Five basics for a solid LinkedIn profile

As I discussed before, LinkedIn is a Career Management Tool. Like any tool, LinkedIn must be used correctly in order to maximize its effectiveness. With LinkedIn, it starts with creating a compelling profile.

1. Your name and title

Your name is your name.

The default title is your current job title, which may not be very descriptive. TIP: Instead of using the job title, include two or three brief achievements.

2. Photo

Yes, you need one.

Technically, you could skip this, but profiles without photos are viewed as incomplete, suggests that you are trying to hide something, or don’t know how to upload a photo.

Include a headshot, you alone, against a neutral backdrop, relatively recent.

Examples from my own LinkedIn profile

Examples from my own LinkedIn profile

3. Vanity URL

The LinkedIn default is a seemingly random string of letters and numbers. Edit the URL to some version of your name so that someone could easily find your profile.

4. Summary

This is where you describe yourself. What do you want to be known for? Speak in first-person, and use personal pronouns (I, me, my).

Emphasize achievements. It’s not bragging if you can back it up.

Include lots of keywords so you are more likely to appear in LinkedIn and Google searches. You can write in paragraphs, bullets, or keyword summaries, or use any (or all) in combination.

5. Experience

Include summaries and achievements from all of your previous employments. Again, write in first-person, use personal pronouns, and emphasize achievements.

Include all of your employment experiences, going as far back as you can remember, even if they are not in your current or desired field. You may choose to not include as many details in your summaries, but by including every company, you have the ability to search for anyone you used to work with.

To be considered a “complete” profile, LinkedIn requires that you include at least two work experiences. If you do not have two employment experiences, then consider including any volunteer or pro bono work.

"All Star" Status indicates a complete profile

“All Star” Status indicates a complete profile


In my next post, I will talk about some of the other profile features that can set you apart as an expert in your field.

Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.



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