Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive business card. It’s a summary of your professional experience, interests, and capabilities that is designed to attract the attention of important people who are searching for you online – recruiters, networking contacts, and grad school admissions officers. A strong profile is a key differentiator in the job market. So let’s get started…
- Craft an informative profile headline
Make sure it is short, memorable, and professional. Think of the headline as the slogan for your professional brand, such as “Student, National University” or “Recent honors grad seeking marketing position.”
- Display an appropriate photo
LinkedIn is not Facebook or Myspace. Use a high quality, professional headshot of just you alone.
- Show off your education
Be sure to include information about all institutions you’ve attended. Included major and minor if you have one, and highlight activities. Don’t be shy – your LinkedIn profile is an appropriate place to show off your strong GPA and any honors or awards.
- Develop a professional summary statement
Your summary statement should resemble the first few paragraphs of your best-written cover letter – concise and confident about your goals and qualifications. Present your statement in short blocks of text for easy reading.
- Fill in your “Specialties” section with keywords
“Specialties is the place to include key words and phrases that a recruiter or hiring manager might type into a search engine to find a person like you. The best place to find relevant keywords is in job listings that appeal to you or in the LinkedIn profiles of people who hold the positions you want.
- Update you status weekly
Tell people about events you’re attending, major projects you’ve completed, professional books you’re reading, or any other professional activity.
- Show your connectedness with LinkedIn Group badges
Joining Groups and displaying group badges on your profile are perfect ways to fill out the professionalism of your profile and show your desire to connect to people with whom you have something in common.
- Collect diverse recommendations
Nothing builds credibility like third-party endorsements. The most impressive LinkedIn profiles have at least on recommendation associated with each position a person has held. Think about soliciting recommendations from professors, internship coordinators and colleagues, employers, and professional mentors.
- Claim your unique LinkedIn URL
To increase the professional results that appear when people type your name into a search engine, set your LinkedIn profile to “public” and claim a unique URL for your profile, for example: www.linkedin.com/in/yourname
- Share you work
A final way to enhance your LinkedIn profile is to add examples of your writing, design work, or other accomplishments by displaying URLs or adding LinkedIn Applications. By including URLs, you can direct people to your website, blog, or Twitter feed. Through Applications, you can share a PowerPoint or store a downloadable version of your resume.
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