Whether you’re just starting out in your career, taking it to the next level, or simply pivoting to something new, your LinkedIn profile can help you bring your story to life. In this article, We will help you explore how to build a LinkedIn profile that tells a story of your career journey. We’ll look at how to choose a profile photo, create a custom headline, introduce yourself in your summary, show impact and results with rich media and work experience, and finally, how to incorporate skills, endorsements, and recommendations into your story. Let’s dive in.
What to know before getting started to build a LinkedIn profile
Here are a couple of things you should know before getting started. First, make sure you’ve already build a LinkedIn profile. Instead of spending time on the mechanics of setting your LinkedIn profile, you will learn how to use your profile to tell your story and bring your professional brand to life. Second, take a minute to review your privacy and security settings and adjust them to your liking, as the ins and outs of privacy and security won’t be covered in this article. And finally, make sure to review your account settings and ensure they fit your preferences.
See your profile as your story
How do you define success? LinkedIn believes success is when who you are lines up with what you do. A great way to bring your unique success story to life is through your LinkedIn profile. Your profile helps you get recognized and opens the door to new opportunities, like partnerships, new business, mentorships, or speaking events. It gives you credibility, showcases your brand, and tells your story.
So what exactly is a profile, you ask? Your LinkedIn profile includes content, such as videos, photos, and presentations that bring your work to life and help your professional community connect to who you are and what you do. Are you the type of person who’s created and posted videos on YouTube? Perhaps you’ve designed, built, and launched a website. Or maybe you love creating tutorials to share with others. Congratulations, you can add these to your LinkedIn profile as video content and website links.
Consider putting examples of those in your profile, too. The thing is, you want to showcase who you are, the incredible work you do, and the impact you’ve made throughout your career. Focus on bringing your work accomplishments and career journey to life by making people feel something. Remember, no matter how you define success, it starts with your LinkedIn profile. Get ready to take advantage of the many ways to showcase your unique skills and talents by building a dynamic LinkedIn profile that represents you.
Getting Started: quick tips to build a LinkedIn profile
Whether you’re just starting out, seeking a new opportunity or growing your career, simple updates to your LinkedIn profile can take you far. Your profile represents you as a professional and updating it is easier than you think. Here are a couple of profile quick tips to think about before we get started.
Always write in the first person narrative. Your career story is more authentic when it’s told by you.
And be concise and to the point.
Speak to experience by creating short, concise paragraphs that highlight your work, expertise, and impact.
Only use bullet points to emphasize key skills, accomplishments, and results.
This makes it easier on readers to scan your profile quickly and get a sense for who you are and what you do. Remember, your profile isn’t the same as your resume, so it shouldn’t read like one.
Use your profile to build your brand
How can you communicate the experience you create for others? When building a LinkedIn profile, it’s important to differentiate yourself from others who are in the same industry and hold similar roles as you. This is where building your brand comes in. A great way to do this is through stories and examples of your work. Want to showcase your creativity? Maybe you add videos, photos, or quotes that speak to your creative outlook. Excited to highlight your collaboration skills? Perhaps you seek out a recommendation from a teammate who talks about the experience they had collaborating with you on a project. However you connect people into your brand, make sure you do it in a way that’s authentic to you.
A simple way to get started defining your brand is by coming up with your top three to five brand characteristics. Brand characteristics are the key traits, skills, and values that define you. These can be things like trustworthy, innovative, creative, collaborative, or inspirational, to name a few. Remember, you don’t have to create your brand alone. Others can always help you. Remember to ask a diverse group of people to get a broad perspective. Answers to these questions will help you begin to uncover your brand and the experience you create for others. Then you can bring your brand into your profile and stand out in your industry. Once you create your key brand characteristics, keep your top three to five with you as you progress throughout this course. That way you can evolve your profile and your story to differentiate yourself on LinkedIn.
Building Your Profile on LinkedIn
Create a photo that represents you
Imagine this. You just met Mike at a medical conference and you both started talking about the issues in your sector. The conversation was great, so you decide you want to add him to your professional community on LinkedIn. You go to connect with him several days later, but when you pull him up in search you see a blank silhouette of a person next to his name and several hundred other Mike’s with his same last name. How do you know which mike to connect with? Would you feel comfortable connecting with Mike if you see he has no photo? Chances are, probably not. You aren’t alone. According to LinkedIn data, people with a profile photo receive up to nine times more connection requests than people without a photo.
Think adding a photo to your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have a large impact? Think again. When adding or updating your profile photo, make sure you select a high quality photo with good lighting on a neutral background. Don’t forget, adding a profile photo can lead to up to 21 times more profile views.
Remember, pets, kids, and family are really wonderful, but build a LinkedIn profile your profile photo should just be you, front and center. After all, LinkedIn is a professional community. Finally, remember that your profile photo doesn’t have to be a professional headshot if that’s not you. So even if you get a professional head shot or snap a do it yourself profile photo, just make sure you add a photo that represents you. After all, adding a photo can get you up to 36 times more messages from your community. A photo really is worth a thousand words. So be sure to add a quality profile photo that’s updated, has great lighting, and features just you.
Set up name pronunciation
You know that all too familiar scenes, someone tries to pronounce your name and they say it incorrectly. Kind of awkward, right? Chances are, you’ve probably had this happen to you at some point in your career. Especially if you have a name that may not read as it sounds. That’s why in 2020, LinkedIn launched the name pronunciation feature. This lets you create a recording of how your name is pronounced and add it right to your profile. Once it’s added, others can click the recording on your profile to learn how to pronounce your name.
First, it’s important to note that this feature can’t be added on LinkedIn’s desktop app. The name pronunciation recording can only be added from LinkedIn’s mobile app. Let’s see how it’s done.
Simply click the pencil at the top right of your profile. This will pull up your intro card where you’ll be able to see your profile photo, your first name and last name displayed.
Click the plus add name pronunciation and a pop-up will appear prompting you to record your name. Keep in mind if you need extra tips, you can always click into audio recording guidelines to get them.
To record your name, you will simply click the blue speaker and say your name.
Before you finalize your name pronunciation, keep in mind that you can always adjust visibility to determine who can listen to your name.
Simply click the eye at the bottom and either select first degree connections or all LinkedIn members.
Finally, you will save it all and click apply. And then hit save. Now, anyone who visits your profile can click the speaker to hear how to pronounce your name.
Craft a standout headline
What is a LinkedIn headline? Your headline is the short one-liner that appears under your name within your profile. It also shows up in the Home Feed, alongside your photo, every time you post and publish content on LinkedIn.
Did you know if you don’t update your headline, it will auto-default to the most recent position listed within your work experience? Your LinkedIn headline is an opportunity to represent your professional brand and differentiate yourself from others, right off the bat.
Your headline is often the first thing, alongside your profile photo, that people will see before they click in to your profile.
So when you build a LinkedIn profile, you want to create something compelling, customized, and representative of you. Where do you begin? When creating a customized headline, you want to think about what we like to call, the big three.
First, what are some industry keywords that will help you get discovered by your professional community across LinkedIn? These can be things like Program Manager, Software Engineer, Small Business Owner, or Coffee Barista, to name a few.
Second, pinpoint exactly what you do. Are you an investor, strategy leader, or manufacturer? Maybe you started your own consulting business, you fly commercial planes, or you’re a hospital doctor or a nurse. Whatever it is, use your headline as an opportunity to quickly highlight your role.
And last but not least, highlight any skills that are unique to you, or passions that you have. Are you passionate about connecting talent with opportunity? Then add that in. Do you have a side hustle as a photographer or a DJ? Add that in too.
Keep your industry and location current
Did you know that over 300,000 people search by industry each week on LinkedIn? Think adding your industry doesn’t contribute to build a LinkedIn profile? Think again. Members with industry information receive up to nine times more profile views than those without. Make sure this section of your profile is updated to reflect the industry you’re working in now. Adding or updating your industry will help those in your professional community find you.
Little updates like this have a big impact. In fact, members with a location listed receive up to 19 times more profile views. More views means more potential opportunities to connect with the more people like you in the world. Not to mention, including the city where you’re based makes you up to 23 times more likely to be found by others within your professional community. These can be members such as colleagues, alumni, managers, recruiters, and mentors to name a few. Simply adding or updating industry and location on your profile helps create new opportunities and connections across LinkedIn.
Show you’re open to work
LinkedIn has made it easy for you to do just that by indicating the types of jobs you’re interested in, and things like your preferred start date and location. Let’s see how this is done.
Click in to add profile section. Then select intro and click looking for a new job. The add job preferences card will pop up, and under job titles, you can specify the types of jobs you’re searching for.
Next, scroll down to job locations and add where you wants to work.
In addition, if you’re also open to remote work, check that box as well. Now under start date, you can specify whether you want to start immediately or if your timeline is a little more flexible.
You can also choose who sees that you’re open to work by simply clicking into the arrow you have two options. Selecting all LinkedIn members will automatically add the green #OpenToWork stripe on your profile photo so others can instantly see you’re open to new opportunities and help him out. If you select share with recruiters only it will privately share only to recruiters and won’t add the #OpenToWork green photo stripe to your profile photo.