Advice: Creating the Ideal LinkedIn Profile

People in the market for a new job often struggle with creating the ideal LinkedIn profile. We’ve all seen iffy profiles that deter us from connecting. At times it is an unprofessional profile picture, a braggy or boring summary or a general lack of information available on a page. LinkedIn has a structure built into it that makes it easy to create a profile but there’s more to it than copy-pasting your resume into the right boxes and never looking at it again. Specifically, your profile gives you the unique ability to discuss your merits professionally while adding a personal touch. Today we’re going to go through the steps anyone can take to create the strongest, most solid LinkedIn profile. So, let’s talk logistics. The most basic elements of your profile need to be in order. Your photo choice is key, as other blogs have pointed out. There're multiple wrong choices when it comes to your photo. This is the first thing people will see when they click on your page. You want them to be greeted by a recent, properly sized and professional portrait. This means no party pics, no full body shots and nothing blurry or grainy. After your photo, your text needs a good review. Are there spelling errors or grammatical mistakes? Are there super long paragraphs rather than concise bullet points for each job description? Is there a thoughtful and friendly tone throughout the page? Once you’ve added your job information and basic details, it’s time to focus on the little details. If you’ve published content relevant to your field or have a professional blog or social media site, posting links to these sites can be a great way to spice up your page visually. Additionally, remember that your public link is visible below your photo. You can customize this link in your settings so it includes your name rather than a bunch of number and letters. Your customized link can then be placed on business cards, in emails, and on your resume. More than anything, it shows you’re paying attention to details and putting effort into presenting your best self publicly. linkedin_cartoon

(Customizing your LinkedIn connection message helps people know that you've put thought into adding them to your network )
There are three extras that add more personality to your page: recommendations, skills, and interests. Anything that gives a viewer more of a ‘feel’ for your personality and what you know how to do, the better. This is your space to customize your profile and go beyond the simpler content of a CV. Once you’ve found the right photo, edited and clarified your written content, created a public link, it’s time to grow your reach. Look at other people in your field or desired field’s profiles. See which job titles and descriptions they use for tasks they completed. Take inspiration from others who are successful yet make your content your own. Finally, begin to add people from your old schools, your previous positions, and people you’re interested in learning from in your field—it’s good to customize your messages when connecting, especially with people you haven’t already met. Lastly, don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile periodically. Keep your new connections updated on what you’re up to and where you’re working as you continue to grow and build your network.