Written by Jesse Sannicandro
LinkedIn can be a great way to promote yourself online. Recruiters can and will use LinkedIn to look for potential employees. To get discovered, you first have to make sure that you have a good profile page. Think of it as a detailed, easily accessible resume. Like a resume, you’ve got to be able to present your best, professional self. Looks aren’t everything, but they’re a start!
As I mentioned in my last post, I only recently started actively using LinkedIn, but I do have a couple of sections on my profile that are looking good.
The easiest and most basic piece that can make a profile look good is a professional picture, but many profiles don’t even have one. Whenever I see the gray, default avatar representing somebody, it looks boring to me. It gives me the impression that this person either has an unfinished profile, or, that they do not use, or care about, their account. Putting a face to a name is very important: without a picture, your profile can be easily overlooked. According to LinkedIn, “members with a photo get 11 times more profile views.”
I didn’t have a photo posted for a while because I couldn’t find one that made me look like the young professional I want to be. A good picture should focus on your face with nothing distracting in the background and you should be dressed appropriately for the job you want. In my photo I’m outside, smiling and wearing a dark shirt. If I do say so myself, my profile picture looks good.
According to LinkedIn, a professional summary is “the #1 thing recruiters look at while viewing profiles,” so you have to make if effective. It should read like a virtual version of an elevator pitch; something that can be glanced at briefly to give a flavor of who you are and what you can offer in a professional environment, including your professional experience and goals. It’s possible that a potential recruiter will only look at your summary. Even with some pretty good experience on your page, it could be overlooked if your summary does not easily draw people in.
I didn’t have a summary until I started writing this post. At the moment, it’s very basic, mentioning some brief experience. It’s still a work in progress and could be better, but it’s starting to look good.
These are just the basics of what you should have on your LinkedIn profile. A picture can be a reason for somebody to click on your profile. Without one, you may be completely overlooked. A summary can be a way to reel someone in, letting them know what you have to offer. Without a summary, you may lose someone’s attention very quickly. After your page is set up, you can start using LinkedIn to its full potential.