How to Create a Great LinkedIn Profile

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If you think your LinkedIn profile is just about you, you’re missing the point. While a great LinkedIn profile needs to highlight your skills and work experience, it is super important to think about who your audience is. Are you looking for a new career, a better position, or just for networking opportunities? With every word you write, think about who you’re writing to. Then, follow some basic rules to ensure your profile is the best it can be.

Photo: LinkedIn profiles with photos are 11 times more likely to be viewed than those without. Make sure yours is professional and personable. No, you don’t have to hire a photographer to create a perfect headshot. But you do need a clear image of you in appropriate attire. And unless you actually work with animals, do not include your pets. Your photo should have only you—no distractions.

Headline: Just like newspapers and online publications use exact headlines to grab your attention and send a message, your headline needs to convey a lot in a little. What can you say in 120 characters that says who you are and what you do? Although LinkedIn will automatically populate your headline with your job title and company, don’t settle for autopilot! Use keywords that speak to your audience, while also saying something about the career you have or the one you want.

Summary: Here’s your opportunity to tout your achievements. With a 2,000 character limit, you have some real estate to work with so take advantage. Be specific. Use examples with data to back up what you say. And make it easy to read by using bullets. For example, if you’re an Executive Assistant you might include a list something like:

·         Developed office processes and efficiencies that increased productivity by 15%

·         Coordinated executive team leadership meetings on and off-site

·         Managed schedules for the company executives and communicated to subordinate staff

·         Arranged complex and detailed travel itineraries

·         Supported effective executive communication across the organization

Work Experience: It’s great that it’s so easy to tailor your resume to a specific job, but LinkedIn is not your resume! Your work experience should reflect what’s most relevant to what you do and where you want to go. Include your employers and your job titles, but don’t include every job you’ve ever held. And make sure to highlight your responsibilities—especially those where you held a leadership role. Your life’s work has earned you some bragging rights. Go for it! But be as humble as you can.

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for job hunting and networking if you put your best professional portfolio foot forward. Are you up for the task? If you’re a Charter College student, we’re here to help with this and much more. Contact Career Services today!