How to create an effective LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn Profile

Do you want employers to come to you? LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly popular means of recruitment and your LinkedIn profile is essentially an online resume. Employers and recruiters use LinkedIn as a search engine to approach people who meet their criteria for a role.

A well designed LinkedIn profile increases the visibility of your profile. Even if you’re not actively seeking employment LinkedIn is a useful tool to build your professional network and keep in touch with other professionals.

You should base your LinkedIn profile on the content you already have included in your resume. When a user searches your profile before viewing the profile they view your profile photo and headline, which both have a significant impact on whether your full profile is viewed or not.

Below are the key LinkedIn functions you should utilise to create an effective profile.

Profile photo

Including a profile photo provides significantly higher visibility over your profile. People with profile photos are more likely to get profile views. Your profile photo is a professional representation of yourself and should be a headshot, with a blank background and you should be wearing professional attire.

Headline

Your headline accompanies your profile photo and is the first thing people read before even deciding to view your profile. Your headline leaves your first impression and it should be a very brief summary of yourself.

For university students their headline often describes themselves as a student, what they’re studying and at what educational institution, for example “Bachelor of Commerce Student at UNSW”. Professionals will often describe themselves by their current position title and employer name.

Summary

The summary section should be similar to the career profile section on your resume. Consider writing this summary as a standalone statement including the most important things about yourself. You could start with what you’ve already included in your headline. Generally the summary will include your current position and employer, your most relevant qualification, other relevant previous positions held and a summary of key areas of knowledge or experience.

Experience

List out all your work history. For each position include the position title, employer name, period of employment and a summary of your position and tasks performed, similar to what you would include on your resume in the employment history section.

Education

List out your qualifications, include course details, period and educational institution.

Causes

List any volunteer causes you have been involved in and the period that you were involved.

Skills

List out the key relevant skills you have obtained through your experience, education and volunteering. Possible skills to include are the computer programs you can use e.g. excel, technical skills e.g. finance and customer service, and soft skills e.g. team work and organisation.

Accomplishments

List out any achievements, awards or scholarships received.

You can also use LinkedIn to keep up to date with what’s happening in the business world by following companies LinkedIn profiles and join groups based on topics that you’re interested in.

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