Career

LinkedIn Checklist: Part 1

Career girl desk

LinkedIn is an online professional network used by professionals to connect with other professionals. The following basic yet important steps will help you to to put your best foot forward and impress others in your industry.

Photo 

We all know first impressions count so having a professional photo is vital. Ideally you would use a professionally taken picture but a photo taken against a white background while your wearing business professional attire will be fine. Looking straight ahead at the camera with a smile on your face is also always a good idea.

Headline

The headline should be used to show your current title. However, you can also use this space to mention what you are aspiring to become. For example, “BSs Marketing graduate and aspiring Social Media Expert”. This is best for those who are currently on the hunt for a new job or career.

Summary

Many people skip the summary section, which is a huge missed opportunity to show who you are as a person and what you aspire to become. The summary is similar to a cover letter. Use it to describe where you are now in your career and where you would like to go. Mention what motivates you, what your main skills are and what you are most passionate about.

Experience

There are several ways you can go about this section, but in order to appeal to the reader of your profile and to come across as professional and experienced as possible the following is recommended:

  • Give a short description of the company, state why it was a great place to work (even if it wasn’t). Keep it to one or two sentences.
  • Next list your tasks and responsibilities involved in your role there.
  • Do your best to list all that you accomplished in this role, results and outcomes of projects you were involved in. Use numbers and statistics where possible.
  • Don’t go into too much detail because the reader is likely to only glance over it anyway. Use bullet points and start each sentence with an action verb.
  • Check for grammar and spelling mistakes – a spelling mistake could cost you a job opportunity.
  • If you can include any photos, videos or publications of your work then bonus points for you.
  • Adding the the company logo also makes your page more visually appealing and complete. This can be done if the company has a LinkedIn page of its own.

Education and Courses

Start with your highest achievement and work down to high school. There is space here to mention the names of classes you took. It is recommended you don’t list all classes you have ever taken but instead list the ones you think seem most impressive and sought after by employers in your industry. Mentioning grades is not necessary on LinkedIn; however if you were lucky enough to achieve an outstanding result by no means leave it out.

Extra tips

  • Fill out as much as possible. Aim to leave no spaces unfilled and to have an “expert” rated page. Visitors to your page wont be able to see your profile strength but it’s a good indicator of how much work needs to be done.
  • Don’t lie on your LinkedIn profile. If you are luckily enough to land an interview or meeting with someone through LinkedIn they will ask you questions about your experience and things they have read. Don’t put yourself in a sticky situation you can’t get out of. If you are lacking information for certain sections of your page then make the areas you can fill out look as impressive and professional as possible so readers wont notice the blanks.
  • If you would rather your connections not see every change you make to your profile turn off the notify your network setting, just remember to turn it back on when your done so they can still see the things you like or share.

LinkedIn checklist part 2

Checkout my LinkedIn page here.

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