How to Optimize an HR Generalist LinkedIn Profile

Are you looking to optimize your HR generalist LinkedIn profile? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Human resources generalists are responsible for a wide range of duties within an organization. They are in recruitment, employee relations, training and development, benefits administration, and health and safety. 

In smaller organizations, HR generalists may be responsible for all HR functions. In larger organizations, they may specialize in one or more areas. HR generalists need to have strong interpersonal skills and be able to communicate with employees at all levels of the organization. They must also have a good understanding of employment law and be up to date on the latest changes.

Linkedin has more than 830 million members in 200 countries. It is an important part of your personal branding and will help you secure jobs as an HR generalist. Over 87% of employers use it on a regular basis to hire top HR generalists. To date, it has helped 35+ million people in finding their dream jobs. With more than 57 million companies registered on Linkedin, now is the time to optimize your profile and get a better job.

Steps to Optimize an HR Generalist LinkedIn Profile

We have listed down all steps for you to write and optimize your HR generalist Linkedin profile. By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of how Linkedin works and improve your chances of landing your dream job.

Make a Strong First Impression With Your Profile Photo and Video

Before recruiters get to know you, they will look at your profile photo and determine how confident, reliable, and competent you are.

As an HR generalist, it is important to have a Linkedin profile photo that is professional and gives potential employers a good impression of you. The type of photo you use can make a big difference in whether or not you get your dream job.

For example, using a casual photo or one that is not recent may make you appear unprofessional. On the other hand, using a headshot will give employers the impression that you are serious about your career.

Did you know that you can now add a professional video to your profile photo? Please note that this feature is available on the Linkedin app for iOS and Android. You cannot add a profile video from the website.

Here are the instructions on how to do it:

  1. Tap your profile photo, then tap View Profile
  2. Tap the Add icon on your profile photo, then tap Add profile video
    1. Enable the camera and microphone access to record a profile video
      1. From here you can:
        1. Record: Tap the record button to record a profile video
        2. Upload: Tap the Gallery icon to upload an existing video from your gallery
        3. Add Prompts: Tap Prompts to choose a prompt to answer in your video

Please note that it should be more than 3 seconds and less than 30. Within 30 seconds, give a short introduction, and mention your name, job role and why should clients or prospective employers hire you.

But how to take the right profile photo? Here are some practical tips:

  • Use a Professional Headshot – Having a profile photo is important, but not any photo. It needs to be a professional headshot. You can either hire a professional photographer or get one from your smartphone. Today’s smartphones have great cameras and you can take amazing headshots. You need to show the best of yourself for recruiters to hire you. In one study, recruiters view you as more competent, influential, and professional if you smile in the profile photo. Many HR generalists do not have a smiling photo.
  • Wear Professional Clothing- Your professional photo needs to project the right confidence of an HR generalist. This is why you need to wear professional attire such as a blouse to go along with a formal shirt. Do not wear striped T-shirts. They are good for other platforms, but not Linkedin.
  • Choose a Recent Image – Do not upload an old photo. Upload a recent photo, not older than a year. Recruiters need to meet the same person they saw on the profile, not a college graduate
  • Keep It Simple – Cropping yourself from a group photo does not make a good impression. Keep it simple. Upload only your photo
  • Be Consistent – In a digital-first world, branding is important. And there’s no better way of doing this than having one photo across all social media platforms, including your personal website.
  • Follow the Standard Size – Your photo should consume at least 60% of the available frame size. It shouldn’t be too small or too large.
  • Use filters appropriate to your environment and attire- There are 6 filters to enhance your profile photo on Linkedin. Select one that best represents you. The spotlight filter can highlight and enhance the quality of your Linkedin profile photo.

This is an excellent example of a professional Linkedin headshot for an HR generalist:

HR Generalist Professional Headshot Linkedin

Be Smart With Your Profile Headline

Your headline should be lucrative enough to hook employers’ attention. After your photo, this 220-character headline will sell you as a competent HR generalist.

