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10 Tips on Creating the Best LinkedIn Profile
Regardless of whether you are in business, trying to put your startup on the map, new to the working world or focus mostly on non-profit work, LinkedIn is a very good networking tool to help you achieve your professional goals.
A hunting ground for headhunters, HR managers and new businesses looking for partners or opportunities, it will do you good to have a professional LinkedIn profile set up, to let you take advantage of this.
1. Put in the Time to Make It Awesome
Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the odds that recruiters will find you in the first place. So, completeness is important from that standpoint. It’s also important after a recruiter has found you and decided to click on your profile: He or she wants to know what your skills are, where you’ve worked, and what people think of you. So, don’t get lazy—fill out every single section of your profile. The good news? LinkedIn will actually measure the “completeness” of your profile as you work and offer suggestions on how to make it stronger.
2. Choose a Great Photo
Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional image, and pop that baby up there. Not sure what “appropriately professional” means? Take a look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Match that.
3. Write a Headline That Rocks
Your headline doesn’t have to be your job title and company—in fact, especially if you’re looking for jobs, it shouldn’t be. Instead, use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty, value proposition, or your “so what?” The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.
4. Use Your Target Job Descriptions to Your Advantage
Take a look at the job descriptions of the positions you’re after, see those words that stand out? They’re likely what recruiters are searching for when they’re looking for people like you. Make sure those words and phrases are sprinkled throughout your summary and experience.
5. Don’t Waste the Summary Space
Ideally, your summary should be around 3–5 short paragraphs long, preferably with a bulleted section in the middle. It should walk the reader through your work passions, key skills, unique qualifications, and a list of the various industries you’ve had exposure to over the years.
6. Treat Your Profile Like Your Resume
Your resume isn’t just a list of job duties (or, at least, it shouldn’t be)—it’s a place to highlight your best accomplishments. Same goes for your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your experience section is fleshed out with bullet points that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.
7. But Use the First Person
You shouldn’t use the first person on your resume, but it’s actually fine to do so on LinkedIn (think “I’m a passionate development officer who raised $400,000 for cancer charities last year,” not (“John Adams is a passionate development officer…”).
8. Get Personal
Your profile is not a resume or CV. Write as if you are having a conversation with someone. Inject your personality. Let people know your values and passions. In your summary, discuss what you do outside of work. You want people to want to know you.
9. Show Your Achievements
Recruiters spend countless hours scouring LinkedIn in search of the high performers. And when they find them, they contact said high performers. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself as a high performer in your summary and experience section (think action words, accomplishments, talking about times you’ve been promoted or hand-picked for projects).
10. Make Sure People Can Find You
Don’t forget to add your email address (or blog, or Twitter handle, or anywhere else you’d like to be found) to the contact information section of your resume. You’d be surprised how many people leave this off!