LinkedIn is the most popular and well-known professional platform out there. It’s recommended that everyone have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Employers will look you up on LinkedIn! When I was interviewing for my job, a few managers commented about how some applicants had no LinkedIn presence. Get started as soon as possible! This post is about 7 ways to polish your LinkedIn profile.
Think of LinkedIn as a digital, interactive resume.
You can attach files of your previous projects, and interact with different company’s posts.
If you’re currently in college, you can use your LinkedIn to connect with friends, alumni, professors, and recruiters. It’s a great way to look for internships and build your network.
If you’ve graduated college, it’s now more important than ever to build your LinkedIn presence. Continue to build your network and share new badges/posts to your feed.
You can still build a LinkedIn profile, whether or not you have tons of work experience!
Here are 7 ways to polish your LinkedIn profile:
1. Foundations–Have a Professional Photo and Cover Image!
This is the most fundamental tip. Your photo is the first thing anyone will look at. BUT, you’ll be surprised by the number people that don’t follow this rule!
Choose a high quality image with a simple background, and crop it so that it’s chest-up. We should just see your head and your shoulders. Smile! Everyone likes coworkers who are pleasant people. Your profile picture is almost like a first impression.
LinkedIn is a purely professional platform. Keep that in mind when selecting your photo. I recommend you wear a nice blouse or a blazer.
If you’d like to take it up a notch, add a cover image! This is what shows up in the banner. I graduated from Rice University, so I just have a stock image of my university’s academic quad up there.
2. Write a Headline
Your headline is what goes underneath your name. It also shows up when you comment on LinkedIn posts for others to see.
For my headline, I have the training program role that I’m currently in listed.
If you’re a college student, you can say “__your major__ Student at __name of your school__.” For example, “Biochemistry Student at Rice University” for a student studying biochem at Rice!
If you’re currently seeking a job, write that! It can simply be, “Actively seeking marketing positions” or anything that suits what you’re looking for. This lets recruiters know that you’re open to new positions!
3. Write a blurb in your “About” section
Think of your “About” section as a one-paragraph cover letter, but even more brief. You can easily write a blurb in three sentences.
Here’s a sentence-structure breakdown you can use:
- I am passionate about… (innovative problem-solving, client collaboration, technological developments, etc.).
- My experiences in ______ have equipped me with _____.
- Add a sentence that has a general “next steps” tone, such as a prod to connect with you or message you on LinkedIn!
4. Add Experiences
The great thing about the experience section on LinkedIn is that you can add experience outside of work. It’s interactive, and you can attach files or links to your projects. If you don’t have much job experience, I recommend that you add research projects, leadership positions, club activity, and anything else that you’ve worked on in college or outside!
There’s also a separate Volunteer Experience section that you can add to!
If you’re already well into college, try to leave your high school activities out. As a college student, your most important experiences are the ones that you have in school or during your internships. High school experiences aren’t going to have as much weight when it comes to employers.
- Quantify! Add numbers to your experiences.
- Use active words to describe your work. Show how you’ve driven results!
- If possible, add attachments of your projects from work experiences to build your “portfolio.”
- Now is not the time to be shy or humble, for that matter. You’ve got competition!
5. Add your skills and get your peers to endorse you!
LinkedIn has an amazing section where you can add skills relevant to your job field, and your friends/coworkers/peers can endorse you for them! It’s always easier to get your classmates and friends to endorse you in the beginning, especially when you’re just starting to build your LinkedIn presence.
Your managers and coworkers can endorse you in the future, and this builds your credibility. Recruiters will notice this!
6. Don’t be shy with your ‘Accomplishments’ section
Again, this is another chance to shine. Adding to the “Accomplishments” section of your LinkedIn profile is going to help build your credibility and digital presence. If you have any awards or publications, or if you speak multiple languages, here’s the place to add them!
7. Build your footprint!
Start using LinkedIn!
You can start connecting with peers, following companies (see my Interests section above), and commenting/reacting to posts. These activities will also show up in your LinkedIn profile, and recruiters will be able to see how you interact with others (as well as what interests you have!). This creates a more well-rounded picture of you as an applicant.
When connecting with others, it’s always better to add a brief note. Especially if this person is an executive at your company. Be courteous and respectful. It takes only a few seconds more to personalize something.
LinkedIn has a dashboard that shows up in your profile (that only you can see), with info on who has been looking at your stuff. It’s an interesting way to gain some insight into your LinkedIn presence.
*If you fill out your profile completely, you’ll be in more search appearances as well!
So if you’re trying to get a job or internship in the tech industry, interact with posts and events from companies and executives in that industry. Any new technological innovations catching your eye? You can even write a LinkedIn article about it and share!
I hope you’ve found these LinkedIn profile tips helpful! Feel free to reach out any time. Good luck!
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