Are you looking to increase your professional network? Maximize your online professional digital presence through standing out on your LinkedIn profile. Having a LinkedIn account is essential, especially as networking has transitioned to a digital platform. Having an “All-Star” profile can really set you apart from the competition and help the right recruiters find you.
Guide to Creating & Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Create a LinkedIn Account or Log In to your Existing Account.
- If you are creating an account, choose an email you frequently use to keep up with notifications or messages from your profile.
- You can also download LinkedIn as an application on your phone. It can be a great way to get instant notifications and keep track of your professional network.
Once you log on, click on the “Me” icon at the top right-hand corner. Select “View Profile”, and you will see your profile separated into the following sections. This is where you can optimize your profile through inputting all the information that you would put onto a resume.
- Header Area – Includes your profile picture, background photo, full name, tag line, location and how many connections you have. It is the first thing anyone will see when they view your profile. Make sure you have a professional profile picture and background. For your tag line, keep it simple, you can put your job title or what roles you are looking for. For example, “Aircraft Mechanic at HSGI, Inc.” or “Seeking Aircraft Mechanic roles in [state].”
- Your Dashboard – Only you can see the data presented in this box, as it is hidden to anyone else viewing your profile. It presents “Who Viewed your Profile”, “Post Views”, and how many times you’ve appeared in a search through “search appearances”. It can also give you more information on the average salary your role makes in the industry. This is a great way to track who is viewing your profile. If recruiters in your industry are looking at your profile and messaging you about jobs you are interested in, then that is a sign you have you fully optimized your profile with the right keywords.
- Activity – The Activity tracks your interactions (comments, likes, and shares on posts) on the platform and even lets you know how many connections you have.
- Summary – A great place to insert your elevator pitch. Think of your job experience, total years and any strengths you may have when putting your summary together.
- Experience – Break down all of your experience here. You need the job title, company, month year the position started and ended/present if you are still in the role. List out your duties and include keywords. For example, if you are an A&P Mechanic, list out certain aircraft you have worked with. If you are in Information Technology, as a software developer, list out the languages you have worked with and any technical verbiage. It is important to proofread and make sure your roles are easily readable and treat it as a resume.
- Education – List your GED, high school and any college/university accomplishments here. If you are still working on your education, you have the option to put the estimated date of completion. Make sure to list out what you specialized in and any further information if it applies to your education. For example, “Virginia Tech – Major Business and Minor Economics”. If you never completed your education, but want to acknowledge it, you can comment “unfinished” or “plan to restart to complete in [date].”
- Licenses & Certifications – A great place to highlight any certifications or licenses that you have. All you need is the name of the certification, the company or organization/school you received it from, Date Issued, Date Expires (optional since not all licenses and certification expire), and a Credential ID and/or URL if you are issued one.
- Volunteer Experiences – This is a space where you can highlight any volunteer or Pro Bono work you have participated in. It is a great way to showcase how you give back to your community, and companies pay attention to this when they search for a candidate. It can definitely set you apart!
- Skills & Endorsements – Add your skills, keywords, and your colleagues/connections can endorse you on them, increasing their relevance on your profile. For some ideas on skills, check out this article.
- Recommendations – On LinkedIn, you can request your connections to give you a recommendation. This is a commendation that can be given by a colleague, manager, client or any connection that has had a professional experience with you. You can request them or even write one for another connection on your platform. This is a great way to showcase your skills and performance for future employers.
- Accomplishments – This can include honors or awards you have received, languages you speak and any organizations you have started.
- Interests – When you follow a company/person or join a group on LinkedIn, the groups, organizations and individuals will pop up under your interests.
Basic Upkeep with Your Live Profile
Some basic tips to upkeep your profile, is to treat your LinkedIn profile like an “office space”. On this platform you are able to post, comment and interact with other profiles. It is important to keep in mind the conversations you are interacting with on the platform. Think about it like this, this is a professional platform where you are advocating for a new role. Even if you are currently employed, your current and future employers will be able to see your interactions and track your activity. To avoid any bias against your profile in the future, the best advice is if you wouldn’t speak to a colleague or boss about it at work, you probably shouldn’t post it on a professional platform. This includes topics like – Religion, Politics, Personal Love Life, Personal Problems with Spouse or Family, and Financial Problems.
Engage & Apply for Jobs
It can definitely pay off to interact and engage with the companies/organizations, when searching for a role. You can also apply directly to roles and message recruiters. It is a great asset to have in your job search and if you are active on the account, it will definitely pay off in the future.
If you would like a free LinkedIn profile consultation, reach out to HSGI, Inc. to help you stand out in the job field through our expert advice.