In the digital age, you never know who’s looking and what opportunities can arise. When you’re building your online presence, you want to go beyond cutting and pasting your resume, and get your LinkedIn profile in tip-top shape! Here are a few tips I learned when making mine:
1. A Detailed Profile is a Strong Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is like an online resume – anyone can look up your profile and see what job experience and skills you have. Make sure you display your education, your past and current work experience, and any volunteer positions you’ve held – it’s okay, you can brag!
It’s also important to add a professional headline and summary. The headline gives you a professional “identity,” while the summary expands on what appears on your headline, highlighting your specialties and career experience. Be clear and concise. If you’re not sure what to say, do some research and see how other professionals in your field are presenting themselves.
2. Choose a Great Photo
Choose a clear, friendly and appropriate professional image. That means no selfies or candid photos with your dog (although those are great – just not on LinkedIn).
Still not sure? Take a look at what other people in your target company or industry are wearing and match it. Make sure your face takes up a large portion of the photo. And finally, ensure the background isn’t too busy. You want the focus to be on your face and not the background.
I read a really interesting article about a blogger who experimented with different profile picture styles to see which garnered the most information – check it out if you’re still looking for the right photo.
3. First Person vs. Third Person Narration
I struggled with whether I should write in first person or third person narration. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter, but it is important to be consistent throughout your profile. By going back and forth, it’s confusing and can signal a lack of attention to detail.
4. Showcase Your Work
They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Instead of just talking about your work, this is an opportunity for you to showcase it! Adding pieces like writing samples, design work, or project reports demonstrate your skills and reinforce what you’ve already been saying throughout your profile. While it’s important to talk about our talents, it can be more effective to showcase them.
5. Personalize Your LinkedIn URL
When you created your LinkedIn profile, your URL had some combination of letters, numbers, and backslashes that had no value for your personal branding. By personalizing your LinkedIn URL, you can keep your profile consistent with your other social media handles. For example, now my customized URL is: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kassandramihaly.
For a step by step guide on how to customize your URL, visit LinkedIn Help.
As undergraduates, we’re working hard to establish ourselves in the professional world, and we all want to land a great job after we leave SFU. Having a strong LinkedIn presence may seem like a small thing, but has the potential to make a huge difference in the long run.