Top 4 Must-Haves in Your LinkedIn Profile

December 29, 2017

Whether you’re job searching or wanting to grow your professional contacts, LinkedIn is an essential business tool. With more than 530 million users across the globe, you never know what kind of connections you can make or what opportunities await you.

But in order to stand out and present yourself as a professional on the networking site, there are a few things that must be included on your profile.

Informative Headline

Most people use the headline section to state their current position, but your job title doesn’t usually convey your skills or experience to people the way you think it would. Instead, use this section as an area to pique people’s interest by describing what you do.

There are thousands of people with the same title as you, so you have to find a way to use the 120 characters to your advantage by including keywords. If you’re a Marketing Coordinator at a software company, for example, include the industry you’re experienced with and a specific skill that you excel at in the headline.

Something like, “Data-driven marketing professional within the software and tech space” would get your message across. It’s also key to focus on the position you want, not necessarily the one you currently have — especially if you’re job-seeking.  

Professional Headshot

While LinkedIn is technically considered a social networking site, it should not be used like the others. This means you should leave the fun photos and Snapchat filters to other social media handles.

Your LinkedIn profile photo should be clear, professional, and only include you in it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go out and have headshots taken just for the sake of LinkedIn, but if you’re going to choose a photo of yourself that you already have, avoid selfies, distracting backgrounds, or anything photoshopped (i.e. don’t use a cropped photo of yourself from a group photo).

Detailed, Accurate Summary

Your summary is quite possibly the most important part of your LinkedIn profile. This is your chance to expand upon your experience in your own words, as well as include any details or skills that may not have fit in the headline or experience sections.

LinkedIn users should have a better understanding of what you’ve done, what you’re capable of, and what kind of position you’re seeking after reading your summary. And don’t be afraid to add some personality! LinkedIn may be a professional networking tool, but we’re all human and have lives and interests outside of our careers. Include a hobby or interest outside of work to tie your summary together.

Contact Info

Once users have a feel for who you are and what you do, make sure it’s easy for them to contact you. Include your email, phone number, or website so people know where to find you if they want to reach out. Providing your contact information is like giving people a call-to-action. If you want to make connections and build a network, you’ve got to give people a place to start.

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