Many HR generalists underestimate the power of the headline. A good headline tells people what you do, your skills, and your professional interests. It should be concise and to the point. Avoid using clichés like “hard worker” or “team player.” Instead, focus on specific skills and accomplishments that make you stand out. Your headline is an opportunity to sell yourself and give people a taste of what it’s like to work with you.

The following is a job title:

“HR generalist at XYZ Company”

There’s nothing wrong with it, except it only lists your job position. Try adding relevant keywords and mentioning your skills. Do it this way:

Talent Acquisition | Culture & OD | Employment & Labour Laws | Onboarding Specialist | HR Generalist

This is a keyword-rich headline that defines the skills of an HR generalist. These keywords are important for two reasons. First, they help you to grow your organic visits to the Linkedin profile. Second, employers get to know about your skills and experience in a quick glance.

The headline is visible across your activity on Linkedin, including messages, posts, and comments. It is 46% more important than your skills and experiences. 

Here’s how you can improve your headline:

  • Use the elevator pitch strategy to persuade employers
  • Customize it to your audience
  • Take inspiration, but don’t copy other HR generalists’ headline
  • Add relevant keywords
  • Keep it under 200 characters
  • Don’t brag about yourself
  • Exclude words such as top-performer, capable, winning
  • Add a call-to-action

Here are things you should not do with your headline:

  • Don’t stuff keywords
  • Don’t use emojis
  • Don’t mention irrelevant skills and keywords

An example of a good headline is as follows (Shariqa Mahboob):

HR Generalist Professional Headline and Title Linkedin

Make Getting in Touch With You Easier

It is not uncommon to have many HR generalists with the same name on Linkedin. This can get confusing for employers, so how do you set yourself apart from others?

You can do this by customizing your public profile URL by working on the following tips:

  • Have 5 to 30 letters or numbers
  • Use a variation of your name or professional brand
  • Make a different URL with numbers or skills if one isn’t available with your name
  • Add relevant keywords of your HR generalist certifications if possible

Now use this link and share it with your friends, colleagues, and potential recruiters. A great method is to include this link in your email signature so that recruiters can know about you without any obstacles.

HR generalists have valuable skills. It is time you have your personal website. A simple subscription plan from Wix, Squarespace or other Do-it-yourself website builders costs around $15 to $20 a month. Or you can hire a web developer to design a custom website.

Your website is important to building and maintaining your professional network. It is your free space on the internet. Feel free to write blogs and share advice with aspiring HR generalists. You will catch employers’ attention and get high-paying clients with a little effort.

Here’s how to add a custom URL link:

  1. Click the edit icon on the top right of your profile
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click Add website under the Website section
  3. Paste the link of your portfolio in the first field and write the text for the link in the text field

Here’s an example:

How to add website on Linkedin profile

You can also add in your email, contact number, address, and links to social profiles. Here is what a customized URL with links to the portfolio will look like:

HR Generalist Linkedin Website

Give Your Sweet and Short Introduction

Facts tell and stories sell. When recruiters and colleagues land on your profile, give them something valuable about yourself. 

But why do you need an introduction?

This is a 2000-character space. It is your time to sell your story. Talk about your skills, education, experience, accomplishments, and more.

Here are some relevant keywords you can add to your introduction. The idea is not to stuff the introduction with these keywords, but to use them in a manner that describes your persona:

  • HR generalist
  • Employee relations
  • Legal regulations
  • Federal employment laws
  • Positive work environment
  • Salary data management
  • Compensation and benefits administration
  • Policy designing and implementation

Don’t shy from hiring a copywriter if you can’t express yourself in powerful words. This is going to be one of your biggest investments on you, so don’t risk it.

Hiring a copywriter also takes away the burden of proofreading it as expert copywriters write copy free of fluff and mistakes.

The copywriter will capture your unique voice and convey your qualifications in a way that will grab the attention of employers.

