and work methods. Here are a few major tips you should follow for the optimization of this section:

  • Add proper job details – Job title, employer name, and dates of employment needs to align with what is on your resume. For each experience, mention your job title, name and location of the company you worked for, time duration you were in that role, and a brief overview of your job duties. You should also provide information about any awards or notable achievements. In addition, you can include media associated with a particular job position.
  • Avoid listing the long history – There is no need to include every position you held in the past if you have a long work history. Also, shorten your descriptions as your previous jobs have a lower level than the job you have now and the job you seek. Avoid putting any experience that is irrelevant to the audience that you are targeting at present.
  • Add relevant keywords – No matter if you lack a great deal of experience, adding industry-related keywords in your job descriptions can also help you stand out. Research keywords relevant to the technical communication industry and sprinkle them within your job duties.
  • Use action words – When writing your past job descriptions, use strong verbs and action words like led, managed, created, directed, grew, and so on. Such types of action words are more attractive to recruiters than passive raises like duties included or responsible for. As you develop your sentences, a great formula is to specify what you did and conclude with what result you achieved.
  • Proofread before you post – Check spelling and grammar, and make sure there is no mistake. Recruiters find typing mistakes and spelling errors quite disturbing. So, it is better to make your content error-free. Also, make sure you use present tense for your current and past tense for your previous positions.

The Experience section on your profile should look like this:

Experience

List Your Education, Skills, and Other Experiences

Adding educational qualifications is a nice way to showcase your knowledge and achievements on your technical writer LinkedIn profile. While recruiters are concerned with your work experience and skill set many times, having limited education details on the profile may impact your credibility. LinkedIn gives you multiple sections to showcase your education. Though it is optional to add formal education, you can use this section to make an impression on the recruiters. For each institute, write its name, your degree, total duration, and GPA.

The Education section on your LinkedIn profile should look like this:

Portfolio Link

Your skills and endorsements show recruiters what you are capable of and go beyond your current job title and past career moves. However, the key here is to stay relevant. Refrain from adding a long list of skills that are irrelevant to the technical writing industry. The following list of skills gives a good impression of a technical writer:

Endorsed Skills

There is another section on the LinkedIn profile page that deals with the volunteer experience. These experiences help add a personality to your profile and offer recruiters a hint that you have different skills, interests, and experiences.

Here is how to put your volunteer experiences and skills on your LinkedIn profile:

Volunteering

Get Professional Recommendations

Expanding your personal brand and network is valuable, and the recommendations feature can help with this. A LinkedIn recommendation is a commendation written by a LinkedIn member to recognize your work. These written blurbs act as social proof of your professional technical writing capabilities. So, use this feature to offer a glimpse to recruiters into who you are and what you can do. Recommendations can come from clients, bosses, and colleagues you worked with in the past. You can also write them recommendations and get them to write back to you as well. 

Here is a nice example of recommendations from a famous technical writer, Daniel Vela’s LinkedIn profile:

Recommendations

Final Thoughts

Similar to other tools, you also need some time to get comfortable using LinkedIn. Spare some time, play around with different methods and approaches, and know that you can adjust and change as you go. It is a powerful networking tool that can help you land your job in the technical writing industry. By creating a strong, optimized profile, staying an active member, and building connections, you can make LinkedIn work for you. So, follow these optimization steps and give your professional profile a makeover.

Josh Fechter
Josh is the founder of Technical Writer HQ and Squibler, a writing software. He had his first job in technical writing for a video editing software company in 2014. Since then, he has written several books on software documentation, personal branding, and computer hacking. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.