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Your LinkedIn profile is an important tool. Don’t waste it

October 19, 2022 - 14 min read

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The social media for work

The power of a strong LinkedIn profile

A closer look at your LinkedIn profile

8 tips to make your LinkedIn profile stand out

The bottom line

Think about how many social media accounts you have. You use them to share pictures, videos, funny memes, and connect with friends and family. But do any help you find a new job or expand your professional network? The short answer is yes: LinkedIn.

If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, you're missing out. LinkedIn is a hub to share your work experience, meet new professionals, and grow your knowledge. But you won't reap all the benefits of LinkedIn just by signing up. Creating a profile that entices recruiters and inspires connections takes time and energy.

Effectively sharing your work history might seem tedious or daunting, but it's worth it. We'll show you how to make a good LinkedIn profile to make a strong first impression on any hiring team. Plus, you’ll learn what a stellar profile does for you and your blossoming career.

The social media for work

Other social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, help you grow your social network. They keep you socially connected to your friends, family, and peers — and that’s important for your social health

While LinkedIn has a social aspect, it’s more focused than traditional social media platforms. LinkedIn is the world's largest platform for professional social networking. It connects you to others based on your work, showing where your connections are advancing their career or posting their achievements.

Think of it as a place to share an online resume, find new jobs, and connect with recruiters or like-minded workers.

Here are some quick facts about LinkedIn:

  • The platform was created in 2003
  • It has more than 850 million members
  • Services are available in 26 languages
  • Six people are hired on LinkedIn every minute

LinkedIn encourages users to send connection requests to other LinkedIn members — people you likely know and people you should know. You can view posts about your connections’ work and experience, stay up-to-date on job postings, and congratulate others on new positions. 

Users can also take advantage of LinkedIn Learning, which allows them to take short online classes to further their knowledge and earn certificates in areas like marketing, web design, writing, and more. 

While LinkedIn is open to anyone looking to share their professional history and aspirations, the Pew Research Center found that people with higher education levels are more likely to use LinkedIn. But your current job or education doesn't determine if LinkedIn is right for you —  a good LinkedIn profile can positively impact anyone.

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The power of a strong LinkedIn profile

Don’t let a bare profile hinder your professional growth. A great LinkedIn profile showcases your story, skills, and career goals. It's one of the first things recruiters will see, so make it count. In fact, 40% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is the most effective channel for driving high-quality leads. That’s a powerful social media profile. 

A LinkedIn account is also your chance to advertise your professional brand. Start off your profile with a LinkedIn headline that speaks to your career specialization. If you’re a lawyer who practices environmental law, for example, make sure that detail stands out.

The other sections of your profile will support and expand the headline by including your work values, interests, experience, and passions.

On LinkedIn, you can share a post that says you're open to work, on the hunt for new employees, or seeking to network with others in your industry. It's a great way to build professional connections with like-minded people and have fun sharing your knowledge.

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Remember: your profile works for you. When hiring managers and recruiters view your profile, they'll gather a sense of who you are as an employee and person. Maybe a recruiter will see something in your experience they love and make you a job offer

LinkedIn also helps you promote the work you do at your current job. Include links to previous publications and advertise awards. Potential employers aren't just looking for words — they want evidence of your work and abilities.

A closer look at your LinkedIn profile

Determining the best practices for LinkedIn profiles can be tricky. There are so many different sections — which ones are the most important? 

The truth is, each section allows recruiters to understand you better, so take the time to fill out every one. But before you write out your life story, be aware of the character limit for some of LinkedIn’s most important sections. Sum up the key aspects without being too wordy. 

While every section of your profile is valuable, here are a few sections you should pay special attention to:

  • Headline. Pack a punch in your LinkedIn headline by being clear and concise. Think of how you'd describe your work in fewer than 10 words. Be specific, and don’t shy away from highlighting your specializations.
  • Profile photo. Your LinkedIn profile picture should be you and only you. Choose a simple, professional photo that makes you feel confident. Go above and beyond with a professional headshot by a photographer.
  • Job status. Recruiters and peers want to see what you're up to. Ensure this section is accurate with the title of your current position. If you're looking for work or taking a career gap, communicate this through your job status.
  • Introduction. Your introduction requires a lot of information in a small amount of space, so make these details count. Consider including your industry, safe contact information, location, pronouns, and name pronunciation so recruiters feel confident starting a conversation. 

