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What Makes a Good LinkedIn Profile: Tips and Advice

July 12, 2016 - Posted to Resume Tips

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Everybody is on LinkedIn. This means two things. First, if you aren’t present on LinkedIn right now, you need to do the work of setting up your profile. Then, you need to learn how to make a good LinkedIn profile. After all, if everybody has a LinkedIn, you're going to need to know how to write a good LinkedIn profile, if you want to stand out in a crowded field. You can consider this a guide full of LinkedIn profile tips and other advice for folks who are new to this important networking platform.

LinkedIn Profile Picture Tips

It is absolutely essential that your profile includes your picture. Think of it this way. If a recruiter is looking through LinkedIn profiles for potential job candidates, they are likely going to be reading many profiles that are very similar to one another. After all, your competition for new  jobs is most likely to be from those with similar education and experience. At some point, all of this information can begin to run together for many recruiters. One way to prevent this, and to make your profile a bit more memorable is by using a high quality photograph. Here are some picture tips that you can refer to when you are setting up your profile:

  • Dress nicely and in a way that is appropriate for your industry.

  • Pay attention to details such as haircut, manicure, and accessories.

  • Have the picture taken by a professional, even if it’s just a portrait studio at the mall.

  • Pay attention to the background and any other elements.

  • Be sure that your portrait represents what you intend it to.

  • Pose with your head slightly turned and smile.

  • Avoid using action shots for your profile picture.

If you already have a picture on your profile, maybe it’s time to take a second look. Has your appearance changed? Was the picture something you uploaded from your Facebook account just to have a photo out there? It might be time to upgrade. Also, if you are considering skipping your picture, remember that LinkedIn sends profiles with no pictures to the bottom of search results.

What Makes a Good LinkedIn Profile? Being as Complete as Possible

One very typical mistake that people make when creating their profiles is that they don’t complete all of their contact information. Why would somebody want to handicap the ability of another person to contact them about a  new position or form a useful business relationship with them? If you want to know how to write a good LinkedIn profile, start with one that is complete. Fill in all of your contact information, including your social media information. Then, take the time to review that information every few months. You never know when it might be time to update your email address or other data. If privacy is a concern, don’t worry. Only those in your network can see your contact info.

How to Make a Good LinkedIn Profile That is Searchable

If you don’t know what keywords are, you need to. These are words and phrases that people use when performing searches on Google and on LinkedIn’s internal search engine. Trending keywords are keywords that are particularly hot in the moment. Your profile must contain keywords that are trending in your industry of choice. For example, if you are a web designer you would want to use keywords that indicate that you are up to date on the skills and technologies that are important to employers today. These keywords should appear in your summary, skills and expertise section, and even in your profile title. If you search for best profile examples along with your career field, you should be able to find a few profiles that are using the same keywords that you should be. It’s also another way to discover other great profile tips.

What Makes a Good LinkedIn Profile? Impeccable Spelling Grammar And Vocabulary

If you look at decent LinkedIn profile examples, you will see one common thing among all of them. The people who wrote those profiles took the time to ensure that they were absolutely free from any embarrassing spelling and grammar issues. They also were vigilant in demonstrating that they had good written communications skills and a well rounded vocabulary. Pro tip: having a good vocabulary doesn’t mean that you need to sound as if you’ve swallowed a thesaurus. You just need to show that you do not repeatedly use the same words over and over again.

Remember that brevity is also important, as is clarity. Consider using a tool such as Hemingway to ensure that your writing is as concise as it can be.

How to Make a Good LinkedIn Profile Better

Here are some LinkedIn profile tips that you can  use to kick your existing profile up a notch:

  • Ask people you trust for tips to improve LinkedIn profile

  • If you know somebody with skills for LinkedIn profile examples request that they help you

  • Eliminate information that is no longer relevant

  • Add in new information that you want people to see

  • Rewrite anything that is unclear or awkwardly phrased

  • Don’t be afraid to let other LinkedIn Profile examples give you inspiration or to write my LinkedIn profile

  • Consider hiring a professional with skills for LinkedIn profile examples to help you rewrite your profile

  • Consult your instructors for tips to improve profile

You might be surprised at the improved results you get when you simply take the time to polish and refine your existing LinkedIn profile.

Follow The Best LinkedIn Profile Examples With These Tips

If you really want to kick your profile up a notch, check out these quick and easy tips on how to write a good profile:

  • Make your headline catchy and relevant

  • Change your URL so that it isn’t some randomized string of numbers and letters

  • Get on LinkedIn on a regular basis to update your profile with new information - some people do this daily!

  • Write using the first person point of view and avoid the passive voice

  • Add contact information to your summary. This allows people who are not in your network to get a hold of you

  • Use images to make your profile stand out

  • Embrace the projects section of your profile and let people know the important work you have done and the things that you have accomplished

  • Provide links to the work you have done, your professional blogs, and articles you have either written or been featured in

  • Join groups that are relevant to your field

  • Get recommendations and endorsements to improve your credibility

  • Get information from the horse’s mouth by reading articles on LinkedIn.com for insight

  • Add a link to your video or infographic resume

  • Check your emails and messages on a daily basis

Know Your Goals

There is no one size fits all formula when it comes to your LinkedIn profile. Above and beyond anything else, you have to consider what your goals are. If you are an entry level job seeker looking for your first job, the choices you make regarding your LinkedIn profile are going to be starkly different from those of a person making a career change. Someone returning to work after a layoff, might have an entirely different set of goals and objectives. Know what you want from LinkedIn before you jump in and get started.

Remember That LinkedIn is One of Many Tools For Developing Your Personal Brand

Every social media platform that your participate on contributes to the development of both your personal and professional brands. What does this have to do with your LinkedIn profile? The answer to that question is simple. It has a lot to do with it. In fact, this is where things get complicated. We’ve just listed a bunch of rules, tips, and recommendations. These generally apply to most people. On the other hand, if you want to create and cement your personal brand, you have to empower yourself to be your own person.

Follow these basic tips for creating a great profile, but be yourself. Also, don’t limit yourself to LinkedIn. You should participate in a wide variety of social networking platforms.

Don’t Wait For People to Find You - Network!

You can have one of the best profiles possible that has been written by the most respected LinkedIn guru in the world. If all you do is passively sit and wait to be discovered, you are bound to have a disappointing experience on this platform. Instead, be an active  member. Join groups and participate in them. Write blogs and articles. Actively seek out connections with coworkers, friends, school alumni, and others. Read posts and articles on LinkedIn to gain career related insights. Write an white paper or an eBook and use it to promote your skills and talents. This is a great way to drive leads back to your landing pages.

Conclusion

LinkedIn is an amazingly useful platform. You can use it to improve your career prospects, connect with colleagues, and to market yourself or your company. Just remember that it all begins with a great profile.