LinkedIn is a professional necessity. It’s one of the first things employers look for when you submit an application & it’s a perfect way to make connections in your industry & show off your resumé without killing a million trees.
Everyone has a LinkedIn profile, but do you actually know how to use LinkedIn?
Five Things Your LinkedIn Should Have
- A good photo
A selfie just will not do! Make sure your profile photo is a professional-looking head shot. The frame should be from the chest/shoulders up and you should be dressed appropriately for a work environment. Ask a friend to take it for you or set a camera up with a self-timer to take it yourself.
- Contact Info
Seems like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to tell people how to contact you. Offer your email address (as long as it’s appropriate, but that’s a topic for another day) or a phone number, if you’d like.
- Positions & Projects
It’s not enough to just list the jobs you’ve had on LinkedIn. Taking the time to write about what you did at each job, how you were successful and what you worked on is so important. Don’t forget to include the projects you’ve worked on – especially info, links & images.
- Recommendations & Endorsements
Once you get all of your jobs and details posted, contact your old bosses, colleagues, etc. – anyone who can attest to the kind of work you do and the type of employee or coworker you are – and ask them if they would mind writing a recommendation for you. Just be sure you’re not using the standard message template; type out a personal message. For endorsements, endorse the skills of people you’ve worked with & they’ll likely endorse you in return.
The fact that LinkedIn is pretty much a basic template is great when you’re getting started, but don’t forget to make it your own. Keep it professional, but add a bit of your personality, from a catchy, but true, headline to a snazzy summary or a header photo that offers a glimpse into your life. Stand out a bit!