Now that the new normal has transitioned to the "same old same old" normal, it’s time to think about what the remainder of 2021 holds for your career. If it’s finally time to make a change, or at least start seeking opportunities out because you see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, it’s not just about searching job boards and having a resume ready for applications. It’s also about putting some work into your LinkedIn profile to make sure it attracts opportunities and supports your candidacy for coveted leadership roles and serves as a tool to build and track your network—an important part of any executive job search strategy. Social media is currently both underutilized at times and one of the greatest tools available for fueling the career of your dreams, it's not about the current job opportunity. It's about your long-term career goals. It's about the potential that can be found by taking an active interest in your career and your life. It's about relationships, opportunities, and all kinds of possibilities that could be ignited because you are now in touch with many interesting people representing a plethora of backgrounds, expertise, connections, and experiences. Upgrade LinkedIn’s default headline By default, your headline is your current job title. But the headline is a very important field in terms of how your profile is ranked, and thus a targeted and keyword-rich headline will help you to appear in more relevant searches. Instead of: “Director of Engineering”, think: “Engineering Executive– Director in Automotive and Lean Systems" \u25ba Utilizing best practice engineering methods to provide expert technical guidance for Tier One engineering initiatives. The latter is loaded with keywords and communicates specific expertise. 2. List your Achievements Instead of focusing on basic responsibilities and duties, also list your achievements. To encourage someone to connect with you and reach out about opportunities, you need to convey that you have been a positive change agent in every role you’ve been in. This is also a great time to evaluate your own career achievements and consider if they align with the career trajectory you are shooting for. Look at other people's profiles who you admire and would like to emulate. There is more to a well-rounded profile than your job title. For example, what kind of Volunteer work are people with your dream job doing? For example, are they a Director on Board that looks interesting? find out about opportunities on joining a non-profit board. 3. Treat it as a showcase instead of a job search This is the forum to position yourself for new roles and showcase your skills and experience. You can do this without raising red flags that you are job searching. It’s important to show that you are a loyal representative of your company, and keep in mind that your boss, the team members you lead, and customers, competitors and external suppliers may be reading it. 4. Provide enough substance While it’s true that most people read profiles quickly and they need to be crafted with this in mind, realize that if your profile doesn’t rank high enough in LinkedIn’s search engine, it won’t be seen at all. LinkedIn works in much the same way that website SEO works—and more content and keyword richness is rewarded in LinkedIn’s search algorithm. 5. Build your connections The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the greater your chances of being found because your profile will only be visible to someone searching if they are either a 1st or 2nd-degree connection. This makes it imperative that you connect with recruiters in your industry, individuals in target companies, and as many people in your network as possible. Your LinkedIn profile is a critical piece of your career portfolio. It can attract attention for excellent new opportunities, eliminate being approached for wrong-fit roles, communicate professionalism, and possibly improve your status in your current role. Do you feel like you are too time-crunched to improve your profile? Jenni Maier, The Editor-in-Chief at the Muse has compiled some quick career tips you can put in place in five minutes. (pinky swear, it's a fast read) If you optimize your LinkedIn profile with these tips your professional successes can do some of the heavy lifting on your behalf before your active search even starts.