How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for CRE Jobs

The fact is, having a paper resume isn’t enough to be hired in commercial real estate (or any industry, for that matter).

You want recruiters to recommend you? You want companies to notice you? You want to be hired? Then you need to change the way you think of a resume. Because, in a broader sense, your resume is your CV plus your social presence (aka LinkedIn).

Therefore, it’s absolutely essential to maximize the impact of your LinkedIn profile to properly display your fit for the job you want and get you the interview. LinkedIn is jam packed with features and tools to help you stand out as the right candidate.

No, LinkedIn isn’t the whole picture. Yes, you still need to craft a CRE resume that stands out, network, partner with a recruiter, and interview prep. There’s more to a job search than social media. But optimizing your LinkedIn for CRE is without a doubt an essential part of the equation.

So, let’s dive into how to get the most out of it.

1. Headshot

The first impression is always going to be your headshot. We’re visual creatures, and a good headshot is going to get you more clicks than the competition. It should be:

  • Professional
  • Flattering
  • High quality
  • Not a selfie
  • Current

2. Headline

No, this is not where you put your current job title. Yes, that’s what most people do. But your goal isn’t to be like most people; it’s to stand out and craft a LinkedIn profile for the CRE job you want.

It’s the first thing recruiters and hiring managers see. It’s not hid by a see-more button. And it helps categorize your unique value. In short, it’s prime LinkedIn real estate.

Your goal is to aim for a line that combines your current and previous functions and expertise along with the job title you want. Be specific to help identify your specialty. Communicate both what your specialty is and what you offer a prospective company.

In other words, don’t just leave it at “Property Manager.” Instead maybe opt for, “Accomplished Property Manager in Senior Housing Leveraging Tech Systems for Max Results.”

3. Your About Summary

So many commercial real estate professionals get confused at this point. This isn’t where you copy and paste boilerplate about your company, your job description, or your resume. This is where you tell the story of your experience and accomplishments.

List the property and project types you’ve focused on. For example: retail, ground-ups, mixed-use, etc. And don’t stop there! Add the scale and scope of these projects to give employers a better sense of what your baseline experience is.

Any specialties like LIHTC or senior living? What about cold-storage or high-rise office? Where were these projects or assets located?

4.  Network

Yes, you should have a lot of contacts. Doesn’t quality matter? You betcha! But quantity does, too.

Ideally, you’d like recruiters to see that 500+ tag on your profile, but they should at least see you’ve networked with 200 or more professionals in the industry to let them know you’re committed and well nestled in this industry.

Update your status often to stay in the feed and open networking opportunities. Frequent profile updates increase your visibility and search ranking, so check in every week or so to spark conversations.

And join LinkedIn groups, too. These don’t just look good on your profile; they also provide a forum for improvement and advancement in your market. There are several LinkedIn groups every CRE professional should join. So, start plugging in.

5. Categorize Properly

LinkedIn allows you to choose a category that best fits your industry and specialty. Explore the options and select the one that fits best. The names of categories have evolved over the years, and some may still need improvement. But choose the best one for your industry category.

Previously, LinkedIn categorized Commercial Real Estate under “Leasing Non-residential Real Estate.” But there is now an option for “Real Estate” and “Real Estate and Equipment Rental Services.”

6. Expertise

Don’t skip the certifications, education, and experience sections if you want to make LinkedIn work for your CRE job search. State your credentials clearly. If you have a CPA, say so. List any and all previous positions that demonstrate proficiency in your target field. List your honors and awards. Include any CRE-related tech and software experience that may set you apart, such as:

  • Sage
  • Procore
  • Yardi
  • MRI
  • Adobe Suite
  • Lease Matrix
  • Argus

7. Keywords

Don’t forget to set up your LinkedIn profile for CRE recruiters. Keep hiring managers in mind when writing. Sprinkle in keywords associated with your market and industry.

The Recommendations section is a great place to do this, too. One thing that can enhance profile visibility and searchability is recommendations that contain relevant keywords and phrases. It improves your SEO and increases your chances of appearing in relevant search results for your target job.

For those commercial real estate professionals in search of the next advancement, putting the thought and effort into optimizing your LinkedIn for CRE keywords and specialties can make all the difference. With a little thoughtful optimization, you can help recruiters and hiring companies find you, better identify your value, and qualify your expertise in ways that will set you apart and land you the CRE job you’ve been looking for.


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