The Do’s and Dont’s Of Creating A Stellar LinkedIn Profile

May 23, 2013  |  
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How does your LinkedIn profile look? You do have one, right?

The truth of the matter is some people put in the necessary energy to create an above-average LinkedIn page while others just fill out the minimum requirements to skirt by. You may think it’s just another social media page, but honestly, it can be your connection to a new job opportunity or collaboration in the very near future.

For those who aren’t familiar, you’re in trouble. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network that boasts 225 million members across 200 countries and territories. Their mission is to provide users with the tools necessary to be more successful. Businesses and individuals alike utilize LinkedIn as a way of branding themselves and possibly creating new partnerships and ventures. There are professional forums, job postings and plenty of opportunities to connect yourself with the higher-ups at companies you typically could not reach under normal circumstances.

Now are you interested in LinkedIn? Well if you are, you are going to need a profile that will knock viewers’ socks off. Here are some tips to creating a stellar LinkedIn profile.

DO know the right keywords

Having the right keywords on your LinkedIn profile could be the difference between shining bright or being overshadowed by someone else who knew all the right keystrokes. Did you know that job recruiters weed through LinkedIn profiles by using targeted keywords? When creating your profile, be sure to include relevant and captivating keywords that will make you stand out. For help, use LinkedIn’s skills and expertise search.

DON’T talk in the third person

What works for Tamar Braxton is not cute on LinkedIn. Aside from being a bit pretentious, talking about yourself in the third person is just not a good look. For starters, LinkedIn is not your resume – though it is a professional resource. In addition, referring to yourself a him or her might give off the impression that you in fact did not write your own profile. People want to connect with you and one of the best ways to do that is through the use of the first person. Talk about your accomplishments and your abilities so people get a better sense of who you are. This will help make things feel a bit more face-to-face and not so distant.

DO use a professional picture

Keep your duck face photos and bathroom snaps for Facebook. You need a professional image for your LinkedIn profile. As this is a networking resource that businesses and professionals use, formal photos of just you are a strong requirement.Whether you have a head shot or not, choose a photo that shows an up-to-date image of you (particularly your face).

DON’T forget spell check

Even though LinkedIn is not your resume per se, that still doesn’t mean you neglect your spell check. Be sure to scan through every portion of your profile to avoid grammatical errors.  Should a recruiter happen to find your page, you want them to know you are very capable of the basics.

DO create an eye-grabbing headline

Are you a kick A$$ worker who is awesome at your job? Well if you are then let people know with a great LinkedIn headline. Your headline sits right below your name and is your opportunity to get viewers interested in learning more about you. Rather than write ‘regional sales professional,’ why not spice it up a bit. Put up a single sentence statement about you (in the first person) that quickly touches on who you are and what you do. Consider this your elevator pitch.

DON’T write an autobiography

If your profile is too long, you will more than likely lose the interest of viewers. All of your experience should be concise and to the point – no longer than a couple short paragraphs max. If you notice each section on your profile goes on and on, you might want to consider scaling back a bit. No one likes a long-winded person so be sure you get to the point while highlighting your abilities.

DO create a unique URL

By default, LinkedIn assigns everyone with a long URL that can be annoying to memorize. When creating your profile, you want people to find you with ease so establish a custom URL that is unique to you (and professional). You can do this by clicking “Edit” on your profile. From there, you will notice a small “edit” hyperlink next to your current LinkedIn URL. Click on “edit” and you will see a prompt on the right sidebar to customize your public profile URL.

DON’T use LinkedIn like Facebook (or other social media)

Once you become more savvy with LinkedIn, you will see all of its social capabilities. You can post stories, share them with your followers and send public messages to other profiles. If this sounds like other social media platforms, it should as LinkedIn has been working to expand their capabilities. This, however, does not mean you should post crude or questionable things on your page. Remember, LinkedIn is focused on professional networking – people including potential jobs could be paying attention to what you put up.

DO ask for recommendations

If you have co-workers past or present who are a part of your connections, ask for a recommendation. A recommendation appears below a specific job and can highlight your achievements and abilities. Maybe you are awesome working with others or did a phenomenal job on a project. Be sure to reach out to credible people who can help make your profile shine.

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