In the virtual world of first impressions, your LinkedIn profile matters. Executives and hiring managers use this platform to find new talent. Four people get hired every minute on LinkedIn. Keeping your profile current may lead to opportunities even when you are not actively looking for them.
In this guide, we discuss how to make a good LinkedIn profile and make it look polished at a glance. This page also explains how to write good job descriptions and how to choose a good profile photo.
How to Write Your Experience Sections for LinkedIn
Many people first look at the experience section on a LinkedIn profile. Think of this portion of your profile as a resume. Hiring managers probably will not spend a lot of time reading this portion, so use simple language.
Focus on listing previous jobs that position you as a strong candidate. For example, if you were only at a particular job for a few months and left on poor terms, you can choose to leave it off. Put the most recent positions first, and work your way down.
Next, add bullet points under each position. Rather than just listing your job descriptions, try to record what you achieved. For example, did you help increase sales by 10%? Did you create a more organized inventory system? Get specific rather than simply saying you worked as a sales associate.
If you're wondering how to make a good LinkedIn profile, do not skimp on the education section. Both current students and graduates can leverage this portion of the profile.
Most people simply list their school and graduation date, but it can help to add a few simple details. Whether you have an impressive current GPA or you graduated with honors, make sure to note that.
You can also list details about your major and minor. Even if you did not major in something directly related to your current job pursuits, you could list your skills. For example, many jobs require workers to have research and writing skills.
Remember to include any student organizations you joined. Listing scholarships and awards can also improve this section.
3. Volunteer Experience
Paid or not, volunteering still counts as job experience. When writing a volunteer experience section, use a similar writing style as the job experience section. Use bullet points, and remember that you do not need to write in complete sentences. Focus on what you helped the organization accomplish.
Many companies value philanthropic efforts. Include a brief sentence about each nonprofit's mission and explain how you helped the organization.
Choosing a Good LinkedIn Profile Photo
Part of networking includes putting a face to a name. Profiles with photos receive 21 times more profile views and up to 9 times more connection requests. Fortunately, you do not need to hire a professional photographer to get a good headshot.
Consider asking a friend to take a photo of you in bright, natural, and even lighting with a phone that produces high-resolution images. Avoid using a photo that features your friends or family members. This can help prevent any confusion. Give a warm smile, and wear clothes fit for an interview.
You could also contact a photography student for a discounted rate or free headshots.
Writing Your Summary
You can include up to 2,000 characters in the summary box, which rests right below your profile photo. Many LinkedIn users overlook this section. However, hiring managers do not overlook summaries.
Hiring managers sometimes look at thousands of profiles a day. Many use the summary section to decide whether to keep reading or move on.
Think of the summary section as your elevator pitch. Describe whether you are a current student and your current field. If you are actively searching for a new job, list that in the summary. Similar to an essay intro, your summary should convince people to keep reading.
Skills, Endorsements, and Recommendations
LinkedIn allows you to list multiple skills. And your colleagues and managers can endorse these skills. When someone endorses one of your skills, it means they vouch for you. They've seen how you have mastered that skill. If you want more endorsements, give some endorsements. Many people often return the favor when you take the time.
The same goes for recommendations. Someone who knows your work ethic writes these paragraphs. If you want your boss to leave a positive recommendation, consider writing them one. Or, contact them and politely ask for their recommendation.
Learning how to make a good LinkedIn profile might take some trial and error. Consider asking a trusted friend or colleague to review your skills section and offer feedback. They might mention skills you can add to your list.
Tessa Cooper is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to international and regional publications focused on education and lifestyle topics. She earned a bachelor’s in public relations from Missouri State University and is passionate about helping learners avoid high student loan debt while pursuing their dream major. Tessa loves writing about travel and food topics and is always planning her next meal or vacation.
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