How to Build a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is an opportunity for potential employers to validate you as a professional. When you apply for a job, employers are likely to google your name, and it is in your best interest to let them find something good about you. If nothing else, think of LinkedIn as a safety net. With its powerful SEO, your LinkedIn profile tends to be in the top three search results. This makes it easy for hiring managers to see that you’re a hard-working, knowledgeable, trustworthy professional. They never need to know you are sharing photos of kittens in costumes and getting into political arguments with your uncle on Facebook.
How to make a strong LinkedIn profile Luckily, making and maintaining a LinkedIn profile is pretty easy. At a minimum, once it’s set it up, you need to update your profile only when you update your resume.
Let’s look at the main things you should set up to get the most bang for your buck.
Summary The “Summary” section on your LinkedIn profile is one of the most important sections. Because it’s prominently positioned at the top of your profile page, it is the first opportunity for hiring managers to hear your voice and to get a glimpse of your personality. It’s an opportunity to share your talents, skills, and achievements in a creative manner.
Here is a great example of a summary that engages the reader in a fun, creative manner. Notice how this person explains his role within a company using analogies and scenarios that are easily understood. This technique shows he has excellent communication skills and is very knowledgeable in his field.
Experience Completing the “Experience” section can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, it’s the same as the “experience” section of your resume. You can literally cut and paste this information.
Be sure to list only employment history that is relevant to the field you wish to work in, or else you may end up bombarded by emails from recruiters for positions you aren’t interested in.
Think about keywords used to hunt for a candidate like you, then try to incorporate those words into your experience section. The more information you offer—such as the type of software you use—the more likely someone will find you when searching in LinkedIn.
If you need help writing your resume, take a look at our previous blog post on what recruiters really want to see on your resume.
Profile Photo For your LinkedIn profile photo, select a photo with the following qualities:
The photo should look like you (keep it current, within the past few years, same hair style, makeup, glasses, etc. that you would wear on a regular basis)
Your face should take up 60% of the frame
Wear what you would wear in a professional office setting
Choose a background that isn’t busy or distracting
Cover Photo Consider cover photos optional. So long as you aren’t using anything explicit or inappropriate, the chances of you not getting a job because someone didn’t like your background photo is slim. I made a simple cover photo you can use to blend with the LinkedIn color palette (right click and save):
Recommendations If you can contact previous managers or coworkers and ask them to write a two- to three-sentence recommendation, do so. It’s serves as a reference, so you can forget writing “references available upon request”.
Skills At the bottom of your profile, there is a section where you can tag your skills.
These are good for when recruiters are looking to fill jobs based on keyword searches. Your connections can also tag them on your behalf. Note: It shows which connections tag you, so it’s more impressive to have coworkers tag your skills, rather than friends or family. Looking forward to seeing your new LinkedIn page! Hope this helps. If you’d like, you can connect with me.
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