What information you can add to your introduction? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Start with a catchy opening sentence to hook your audience
  • Explain your present role
  • Share the problems you solved, and the impact you’ve made
  • Use a storytelling approach
  • Highlight your accomplishments, goals, testimonials, and projects
  • You can add your hobbies and other passions to show who you are outside of work
  • What are your skills as an HR generalist
  • What tools can you use to analyze data
  • What industries describe you best (tech, FMCG)
  • Write in a formal but simple English
  • Be yourself and exclude mentions of the tasks you didn’t do
  • Add in your USP (Unique Value Proposition)
  • Optimize your profile with multiple keywords related to HR management and leadership
  • Add a Call to Action on how people can reach out to you

Here is what an HR generalist’s profile should look like:

HR Generalist About Introduction Linkedin

Upload a Customized Resume to Your Profile

Linkedin profile and your resume work in tandem. They both complement each other and are important at all stages of your career.

Your Linkedin profile is a summary of your career, and you as a person.

Your resume is a one-page snapshot of your work experience, education, and skills, customized for each position. You need a customized resume because every job will be different. Your Linkedin profile will remain the same, but the resume will alter depending upon the job roles.

Here is one way of adding a resume to your profile:

  1. Create a new post and then click on Add a document option at the bottom of the window
  2. Browse to your folder and select the resume
  3. Add relevant hashtags and mention yourself when creating this post
  4. Click on Post to post your resume

How to create a post on Linkedin

Show Your Brief Work History

It’s time to prove your worth with real results.

The Experience section on your profile highlights current and previous work experience. Potential employers, search consultants, and clients will skim through your work experience to determine your job responsibilities.

Here are some tips on adding and optimizing your work history on Linkedin:

  • Add Company Name – Add your company name. Most of the time, the company will be on Linkedin. Once you start typing, you can see it in the drop-down menu 
  • Enter the Job Title – Mention your exact job title, such as “HR generalist”, or “Senior HR Generalist.”
  • Add the Location – Mention “Salt Lake City, Utah”, instead of “Utah.”
  • Provide the duration – List your experiences in months and years, such as August 2021 to Present, or August 2021 to July 2022
  • Write Description – Use 3 to 6 bullet points to describe your role.
  • Mention Achievements – Provide real results here, such as “Developed compensation and benefits program and increased employee engagement by 35%.”
  • Attach Media – Include links to projects, videos, or presentations. These will create a positive impression on potential employers

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not mention irrelevant work experience
  • List the most recent work experience at the top
  • Focus on achievements with numbers
  • List your areas of focus
  • Hire an expert copywriter or proofreader

This is what your Experience section should look like (Fabaha Ansari):

HR Generalist Experience section on Linkedin

Mention Your Education and Skills

Education shows your qualifications, whereas skills show how capable you are as an HR generalist. Both are vital. Despite having a strong profile, employers will doubt your capabilities if you have not listed your education details.

In terms of education and skills, HR generalists need at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field. They also need strong analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. They will be communicating with employees at all levels of the management, and have multitasking abilities. Excellent oral and written communication skills are also a must.

Profiles with a filled Education section have 10 times more profile views than those with no education.

There are three different sections on Linkedin to add to your education:

  1. General education
  2. Certifications
  3. Courses

Here is what you need to add in the Education section:

  1. Formal education
  2. Degree
  3. The name of the educational institute and the years attended
  4. Relevant certifications
  5. Online or physical courses

Here is what the Education section on LinkedIn should look like:

HR Generalist Education Linkedin

Some employers also prefer candidates who have HR certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) or the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). With over 3000 learners and a stellar 5.0-star review, you can also find certifications that HR university offers.

Here is a screenshot of an HR generalist’s profile with all the certifications:

HR Generalist Licenses and Certifications Linkedin

When you volunteer, you are giving back to society. It humbles you and teaches you to be grateful at every step of your career. As an HR generalist, we recommend adding a volunteer experience if you have any.

