Having a strong LinkedIn profile is the front-line of your online reputation and can improve your chance of finding employment whether you are passively or actively looking for a new job. However, it does take time and effort to develop a profile that will draw the attention of potential employers.
There are numerous articles about creating a strong LinkedIn profile that provide varying levels of detail. We’ve highlighted some common themes, but have also provided links to additional resources below this post.
- Your profile picture: Your profile picture is not optional. When other LinkedIn users view your profile, they spend the most time looking at your picture (The Ladders, 2012). Some people argue that you should use a professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile (Foote, 2013), while others believe you should choose your profile picture based on the profile pictures of employees in the industry you want to break into (Jacoway, 2015). Generally speaking, you want to choose a picture that clearly shows your face and doesn’t have a lot of distracting details in the background.
- Create a strong headline: The headline is the bold text on LinkedIn that goes immediately below your name. Many people use this space to display their current job title. However, don’t be afraid to get more creative! For example, instead of stating, “Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor,” consider highlighting achievements, such as “I’ve helped over 600 people find and establish their careers.”
- Create a custom URL: LinkedIn automatically assigns your profile page a custom URL. By default, that URL is a bunch of random numbers, letters and symbols. However, you can customize the URL to include your full name. Using your full name also boosts your google ranking and helps people remember your URL.
Pulse, the blog published by LinkedIn, walks you through the steps for changing your LinkedIn URL in the following post.
- Write a creative summary: The summary is your LinkedIn introduction. Take some time to write an original summary that highlights your accomplishments, skills and aspirations. Linkedinsights.com has some examples of LinkedIn summaries to help you get started.
- Use Multimedia to enhance your Profile: LinkedIn allows you to embed Power Point presentations and videos into our profile. Take advantage of this feature to make your profile more dynamic.
Here is a video of Kristen Jacoway Beasley explaining how to update your profile:
Further readings on Creating a Profile include: