In part one we have discussed an introduction on how to setup your LinkedIn account starting from your name, profile picture and headline in order to build a personal brand. In this article we will cover the rest of the how to build a LinkedIn profile sections and send you off with a congratulatory remark.
If you haven’t, we recommend that you read part one here.
Did you know that your profile summary is the number one thing recruiters look at when viewing a profile? That’s why it’s important to use your summary as an opportunity to introduce yourself, and highlight your unique skills, motivations, and experience
Your profile summary should be a true introduction to you that’s concise, speaks to your mission, motivationand your experience. It should also feature any words that are relevant to your industry or the work you do. And lastly, this is your time to shine so make sure you showcase your career accomplishments and aspirations.
Providing a quick introduction to what you do will help others connect to your professional story. Why does your work matter? What gap are you filling with the work you do? And last but not least, what’s the contribution you want to make or the impact you want to have? Everyone’s got a story to tell. However you choose to tell yours, make sure you bring yourself front and center in your summary by highlighting your contribution, impact, work and accomplishments
Some quick tips before you begin to craft your summary
- Creating a summary of 40-plus words will help you be found more easily by your professional community on LinkedIn.
- When crafting your summary, showcase your unique skills, meaning things that you do really well and come naturally to you. This will help you stand out.
- Always speak in the first-person narrative. Remember, your story is more authentic when it’s told by you.
- And finally, your summary is a great section to add in some rich media, such as photos, videos, website links, or presentations that help to bring your story and your work to life.
Work experience to build a LinkedIn profile
Adding or updating your current work experience can lead to up to eight times more profile views, up to five times more connection requests and up to 10 times more messages that create opportunity on LinkedIn.
First, it’s great to describe what you do in your day-to-day role but what’s even better is to highlight the results you drove, the impact you had, or the change you led
Second, not all of us have worked at well-known companies in the past, and that’s okay. Maybe you’ve worked at a startup, a small nonprofit, or a company or business you started yourself. For less well-known companies or organizations, makes sure you set the context up front by pulling in a one to two sentence description of the organization. Oftentimes it’s easy to add this by leveraging the company’s vision or mission statement.
Finally, remember, building a LinkedIn profile perfectly is your moment to shine and bring your professional story to life. This isn’t your resume, so it shouldn’t read like one. Use short concise paragraphs in a story format and only bring in bullet points to emphasize key results, metrics, and impact.
Quick tips on adding your work experience
- Always speak in the first person narrative.
- Your results, accomplishments, impact and experience are more genuine when they come from you.
- Use short, concise paragraphs in a story format to bring your career journey to life.
- Don’t forget, you don’t have to craft this alone. Lean on the people in your professional community who know you best. Brainstorm with your teammates, managers and collaborators on the work you do. Ask them to note the accomplishments, results and impact they’ve observed in working with you. Or better yet, ask them to notice where they see you get excited and passionate when talking about what you do.
- Regardless of the work you do, and the industry you’re in, adding your current position within your work experience section of your profile helps you shine.
If you regularly create content on LinkedIn and you want to expand your reach and increase the visibility of your content, you can turn on creator mode. Creator mode as a setting on your personal profile, and when you enable it, you supercharge your ability to grow your following and your influence.
From your LinkedIn profile, go to your dashboard, and you’ll see that creator mode is off.
As you can imagine, this is what you need to turn on.
Then you’ll see a pop-up window and you’ll select next. This is where you can add five hashtag topics, which should be the categories of content that you want to be known for. Then click done and creator mode is enabled.
Let’s talk about some of the changes that you get with creator mode
- First, your “connect” button changes to a “follow” button. This invites users to follow you, even if they don’t know you personally, which will help grow your following. If someone does indeed know you personally, they can still connect with you by choosing connect from the more menu.
- Also, your number of followers will be displayed right in your profile intro.
- And remember because your followers can receive notifications about your content, you’ll maximize the number of people who will be alerted to the new content you create.
- And here again, the five topical hashtags that you include are meant to highlight the types of content that you create, which makes it easier for other LinkedIn members to discover your content and to follow you. These hashtags appear on your profile below your headline.
- Another visible change is that the sections of your profile will be reordered. The activity section becomes a new expanded version of itself showcasing your content, and it appears all the way at the top.
- Your about section, which used to be at the top, now shows up below that. This allows your content to get center stage on your profile.
Creators on LinkedIn should feel empowered to share all types of content: articles, newsletters, images, videos, posts, polls, and more. Most successful creators post multiple times a week, and invite engagement among the LinkedIn community. They become thought leaders by creating conversation starters and sharing news and insight from their industry.
Skills, Endorsements and Recommendations to build a LinkedIn profile
Adding skills to your profile allows you to highlight your abilities, strengths, and expertise, and to build your credibility among peers, colleagues, managers, and even recruiters. Why? Because a third party validating the skill sets you say you have helps to build trust in your professional experience, and adding key skills lets others find you more easily. In fact, members with five or more skills listed are discovered up to 27 times more in searches on LinkedIn, and receive up to 17 times more profile views.
When a connection endorses you for a skill, it strengthens your profile and increases the likelihood that you’ll be discovered for opportunities related to your skills. On LinkedIn, you’re in full control of all the skills and endorsements within your profile.
Don’t forget, LinkedIn will categorize your skills into expertise areas based on industry knowledge, tools and technology, interpersonal skills, languages, and other skills you have. You can add a maximum of 50 skills to your profile that represent you.
Credibility is defined as the quality of being trusted and believed in. Whether you’re building a brand, telling your career story or owning your accomplishments, there’s nothing more important than building the foundation of credibility. A great way to begin to build that foundation on your profile is through recommendations. A recommendation recognizes the great work you’ve done and also provides specific examples of how your skills, strengths, and experiences show up. Keep in mind, it’s one thing for you to talk about the work you do, it’s quite another for someone else to validate your experience and expertise by providing specific examples.
So where do you begin with recommendations? First, think about who you want to request a recommendation from. Seek out people in your professional community like colleagues, managers, executives, senior leaders, and partners. Those who have worked closely with you and can speak to your skills, strengths, impact, and experience. As a best practice, it is always recommended to customize your recommendation request instead of using the generic template LinkedIn provides. Why? Because it’s great to pinpoint exactly what you want another person to focus on when they write you a recommendation. So think about a project you collaborated on or a change initiative you led. Then, be clear about what you want them to highlight when writing your recommendation.
Don’t underestimate volunteer experience
Did you know that 40% of all hiring managers view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience? If you think adding volunteer experience doesn’t have an impact, think again. In fact, the LinkedIn data shows that members who’ve added volunteer experience receive up to six times more profile views than those without. Adding volunteer experience to your profile helps to round out your professional story and showcase what you’re passionate about outside of work. In today’s world, people want a holistic picture of who you are as a professional and a person. Adding this section can generate up to six times more profile views for you so get ready to add or update your volunteer experience now.
Congratulations and Next steps to build a LinkedIn profile
Now you have the knowledge to build an all-star profile that tells your story and highlights your skills and accomplishments. Don’t tackle your profile all at once. Instead, carve out small blocks of time each week to work on a different section
Remember, no matter what you do, what your background is, you’ve got a unique story to tell.