LinkedIn is the largest professional networking service on the Internet. It can help users explore job opportunities, be seen by potential employers and network in their field, but it takes more than just signing up for a profile to get results. Here are seven tips to help you take your profile from beginner to all-star to make the most out of your profile.
- Have a professional picture. It is important to remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform, not a social one like Facebook where your picture can be casual. Your picture should portray you in a professional light and make future employers take you seriously – no selfies or beach pictures please! Also make sure that you are the only person in your profile picture so there isn’t confusion about which person you are.
- Make an in-depth header. Fill in every field in the header with specific and accurate information so your profile stands out to the right people. Include your industry and location, as well as current position—highlight other previous positions if you’ve been in the industry for a while. If you’re new to the working world, include your education and/or internship experience.
- Create an interesting summary. The summary is one of the most important parts of your profile. Its job is to interest the reader enough that they want to learn more about you. Spend time determining what you want your connections to know about you and what you think your strongest characteristics are.
- Sell yourself. It is important that everyone looking at your profile knows your skill sets and accomplishments. When creating your skills and experience section, add all of the programs you have worked with and all of the characteristics you have. You should have at least three skills listed, but once you get started you will see how much more you can do.
- Make connections. The entire website is dedicated to making professional connections. If you don’t make a network for yourself, no one is going to see your profile. If there aren’t many people you know to connect with, try joining groups and participating in discussion boards. Get your name out there and you will have more connections in no time.
- Include attachments and visuals of your past work. When listing past job or internship experiences, add a project you are specifically proud of. If you want to include an uploaded version of your resume and references, then go ahead! These are the kinds of things that will set your profile apart from the others.
- Publish posts that interest you and that are relevant to your field. When you publish posts, it is another way to get your name out there and get people to see what you are an expert in.
Even if you make an all-star profile, you’ll need to be active to remain relevant, so make sure to frequently update, connect and post to get the most out of your account. Can you think of any other ways to improve your LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments below!