So, you need a little help with your LinkedIn profile. I get it – social media isn’t for everyone, and a lot of people don’t see the value in spending time on social media, even if it is related to their career. This two-part blog series will dig into the profile setup and content basics of LinkedIn. (I promise it won’t be too painful.)
One of the most basic and important aspects on your LinkedIn profile is your name. This will be primarily how people search for your profile and you want to make sure it’s correct and capitalized appropriately. So, sadly, your office nickname won’t work.
Your profile picture is the first thing people will see when they’re on your profile. Your picture should be both professional and current with a background that is not distracting. A LinkedIn best practice is for your face to take up at least 60% of the frame.
One of the most often overlooked aspects of a LinkedIn profile is the cover photo. Adding a cover photo helps to complete your profile and boosts visibility. Common categories for cover photos include a picture that is related to your career, employer or university. A quick Google image search of any of these topics will produce many professional, attractive options.
Depending on the person, your title should include your status as a student or current career position. Your headline is visible to non-connections along with your name, so let’s ensure it accurately reflects what you’re doing. Simple examples of this for job-seeking students include “Junior Supply Chain student at the University of Arkansas” or “Senior Marketing student seeking entry-level position”. If you currently have a job, a perfect headline is as simple as your position and employer like “Content Marketing Strategist at Modthink Marketing”. This will connect through the experience section further down your profile.
I know, I know – no one likes writing bios. Lucky for you, a strong bio isn’t as hard as you think! The content of a bio will greatly vary from person to person, but a few simple pieces to add include your mission, passion, skills, experience and involvement. This is similar to a summary or objective on a resume. Don’t be afraid to make it a little fun!
Pro tip: you can update your LinkedIn URL. Check yours out now, LinkedIn automatically creates a default URL for your profile based off your name, and includes a random assortment of numbers and letters. At the top right corner of your profile there is a button titled “Edit public profile & URL”. Click this button and you will see “Edit URL” at the top. Remove the excess from your URL and enjoy your sleek new link. This makes it easy for you to share your LinkedIn profile with others and add it to your resume!
While you’re still in the URL settings, let’s check on your profile’s visibility. This setting controls how non-connections or non-LinkedIn users see your profile. It’s generally best to have your profile’s public visibility on – especially if you are a job-seeker or someone who utilizes LinkedIn for your education or career. If you continue scrolling down, you’re able to pick and choose which aspects of your profile are visible to people outside of your network. If there’s one thing you should make public, it should be your profile picture! I didn’t know this setting existed until I had my LinkedIn for a few months, and had no idea my picture was private to non-connections and showed the gray default ad hoc image.
Based on your current situation or position, your contact information will vary. For current job-seekers, it’s important to have your personal email listed on LinkedIn to connect with recruiters. For those already situated in their career, including your work email, phone number, website and address are best practices.
Listing your past experiences on LinkedIn helps build your credibility and establish you as a thought leader in your field. When people view your profile, they’re able to see your past positions. This can be incredibly useful if you’re looking for a job related to a field you have experience in.
Like a resume, you should add bullet points about your duties at each position. Make sure to connect to the company’s LinkedIn page if it exists. This is done by clicking the page that pops up when you type in the name of your employer. By adding this, you’re grouped with the company and included in their network. Don’t forget to add volunteer experience as well!
Like experience, your education should be one of the most detailed aspects of your profile. Include your degree and major in this section, along with listing any activities and societies you were involved in.
Licenses and Certifications
If you have a license or certification relevant to your career, include it on your profile! This is another step in establishing yourself as a micro influencer in your field. A lot of us at Modthink are certified in Google Ads and Google Analytics, and we all have it on our profiles to highlight our credibility.
No one likes to toot their own horn, but including your skills is another best practice on LinkedIn. Your skills section is completely up to you, but LinkedIn will offer suggestions based off your profile. You can include hard skills like data analysis, project planning or writing, and soft skills like leadership and communication. Here’s a list of the most in-demand skills of 2019.
Hey now, you’re a LinkedIn All-Star! My next blog will go in-depth about content and offer advice about posting/engaging on LinkedIn. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Cya!