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  • About. This section is space for a few sentences summarizing who you are. There’s no need for anything complicated or super long. Talk about your life outside of work, highlight your skills, and invite the reader to reach out to you for more information.
  • Featured Bring your best work to the top of your profile. Show off your past work and accomplishments you’re most proud of. Include links where you can to portfolios or relevant samples of your work.
  • Licenses, certifications, and skills. These areas may be brief, but they communicate a lot about you and make you stand out among other candidates. Include any languages you speak, soft and hard skills, and endorsements. Show you’re qualified in a way no one else is.

Fitting within a character limit demands concise and articulate responses. If you need extra support, consider meeting with a BetterUp coach. Our coaches can guide you toward being purposeful and specific with your communication so you represent yourself in the best way possible.

8 tips to make your LinkedIn profile stand out

Even if you’ve filled out every section, you can always learn how to improve your LinkedIn profile. New insights and skills will help increase traffic to your profile page and open you up to new opportunities. 

Taking the time to review your profile thoroughly helps potential employers and connections understand you better. Plus, a robust profile shows you're entering the working world as a Whole Person™, rather than as someone who only cares about work.

You’re also learning new things each day. As you gain new responsibilities at work or acquire new skills, make sure you’re updating your profile.

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Here are eight LinkedIn profile tips to make your page pop:

1. Create a custom URL

The LinkedIn URL you automatically receive might make it difficult for people to find you. Customizing your URL will make it more personal to you. Try to remove any unnecessary numbers or symbols so your name is the focus. If you have a common name,  add your industry or the type of work you do.

2. Stay away from buzzwords

Avoid buzzwords and clichés to make your words count. When describing your accomplishments and self-promoting, you want to be specific. Using detailed action verbs makes your experiences more descriptive and unique, rather than like a story someone's heard before.

3. Keep it up-to-date

You're trying to make your online resume stand out and welcome people to connect with you, so remember to update your page every so often. Think about if your home location changed, if you’ve made a new social media account, or if your contact information is different. The same goes for your experience and work history.

4. Share relevant content

LinkedIn isn't the place to share pictures from your birthday party or of your lunch. Remember to share content relevant to you, your industry, and your job. This doesn't mean you should avoid sharing fun things, but make sure each post has a purpose and is appropriate for your LinkedIn network.

Articles are always a good place to start — share a link to a thoughtful piece relevant to your industry to start a conversation.

5. Continue to make connection requests

You're never too experienced or knowledgeable to stop making connection requests. They help you stay current within your industry. Plus, what's wrong with meeting new people? Growing your network introduces you to new ideas, perspectives, and practices. Perhaps you've been stumped on how to solve a problem at work, but someone in your network can help you.

6. Follow pages you enjoy

LinkedIn users who follow pages or join groups let their interests be known to their network. Follows give insight into your character and passions —  they show up at the bottom of your profile page. It's helpful for recruiters or other users to see if you have mutual interests, and it might make it easier to start a conversation that ends with an offer.

7. Make your page public

This isn't for everyone, but a public profile helps you be noticed faster. Switching to public makes your profile more accessible for people searching for you, like recruiters or hiring managers. It's especially handy if you're looking for new work opportunities or connections. But don't feel pressured to do this if you're uncomfortable — just continue to grow your network.

8. Add keywords throughout your profile

Not to be confused with buzzwords, keywords make a big impact. Sprinkle them throughout your profile to keep your theme and professional brand intact. Take the time to think about what keywords matter to you, and try adding them to bullet points. But remember not to overdo it, or your page will be repetitive.

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The bottom line

Your LinkedIn profile is a professional tool right at your fingertips. A great profile page has the ability to bring new career opportunities, connections, and opportunities for learning. 

But it doesn't happen with a few clicks. Crafting an outstanding profile requires you to hone in on your interests and find your niche. You want to present your authentic self, so take your time. 

The benefits of a LinkedIn profile are hard to ignore. Your professional experience will help you be noticed. Maybe a recruiter will reach out with an amazing opportunity to propel you forward in your career. 

A great LinkedIn profile will attract like-minded people who will uplift you. You'll learn new things from one another, inspire each other, and grow together. 

And that growth is infectious. Don't be surprised if your LinkedIn profile helps you become the professional you've always wanted to be.

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Published October 19, 2022

Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

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