There are 4 key elements to creating a great Linked In profile, and it’s a lot more than just uploading your resume and hoping for the best! In the modern age where recruiters can google your name, social media keeps everyone connected, and we are moving to more virtual contact than ever, your LinkedIn profile can make or break a company’s interest in you!
A great LinkedIn profile will showcase your professionalism, help represent who you are, and show where you want to go on your career path. A great LinkedIn profile is also more likely to help you make more connections and grow your professional network! The 4 key elements to making your profile great are as follows:
1. Profile Picture and Banner
The first a recruiter or potential employer may ever see of you is the profile picture and banner you post to your LinkedIn profile. These pictures can help you showcase your professionalism as well as your individuality. Not everyone can afford professional photos, but with Smartphone cameras improving each generation and some simple photo editing software, you can definitely take a professional photo.
For your Profile Pic:
· Smile! This will make recruiters and people viewing your profile feel friendlier in kind
· Wear office casual. Keep it appropriate and above the waist
· Choose a neutral background. It should be plain and serve as a backdrop to the focus: you
· Ensure your eyes are straightforward to the camera. This mimics eye contact in real life and helps your picture to connect to profile viewers.
· Avoid crazy filters. A minor touch up and simple filter is fine, but if it is noticeably over the top, it can seem unprofessional.
· If you’re unsure how to pose yourself and such, look at your linked in network or look at professional photos that catch your eye, you can then mimic them and find which works best for you!
For your banner:
· Pick something that relates to you. Like the entrance of your college if you’re a recent graduate, flowers if you’re a gardener, a pet if you’re a vet tech etc. It can act as a great conversational topic
· Keep it appropriate and neutral. You want it to appeal to a broad demographic, so avoid topics, art, and depictions of subject matter that can cause inflammatory opinions to arise. This is very public, so you want the banner photo to reflect your best professional self.
If you don’t have any photos that would be good banner material, you can always use the site canva to design a free LinkedIn banner that is professional and best represents you. Under your picture and banner, other than your name, is the next key piece that will have recruiters reading more or saying pass: the headline.
Your headline will need to grab a recruiter or HR person’s attention in 30 seconds or less. The headline is the first written thing people see of your profile, and it should be 120 characters or less. This is because your headline should be a reflection of your current employment role and where you can put in important keywords (Not buzz words or jargon) that will help you turn up in relevant searches and catch the eye of potential employers.
Your headline appears under your name, so it will appear as:
Headline/ Headline /Headline /Headline
The best way to write your headline is as follows (and remember, keep it under 120 characters if possible!)
Current or most recent role / Next most recent relevant position or a skill / Key skill using key words you have / Job you are seeking
Altogether it should look like:
CEO of MadeUp Cosmetics/ CSS Developer at Madeup Industries/Strategic Planning & Board Governance/ Seeking next leadership role
This may seem short, but it’s meant to be the eye catcher the next key element is where the meat of your story and experience is, the Summary.
3. Summary (About Section)
There are countless articles that all have many different suggestions on how to best write your summary, the formatting to use, the best key words, etc.
In this article, we’re going to give you a base framework and the quickest tips.
Your summary is your career story, it’s essentially your blurb or elevator pitch on your Linked In profile. The number one rule of your summary?
Make sure it is grammatically correct and contains no spelling errors.
There is no surer way to get a potential employer to discount you faster than errors in your summary.
The next best way is to be succinct. You’re not writing war and peace, you’re writing a snapshot of your relevant career experience, skills, character, and successes to hopefully land you your next job.
The basic format that is most ideal is as follows:
· Describe your present or most recent role if you are unemployed.
· Highlight previous and current successes. This would be a great place to showcase a link or photograph or any rich media to show off your hard work. Just one or two, remember we are keeping it succinct and to the point!
· Reveal your character. Write about how your current or previous coworkers described you, or a glowing comment from a job performance review.
· Showcase some of who you are outside of work. If you volunteer, participate in community events, have an appropriate and unique hobby that could give you a great creative edge, describe it in professional terms. It could give you a point in common with recruiters and can also showcase more of what makes you unique.
· Final sentences about your career goals. Do a quick blurb about what roles you are looking for in the future, another great place to add key words such as “I am looking towards being the CSS developer for a company that shares my interests in X, and plan on growing my skills in x over the coming year!
Each of these bullets should only be a sentence or two. This isn’t the place for filler but rather to pick out the best of your achievements. The next key element is the broadest, and is also what can help you not only with recruiters, but also with the LinkedIn algorithm and networking: The complete profile.
4. Complete Profile
No one likes the annoying notifications for details you might think are irrelevant. After all, if you’ve uploaded your resume and completed the above 3 elements, that should be enough? Not according to Linked In!
A Complete LinkedIn profile has you fill out every single aspect available to you. Features, Skills, Endorsements, certificates, badges, resume, settings, verified skills, publications, URLs to your personal site or other professional social media, etc.
LinkedIn will also keep track of parts of your profile you have yet to complete as well, and notify you of changes you may need to make.
This is important because a complete LinkedIn profile makes your profile get boosted by the LinkedIn algorithm, which can help your profile land in front of the right recruiters.
A complete LinkedIn profile can also help you expand your network! LinkedIn will offer you connections based on the filled out parts of your profile, so the more complete it is, the easier it is to find people in the same field, people with similar interests, or people with different skills that you can network with!
Finally, a complete LinkedIn profile makes it easier for you to take advantage of extra features like endorsements, skill assessment verification, and job recommendations that will help you stand out and access more opportunities.
These are the 4 key elements to a great LinkedIn profile! For more information on how to best use LinkedIn after finishing your profile, on professionalism and other social media, and more, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our weekly blog updates!