How To Set Up A LinkedIn Profile Like A Pro
Is your LinkedIn Profile all it could be?
Are you not taking advantage of all the features LinkedIn provides to make your profile stand out?
Take some time and let’s make LinkedIn work for you. After your finished polishing your profile, I have some BONUS steps for what to do afterwards!
Your personal LinkedIn profile is more than just an online resume. It’s your professional identity online and a networking tool; so it’s important to put your best self forward.
If you’re new to LinkedIn or just unsure of what to do, here’s a complete guide on how to set up a LinkedIn profile like a pro.
How To Setup A Professional LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn profiles have so many sections, it can seem overwhelming. So let me break it down, section by section. I’m going to share some tips on how to set up a professional LinkedIn profile that doesn’t leave anything out.
Like any social network, this is important but please, keep it professional. It’s a good idea to get a professional headshot taken by a photographer. At the very least, make sure you’re dressed professionally before taking the photo.
Headlines don’t just have to be job titles. Make it something that will the grab attention of your target audience. Your headline is seen across LinkedIn and a good one encourages others to click through and view the rest of your profile.
Your LinkedIn URL
Ideally, your LinkedIn URL should be your full name. Nothing gimmicky please! If you have a common name, you may have to add in your middle name or a number at the end of your name.
The summary section is your chance to tell your story. This isn’t just about your career objective. Talk about your experience, what makes you stand out from others in the industry. If you run your business, explain your business in brief and the services you offer. Be sure to use keywords relevant to your industry in this section.
List roles you have held during your career in this section of your profile. It can be tempting to list EVERYTHING you have ever accomplished at any role in this section but don’t do it. List your key contributions in each role.
For each position you add, be sure to name the exact role you held, the company name and how long you worked there. You can add a link or upload a file to each section to further illustrate your role at a company.
Your Skills & Expertise
What are your main skills or areas of expertise? Add at least 10 of your core skills. LinkedIn will start suggesting relevant skills as you start typing.
By adding skills, you’re enabling others to endorse your professional experience. Get the process started by endorsing others. Most people like to return the favor. Over time, you will build up a list of endorsements for your skill set.
Fill in details about your degree or any other professional qualifications you may have, in this section. If there are any achievements worth knowing, be sure to add them in.
Leave out high school education, it’s really not necessary for a professional profile.
The above are the basic details you must add to properly set up a LinkedIn Profile. But, there are a few more sections you might like to fill out too.
In this section, you can add in some information about your interests (perhaps you like to travel?). You are not just about your work and writing about something just a little bit personal makes you more interesting.
Honors & Awards
Proud of any awards or honors you have received? Add them in this section.
Have you or do you volunteer your time for any cause? Why not tell your professional contacts about it in this section.
Fill out the above sections with all the appropriate information for an attractive and interesting LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn Profile Writing Tips
The language you use on your LinkedIn profile is important as it creates your professional image.
This goes without saying but I’ve seen many LinkedIn profiles that have been written so badly, it’s embarrassing. Your profile should make a good impression. No text-speak, no abbreviations. Just pretend you’re talking to a boss when you’re writing it.
Watch your spelling
Continuing on from the above point, it’s important to make sure there are no spelling and/or grammatical mistakes in your profile. It’s not a good look.
Speak to your “target market”
Who is your LinkedIn profile aimed towards? Potential employers? Potential clients? Other industry professionals? Keep this in mind and tell your story to this target audience through your LinkedIn profile.
Use keywords in your LinkedIn profile i.e. words that people in your industry would use to search LinkedIn for someone like you. Don’t stuff your profile but be sure to sprinkle them throughout your profile summary, experience, skills etc.
Bonus LinkedIn Profile Setup Tips
Now that your profile is up and running, here are a final few tips to get you off to a great start on LinkedIn.
Chances are, you already know a lot of people on LinkedIn so start adding them to your Connections. The easiest way to do it is to connect your email to LinkedIn and you will see a list of matching contacts you might want to connect with. Add anyone who you would like to make a professional connection with.
Don’t be afraid to add strangers too just don’t be spammy about it. It’s common on LinkedIn to connect with others in the industry so if you see someone interesting, don’t be afraid to send them a connection request. You can also use the ‘Find Alumni’ feature to add others who went to the same school as you.
There are a number of great groups on LinkedIn and I encourage you to join a few that are relevant to your industry. These are great places to connect with others and also share knowledge.
Search for relevant groups under Interests> Groups> Find a group.
Once you’re all set up, it’s important to start engaging with your LinkedIn community. Do this by:
- Sharing interesting and relevant professional content and status updates (no updates about your cat, please)
- Like/ Comment on/ Share posts from your connections and those in the same industry.
- Participate in groups and discussions
- Write content when you have something insightful to say.
So there you go, your LinkedIn profile is all set up and raring to go. Are you happy with the way it looks now?
Did I miss anything? Let me know your absolute MUST do for a LinkedIn profile.