The Ultimate Bare Minimum LinkedIn Checklist

Written by Emilie Brunet

Are you overwhelmed with LinkedIn?

Let’s face it — LinkedIn is not the most enjoyable platform.

Whether it’s every person and their cousin deciding to become a Thought Leader™️ and give their ✨ hot take ✨ on hiring, working and business;

Or whether it’s a super rich CEO posting a clearly made up story about how he hired the random man who sat next to him on the plane;

Or whether it’s just the nauseating feeling of having to plaster a fake persona onto the internet in the hopes that someone will buy into that fake persona and hire you.

But despite all this, unfortunately, whether we like it or not, LinkedIn still plays a huge role in recruiting in this day and age.

It can feel really hard to engage and participate on LinkedIn in a way that feels genuine, professional and actually results in you getting hired.

But if you have to play the game, how can you play the game in a way that is the least time-consuming possible?

Enter our ✨ Bare Minimum ✨ LinkedIn Checklist

Start by simply getting the following things set up:

Profile Picture

If you don’t have a profile picture on your LinkedIn, your profile is not considered “complete” which means you’re less likely to show up in search results. People with profile pictures have a much higher chance of getting profile views.

Your profile picture should:

Background Image

Your background image should convey who you are, what you do and what your brand is.

If the idea of establishing your brand moves you into a state of paralyzing panic, then just start with going through some landscape images on Unsplash and find one that resonates the most with your personality.

It should be a high-quality image that doesn’t feel too crowded or flashy.

Change Your Headline

Arguably, this is one of the most important aspect on this whole list because it is the most visible section of your LinkedIn profile.

It should be short, to the point and demonstrate exactly what you bring to the table.

Make sure you use specific keywords and take advantage of the entire 120 character limit.

Keywords can be: the role you’re looking for, the technical skills or languages you have, the industry you’re hoping to work in, etc.

Update Your Contact Info

Add your email and website (or GitHub account) so that anyone who is a 1st connection will be able to contact you directly for roles.

Customize Your LinkedIn Profile URL

You’re going to include this URL on your CV and your cover letters — the easier it is to remember, the more likely it is that someone will type it in the search bar.

Change Your Privacy Settings and Open for Opportunities

If your profile is on private, you won’t show up in searches. If you want to do the bare minimum for your LinkedIn presence, making yourself the most visible on searches is key and showing that you’re “open to work” automatically increases the chances you’ll be contacted when you’re searched.

⭐️ Bonus Tip: If you’ve had your “open for work” on for over a month, turn it off, wait a day and then turn it back on again. It’ll move you higher in the search list!

Build Your “About” and Profile Sections

Okay, this is the meat of your profile and while the other parts of your profile allow you to be found and seen more easily, this part of your profile is what will keep people there.

Your About section is your sales pitch.

Think of it as the answer to the “Tell Me About Yourself” interview question (which we covered in a previous newsletter and which you can see on our Instagram here).

It doesn’t need to read as an essay. But it should come off as professional, highlight your skills and demonstrate your personality and values.

🚨 Important! Only the first 250 characters or so show (unless someone clicks “see more”) so make sure the crux of your pitch is part of the first few sentences.

As for the rest of your profile, make sure that you:

Have at least 50 connections

“Is this really the bare minimum?” Yes. Yes, it is. Connections make your profile legitimate.

In the same way that you wouldn’t accept a friendship request on Facebook from someone who has literally 2 friends, people on LinkedIn don’t trust profiles that have very few connections. (Not that I use Facebook anymore, because I’m cool, young and hip 🥸 [Cries in Millennial])

If you’re not sure who to connect to, start by sending requests to:

It’s very easy to reach those 50 connections when you search for people from those three categories. And for all you know your best friend from high school might be a recruiter now 🤷‍♀️

Post at least once a month

Okay. This is going to be the most controversial thing that I share. Because no one out there is going to tell you to post only once a month.

But quite frankly, unless they are actually quality posts, posting for no other reason other than making yourself seen could do more harm than good. Especially if you have mediocre takes 😬

This is a bare minimum checklist after all. And posting at least once a month will show people looking at your profile that you’re at least ~somewhat~ active.

That being said, your posting frequency should adjust depending on what your current job seeking status is.

Is there anything else we missed?

About the author

Hey, I'm Emilie 👋🏻

I'm the Business Support Manager at Journey Education. I have always had a passion for writing, organization and finding creative solutions. I aim to be personable, empathetic and compassionate and believe that kindness can go along way in both business and life.

Having worked and organized with anti-capitalist, feminist and queer organizations, I strongly believe that EVERYONE deserves, not just a living wage, but a thriving wage and that it should be the priority of every business to create an inclusive, caring and diverse work environment that doesn't just ensures the work happens, but allows people to be people while the work is happening!

My approach to everything I do reflects my training in trauma-informed practices, active listening and harm reduction as well as my interest in understand the way people work, behave and exist as their full human self. I want to create safer spaces for people to explore, create and excel in a supportive environment - whether that's in life or at work.