New to LinkedIn? 5 Simple Steps to a Perfect Profile
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet so it’s no wonder that thousands of employees use this platform to find the right job/internship, connect with other professionals, and highlight their work experience.
Having a great LinkedIn profile can be crucial to your job search but getting started can be daunting.
We’ve identified 5 simple steps to crafting a profile that’s personal, professional, and the perfect advertisement for you.
Step 1: Post a professional headshot
This is your chance to make a great first impression. Having a good, professional photo can increase the credibility of your profile and make sure that you stand out as a serious job seeker. Don’t have a headshot? Your photo doesn’t have to be taken by an expert photographer to look professional – you can have a friend take it on their phone! Pick a neutral background with soft, natural lighting, dress in your best, business-professional outfit, and make sure the shot is from the waist or chest up. Remember: this isn’t Facebook. No selfies, sunglasses, or t-shirts allowed! Here is a great link on tips to picking the right profile picture.
Don’t be afraid to jazz up your profile by adding a background photo that speaks to you! Popular choices include nature scenes, patterns, or business themes.
Step 2: Identify your experiences
Just like your resume, you want to make sure you’re representing your relevant work experiences and education well. Unlike your resume, you don’t need to be as worried about keeping it short. While you may not WANT to add every job you’ve ever had, it isn’t outside of the norm to do so. That being said, make sure that each job you include is fleshed out with interesting or unique tasks you accomplished or skills you learned. Don’t be shy about adding in details (but don’t write a novel either).
Step 3: Get personal in the “About” section
Showcase what makes you special! Take 1-2 paragraphs to express your motivations, skills, and the types of opportunities you are looking for in your career. This is where you can tie in any specific experiences you have that will make you a great fit for the job you’re looking for. Be careful not to lock yourself into a corner though – you never know what amazing opportunity may be out there that you’ve never even considered. Need some inspiration? LinkedIn has some great examples of what people have done to make their “About” section stand out: Check them out!
Step 4: Add relevant skills
Listing skills on your profile can help reveal your strengths to other members in LinkedIn or recruiters that visit your profile. Once those are listed, your connections can endorse them and increase your chances of being discovered for opportunities that look for those relatable skills. Make sure that you can back-up the skills you list – bonus points if you can add skills that are already demonstrated in your work history.
Step 5: Start connecting!
Once you’ve put your profile together, start sending out connection requests. Your profile will be more likely to read as active and legitimate once you pass 50 connections so reach out to people you know or companies you’re interested in to build up your network. Always add a note to your connection request to increase the likelihood of your request being accepted, especially if you don’t already know the person. A friendly greeting and explanation of why you want to connect can go a long way. Be aware: if too many people decline your connection requests because they don’t know you, LinkedIn may shut down your account.
Ready to get started? Katapult Network staff are always happy to connect with you to build up your network. Still not sure how to get your profile polished? Let us know how we can help!