As an HR generalist, you can show volunteer experience in the following ways:

  • By working at an NGO
  • By providing consultation on data analytics
  • By offering services as an HR expert
  • By giving volunteer hours at a company that has a policy of giving back to the community

It will reflect as a positive indicator of your character and work ethic. 

Add relevant skills and ask others in your network to endorse you. Here are some for an HR generalist:

  1. Excellent interpersonal, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills
  2. Excellent organizational skills
  3. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  4. Excellent time management skills
  5. Training and development skills
  6. Multitasking abilities
  7. Strong knowledge of labor laws at the state and federal level

Remember, relevancy is the key to success.

Here’s an excellent example of listing volunteer experience and skills:

HR Generalist Volunteering Linkedin

Broadcast Your Location

Employers use location filters to narrow down their search results. Even with a well-optimized profile, employers may not find you if you don’t have a valid location on your profile.

Let’s take this scenario as an example.

You are in Illinois, but your profile does not mention your location. With the location filter on, employers cannot find you. That’s because you are not showing yourself where you have to be.

You can miss out on some excellent job opportunities in your area if your location is inaccurate. Even with remote jobs, you cannot take location for granted.

HR Generalist Location Linkedin

Request Recommendations From Connections

Recommending someone is similar to voting for that person. On Linkedin, it is no different. When you receive recommendations from peers, employers will feel more confident in shortlisting you for the interview.

That’s because there are professionals backing you with your skills and expertise.

Try getting recommendations from all of your clients and previous employers. The more the merrier.

Here’s a perfect example of recommendations:

HR Generalist Recommendations Linkedin

There are two ways of getting recommendations:

  1. You can request it from someone in your network
  2. You can write a recommendation for others, and have them write one back for you

Use the Creator Mode

Social media platforms have gained immense popularity due to zero barriers to entry. Anyone can start posting content on a regular basis and become an online creator. Today, having a Youtube account, a Facebook page or a Twitter profile will all give you a competitive advantage to get more eyeballs on your profile.

But did you know there is one more platform that is now providing you with maximum organic reach? It’s Linkedin. There are several reasons why having a creator mode is important for HR generalists.

First, it allows HR generalists to share their knowledge and expertise with a wider audience. Second, you can develop authority in your niche and get high-paying jobs because people will trust you for your history of posting quality content.

You can use this mode to connect with other professionals and exchange ideas. 

You can post long-form articles, videos, and audio files with a wider audience and grow followings. To become a content creator on Linkedin, enable the Creator Mode from the Settings. You will now have access to a new set of tools, including the ability to tag articles with keywords, schedule posts in advance, and view analytics about your audience.

Set up your profile on creator mode and start publishing content relevant to HR generalists. Here are some topics you can cover in the form of articles, blog posts, and videos:

  • Who is an HR generalist?
  • What are the top qualities of an HR generalist?
  • What are the education, qualifications, and skills you need to become an HR generalist?
  • The different types of job roles of an HR generalist
  • What certifications can you get as an HR generalist?
  • What are the career outlook and average salaries of an HR generalist?

Here is what this feature does:

  • It changes the Connect button on your profile to Follow, helping you grow your audience
  • It lists your posts and followers on the profile
  • It highlights posts to help you prioritize showcasing your content over work experience
  • It gives access to the LinkedIn Live feature, which helps build and nurture a community of followers.
  • It gives access to a newsletter feature, which means whenever you publish a LinkedIn article, subscribers receive push and email notifications.

Here is an excellent example (Angie Sofronidou):

HR Generalist Activity Featured Linkedin

Closing Thoughts

Having a Linkedin profile for an HR generalist is not a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity. If you are not on Linkedin, you are missing out on the world’s most important and only professional network for jobs and side gigs. Now that you’ve gone through the guide, it is time to implement it and get the results you need. Good luck with your job hunting.

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.