Even though you consider yourself to be an active LinkedIn user, regularly commenting on posts and keeping up with connections, you may be missing out on being seen by others that can help benefit your career, whether you’re job seeking or not. It is wise to take a good look at your profile to make sure it has the needed key elements to expand your network and allow you to maximize your exposure to executive recruiters, colleagues, and potential hiring managers. For this reason, we have created a LinkedIn profile checklist for you to use when you’re updating your information.
LinkedIn Profile Checklist
- Professional headshot (avoid casual photos taken at the office or on vacation.) This is often the first impression that you will make, so make sure you are using a high-resolution image that shows you in professional business attire. If you can afford to hire a professional photographer, it is recommended to do so. If not, there are ways you can create a quality headshot yourself.
- Current and complete contact information. It should be clear the best way to reach you easily is via phone or email.
- Personalized URL (e.g., www.linkedin.com/in/judykirby instead of http://www.linkedin.com/pub/judy-kirby/4a/z89/145/ ?) It looks much more professional to avoid that long list of clumsy numbers in your profile URL link. All you need to do to customize your URL is go to the “Edit Profile” screen, and find where it says “Public Profile URL” (at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information.) Then click “Edit” next to the URL, and type in your desired address. Click “Set Custom URL” when you’re done.
- Detailed and informative headline containing relevant industry keywords. Your headline does not need to be just your job title. To set yourself apart from others, research commonly used keywords for your field and use them as you highlight your specific skills.
- Concise background summary highlighting the main value you bring to your current employer along with a few details about your interests to “bring you to life.” This section should be 3-5 paragraphs long with a bullet list of your areas of expertise, unique skills, and the industries you’ve worked for.
- Quantified evidence of your value to your employers. Use specific examples detailing the value you have brought to former employers, as well as your current one
- Fully completed sections for education, awards, and skills (tip: skills are important for ensuring you can be found by recruiters using key search terms; you can select up to 50) Spending time on this section is worth it as recruiters will search for high performers. Some key search terms can be action words, describing those times when you’ve been promoted or chosen for a project.
- Keywords are placed strategically throughout your profile. Know the difference between keywords and buzzwords. Buzzwords are overly used words on LinkedIn that do not help your visibility and should be avoided.
- Ensure information is consistent with your resume. Both your resume and LinkedIn profile should match up to avoid any confusion.
- Profile reviewed at least every six months to see if anything needs adjusting or updating. There may be a newly completed project that is fresh in your mind or a recent article or presentation that you can be attributed to.