By Laura Harrop

LinkedIn can be an amazing online tool for anyone looking to build a professional network. It pays to put the time into creating a profile that will help steer success. The following are tips which can help new users make the most of this virtual platform when forming their professional profiles. 

  1.  Take the time to upload a recent, professional photo for potential employers. You should be wearing what you would normally wear to work. Your face should take up about half the photo frame. Don’t forget to smile! 
  2. When deciding on a headline, include more than just a job title. Aim for about ten words and use relevant key words if you want to be searchable to potential employers.  
  3. Expand your network by connecting with contacts. Don’t skip this part! Sync your profile with existing email contacts and this allows LinkedIn to make additional suggestions. Beyond this, getting into the habit of following up meetings and conversations with Linked In connection requests is a great way to solidify professional relationships. 
  4. Use the summary section to talk about your achievements (about 5 to 6). Bullet points are useful here as they make your profile easier to read. Ask yourself who your target reader is, and write for that person. Videos or other media files can be useful to include, if applicable. 
  5. Keep your profile concise. This includes your work and volunteer history, skills, education, etc. Your profile doesn’t need to include every job and volunteer position you have ever had, just those relevant to your current career goals. If you have volunteer experience that is pertinent to your job search, put it in the work experience section, instead of at the bottom. 
  6. Adjust your LinkedIn to make it stronger. On the right hand side of your profile, there is an indicator of profile strength.  The more detailed your profile is, the stronger the profile. Keep adding until you reach “All-Star”, which can help if you have overlooked something. 
  7. Minimize vague, overused language in the summary section like “creative”, “experience”, and “specialized”. You can still use these words but make sure you explain yourself further to stand out! 

After creating your profile and setting up connections, make sure you keep updating and adding to your network in order to maximize use of the space. Good luck!