The most important part of LinkedIn is your profile, this is your personal signboard or advertisement that lets people know what you can do. The profile is what allows you to connect with people and be connected to. A good LinkedIn profile increases your online visibility and allows you to showcase what you can offer to a company.
The LinkedIn profile is just as good or in many cases better than a resume so you should ensure that you have completed it with as much detail as possible. Include everything you would on your resume such as job experience, education and training.
LinkedIn has a section titled Summary, this is a fantastic place to highlight key moments in your experience and to let a potential employer know what you can do for them. Sell yourself, you are your own product.
Do not forget to include certifications, languages or other skills that you have. Volunteer experience is also a good thing to list. Unlike resumes you do not need to chop words and condense it to one page. Don’t go too verbose, but you can expand on your descriptions a little bit in order to highlight certain things.
Another good part of your profile is your headline. This is a line that shows up right at the top of your profile when someone views it. Make this short and concise, yet something that will grab their attention. Instead of putting a simple description like ‘teacher’ polish it up a bit and put ‘Primary Educational Instructor”, make it a title that stands out, after all this is one of the first things they will see.
Another key part of your profile is a picture. This should be a a representation of your professional self, do not go casual on the photo. A head shot is the best, ensure that it is not obviously cropped from another photo, you don’t need body parts of other people in the background acting as a distraction from the professional you.
The last thing you need to do for your profile is ensure that it is public; if you have it set to private then only you and those you choose can view your profile. There is no way for companies or recruiters to find you.
Completely fill out the profile, it is recommended by many recruiters that you also choose an industry as many of them search by industries to narrow the field of candidates. If you choose an industry then try and gear your profile towards that industry.