How to Build a LinkedIn Profile

December 28th, 2015

If you’re not already using LinkedIn, it’s time to get on board. Marcelle Yeager, a blogger for US News ‘On Careers’ recently wrote a post on How Job Hunting Has Changed Over the Last 10 Years. She points out that new technologies have changed the ways in which hiring managers find and evaluate applicants.

LinkedIn helps you establish a personal brand beyond your resume and can include additional information that doesn’t belong or fit on a resume. Write a summary that highlights your  accomplishments and shows your personal side. For example, why did you choose your career path? Get recommendations as these add credibility and can result in interviews. It’s like an easy reference check before calling you in to interview.

A big take away from Marcelle’s blog is it’s not enough to create a bare-bones  profile. Complete it because people will notice when they search for you via Google or on LinkedIn itself.

Not sure how to get started? See what other people are doing!

Example, if you’re a machine operator living in Wausau, WI, type that phrase into the search box. It looks like this:

LinkedInSearchBox

As you can see, there are 22 Machine Operators in Wausau WI with LinkedIn profiles. While that’s not a lot, it can be to your advantage. Companies are using LinkedIn to search for people to fill open positions.

Take a look at several profiles and make notes about what you like. Next, upload a professional looking picture of yourself.

Follow these 5 tips for using the right photo:

  1. Choose a photo that looks like you (hint: not one from 10 years ago) and that your face takes up at least 60% of the frame (crop and zoom if necessary)
  2. Make sure you are the only one pictured in the photo (hint: don’t use your wedding photo or photo holding your adorable grandson)
  3. Choose the right expression (hint: you look happy)
  4. You’re wearing clothes in the photo that you’d wear to work (hint: again, no formal wear or Halloween costumes)
  5. Choose a background that isn’t distracting

LinkedIn put together the fantastic infographic below to show you how a few simple, personal and creative tweaks can really make your profile outstanding.

A great  profile doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a bit of time, effort and refinement, just as it does to create a solid resume (hint: portions of that resume can be copied and pasted into your LinkedIn profile!). Have questions about building your profile? Submit them and we’ll answer them in a future blog post. Please put ‘LinkedIn profile question’ in the subject line.

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