Your LinkedIn profile represents your professional image on the Internet and can be found through searches on LinkedIn or search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
When people search the Internet for your name, your LinkedIn profile will most likely be one of the top search results so you want to make a great first impression.
It provides people with a comprehensive summary of you, your education, work experience, and your achievements.
It also links people to other social media properties and websites where you can showcase your expertise.
Your LinkedIn profile consists of:
- Your headline
- Your photo
- Status updates
- Vanity URL
- Additional information
- Personal information
- Contact information
Make Your Profile Complete
When you create your LinkedIn account, you will be prompted to answer some questions as you populate your profile. Filling out your profile completely will help you connect with others faster than if you leave out important details
Let’s look together at a few of the major categories. First, you will be asked if you are Employed, a Job Seeker, or a Student. You will be led through a custom wizard, which is tailored to your selection so you can easily build a profile optimized for your objective.
Create A Compelling Headline
Your profile headline is the single most important part of your profile. It appears next to your name in the search results. Your headline must be compelling enough to make people want to click on your profile to learn more about you. You should never put just your name and company name in your headline.
Your Online Resume
Think of LinkedIn as your online resume and your profile as the introductory paragraph of your resume. As people scan your profile, they should be able to understand exactly what you do as they read your headline.
After your profile headline, you’ll create your profile summary. There is no right or wrong way to create your profile summary. The main objective is to use your keyword phrases so you’re easily found and people can get a quick overview of your skill sets as they scan your professional profile.
The wizard will now prompt you to enter your current job information including your hire date and details about the position. It will continue to prompt you to complete your past job titles, responsibilities, and the dates you worked at that position. You can enter up to five past positions.
Once you’ve entered your current and past jobs, you will enter your education. Here you enter the school you attended, the degree(s) you earned, if any, and the dates you attended the school. The wizard will continue to prompt you to enter more schools until you’ve entered all of those you attended.
Search Friendly Skills
After you complete the education portion of your profile, the wizard will move to your skills. It’s important to use your keyword phrases in the skills section of your profile so your profile is search friendly. You can add up to 50 skills to your profile, which will dramatically increase the chances of someone finding you when they search for that skill set. As you start typing, the system will suggest skills that are already being used on LinkedIn. Select as many variations of your keywords as possible to optimize your profile.
Make sure to use a professional headshot as the picture in your LinkedIn profile. First impressions are important. People will judge you within a few seconds when they see your LinkedIn profile. Save your casual pictures for Facebook and Twitter. The best LinkedIn profile pictures are engaging and inviting.
Basic LinkedIn Profile
At this point you have a basic LinkedIn profile and will start seeing new items appear in your sidebar. LinkedIn is reading your profile and building a list of recommendations based on the keywords you post in your jobs, education, summary, and skills.
The People You May Know section will recommend new, targeted connections you may want to add to your network. You will also see recommended jobs and groups you may want to join based on your profile and network data. You will also see a list of companies you may want to start following so you can keep up with your industry trends or watch them to see if you may want to work there some day.
Now that you have your basic LinkedIn profile created, check back for future LinkedIn tips and tutorials.