Building your LinkedIn Profile: Part 1
Building your LinkedIn Profile: Part 1
By: Kathleen Iverson
LinkedIn is much more than a virtual resume. A well-designed profile and presence is essential for a job search today, but can also do so much more: expand your professional network, stay up to date on happenings in your field, and share your knowledge and expertise with others. In this post, you will learn how to create or enhance your presence on the largest professional networking site in the world.
How to Begin
To create a new site, go to https://www.linkedin.com/reg/jointo sign up for an account. Right away you have a decision to make: should you sign in with Facebook? If you will use Facebook in the same way you plan to use LinkedIn, then probably yes, but if you use Facebook for primarily social or personal connections, you may want to keep the two separate.
Next, check out some sample profiles. Use search terms related to your industry, employer, university, or even job title to see how others present themselves.
Enhance your Profile
LinkedIn is very user friendly and you will probably figure out how to use it by just clicking around and trying things. If you get stuck visit the LinkedIn help site at https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedinHere are some things to consider as you refine your LinkedIn presence.
- Your LinkedIn profile needs to be absolutely flawless. That means no spelling or grammatical errors, and it should be complete.
- Custom URL:Your LinkedIn URL should appear as “http://linkedin.com/in/yourfullname.” If it doesn’t, you’re missing a vital opportunity to have your profile rank higher in Google and to make it easier for people to find you. To do this, go to your profile and click “edit” and then next to where it says “public profile,” click “edit” again. At the top, you’ll want to click “edit” one more time next to “your public profile URL,” and then type in your full name, without spacing, and click “set address.” If the unique URL is taken, then try using a period between your first and last name or use your middle initial.
- Headline: Your headline will automatically display as the last job you’ve had unless you change it manually. You need to do this! You have 120 characters to wow your audience, so use it well. Be honest, don’t be too “cute,” avoid cliches and buzzwords, but do market yourself and your abilities.
- Summary: Your summary should include a brief paragraph describing your work experience, especially work experience that is relevant for the job you want. Feel free to enhance this section up with your unique abilities and differentiators, such as industry awards and honors. Note the rather lengthy Summary section in Jeff Weiner’s profile (mentioned earlier). Also, unlike your resume, your summary in LinkedIn should be written in the first person.
- Experience: In this section, describe your job experience. The easiest way to complete this section is to copy and paste the bullets from your traditional resume.
- Keywords: You should flood your entire LinkedIn profile with keywords because recruiters and other individuals will be using LinkedIn as a talent search engine. Select a few keywords that from your headline and sprinkle them throughout your profile to rank higher when someone conducts a LinkedIn search. If you show up first or second, then you may get the opportunity over everyone else.
- Skills & Endorsements:This section allows your first-degree connections to quickly give you a “thumbs up” for specific skills with the simple click of a button. You have a better chance of getting endorsements if you endorse others.
- Recommendations:Having recommendations is important because when a recruiter searches for talent, they will view and identify profiles that have the “thumbs up” graphic next to them. This indicates that you have been recommended and also displays the number of recommndations. If you have no recommendations, the desirable thumbs up will not appear. Recommendations can come from colleagues, teachers, managers, and even classmates. The most valuable recommendations come from your past employers and clients, next are colleagues and coworkers, and then finally, your professors or people you have worked with in a volunteer capacity.
- Images and Graphics: A professional headshot will help you make connections and win opportunities. Employers are seven times more likely to click on a profile if there is a headshot (Tan 2011), so do not leave this blank. Another way to express your brand is with a headline graphic. For example, Melinda Gates and Oprah both currently have headline graphics that relate to philanthropic work, a personal brand they both seek to communicate. The headline is prime LinkedIn real estate and simply using the default blue banner prevents you from utilizing this opportunity to communicate your brand.
- If you are on LinkedIn, how do you use the site to benefit your career?
- If you are not on LinkedIn, why have you chosen to opt out? How do you reap the same benefits without a presence on LinkedIn?
Aslam, S. (2019). Linkedin by the Numbers: Stats, Demographics&FunFacts. Omnicore
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Darrow, B. (2017). LinkedIn claims half a billion users. Retrieved April20, 2017.
Lu-Lien Tan, C. The Art of Online Portraiture. The Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2011.