If you're new to LinkedIn, I feel you! I've been on LinkedIn for at least a good four years, but since I gain most of my clients and networking experiences elsewhere, I haven't been as active as I maybe should be. That's going to change shortly, as I've done my research and discovered the 7 things you absolutely have to have on your LinkedIn profile!
A COMPELLING INTRODUCTION
Your introduction (the "Summary" block) is where you should list the first impression you wish to give off to those viewing your profile. I wanted to lead with my inner motivation of helping others and how this guides me throughout all of my career opportunities. Giving a backstory may help your visitors connect with you:
A SOLID, PROFESSIONAL PHOTO
Mine (although outdated - remind me to get on that!) is simple and well-groomed. Psst... don't spill the beans: I never look like that when I'm at home working in my pajamas ;) This photo truly helps others to grasp what your level of professionalism is and if you understand the concept of "dressing the part". A friendly smile always helps - be sure not to make your Instagram selfie face!
Recommendations are LIFE, I'm telling you! These are like mini testimonials on your profile. Request that your supervisors and co-workers leave recommendations for you. I suggest at least one per job, if not two or three. These show under a "Recommendations" section towards the bottom of your profile and additionally show underneath the corresponding occupation.
Endorsements are another great way to show your authority in your niche specialty. Clearly, I don't have too many yet because I've been seriously neglecting my profile, but it's still a decent amount to get started. Endorsements are a simple click from your connections (in other words: friends) that allow them to show they support this skill of yours and believe that you do have it. You have the ability to rank your skills by what you wish to show first, or you can simply choose to show them by highest ranked (I chose the first).
These are somewhat like blog posts, but housed on the LinkedIn platform. These are perfect for sharing in LinkedIn groups and directly to your connections via your profile. Written similarly to a blog post, Pulse articles are tailored to their audience and are meant to: a). prove your knowledge in your niche and b). provide something of value to readers.
A FULL RESUME
Well, perhaps. If you'd like to attach your resume to your "Summary" block, that's awesome, but that's not necessary for everyone (for example, someone who runs their own business like myself). I always tailor my resume for any job I end up actually applying for, as I come from a diverse background of experience and don't have one generic resume I can slap on my profile. If your experience is very defined and you're job hunting, this may be helpful for you.
What I mean by "a full resume" is this: a full explanation of each of your jobs--both paid and volunteer work up until this point in time. A list of skills and a summary of tasks and highlights. This also goes for any education (college, high school) and accolades. If someone's really vetting, they're going to love you for providing this information.
These are SO IMPORTANT and not to be overlooked! Adding external links to your websites (especially if you are the owner of a website, such as my business website and my blog) will help convert your connections and visitors. You have the option to add external links beneath each job position, or underneath your "Summary" block:
Which of these tips helped the most? What else do you recommend having on your LinkedIn profile? Sound off in the comments!
NAME: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.