How to Make an Effective and Impressive LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is a key component to your professional image. Boost your online presence and leave a good impression with these five tips for an effective LinkedIn profile from Associate Director of Outreach, Engagement & Professional Development Raquel Arredondo.

As a primary tool for recruiters and hiring managers to research potential candidates, LinkedIn should be a top priority in your job search process. Make sure you are communicating your brand effectively and ensure you’re highlighting your professional connections, certifications, and career accomplishments that make you stand out from the application pool.

The Importance of a Professional LinkedIn Photo

Your photo is the first thing people look at when viewing your profile. Your profile photo represents who you are as a professional and making sure it is a quality photo is crucial.

Though professional headshots are not always in everyone’s budget, here’s a list of things to keep in mind when taking or choosing a profile image.

  • Be sure to smile – smiling sends a friendly appearance.
  • Look presentable – while business casual isn’t entirely necessary, a well-groomed look is vital.
  • Avoid informal photos – party photos, wedding photos, and vacation photos aren’t the setting for a professional meeting. Keep this in mind when selecting photos.

How to Write a Strategic Headline for LinkedIn to Set You Apart

Your headline on LinkedIn is a way for you to differentiate your profile from other people in your field by allowing you to focus on your key areas of expertise. The headlines can work as a sort of “elevator pitch” that will allow you to promote your personal brand and position yourself accordingly. Be sure to include relevant keywords and job titles to improve your positioning and appearance in search.

LinkedIn Summary: Tips and Strategies

The summary section of your LinkedIn profile is where you can tell your professional story. This is where your personal branding pitch can truly shine and you can highlight what makes you unique.

Whether you want to share your personal motivations for entering the field, passion projects that make you proud, or personal interests, these all contribute to the great mix of experience, interests and ideas that can help differentiate you from the crowd.

Writing Content for LinkedIn Using a Resume

One key to remember is ensuring your LinkedIn profile matches your resume. While you won’t need to go into detail in the same way or include the exact same information, ensuring position titles and dates correspond is crucial to helping employers in the vetting process.

A key benefit of LinkedIn is that you can also elaborate on skills and certifications you gained in each position and highlight what makes them important. Highlight any additional training or courses you’ve taken, including conferences, and professional development through your current or previous employer.

How to Network on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known for being a professional networking platform, but many approach the platform timidly. Using LinkedIn to expand your professional network doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. Small tips to remember when writing messages, joining professional groups, or researching companies and employees will ensure you never commit a networking fumble.

While joining professional groups can keep you in the loop of industry trends and local networking opportunities, going beyond the platform to building personal connections has some rules of thumb. When sending a connection request on LinkedIn, it’s critical to send a personal note. It not only demonstrates professionalism, but it also provides a context for why you want to reach out to the person.

You can remind the person of how you met, what mutual connection you have and what you are looking to speak with them about. Being transparent and upfront is a key to not only having someone accept your invite but also helps increase the chances of building a stronger professional connection with them in the future.