Strategies & Tactics

Developing a First-Rate LinkedIn Profile

June 3, 2019

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Searching for a new career opportunity in public relations can be daunting, but LinkedIn makes what could be a formidable task much less arduous. While you’re busy updating your résumé, be sure to take the time to enhance your profile on LinkedIn and take advantage of the modules available to highlight your many capabilities.

While there are several fee-based membership options available on LinkedIn, a free user profile is still incredibly effective. Anyone can save plenty of time and maximize their job search reach by using LinkedIn and following these profile guidelines: 

Photo

Starting from the top of your profile, let’s first look at your photo. Profiles with a professional photo receive much more attention than those that don’t have one, so take care to select the right image for your profile page. If you don’t have a professional headshot, then dress nicely and have a friend snap your photo in a well-lit place with their smartphone. Don’t forget to smile!

Headline

Directly beneath your photo, you will have the opportunity to enter a headline. While some professionals opt to list only their current position and title, others choose a simple descriptor phrase or other details that might grab the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager.

Browse LinkedIn to see what others in your industry at your level are using, and craft a headline that works best for you.

Summary

The summary section of your profile is next, and it’s the perfect place to showcase yourself in a concise, authentic and genuine way. You can briefly share your passions, skills, the sectors you have worked in and any unique qualifications you may have.

I enjoy reading profile summaries that are presented in the first person with some warmth and personality. You also have the option to attach media.    

Experience and Education

Once your summary is complete, fill in your work experience and education. Input your past jobs and internships separately. You can link each entry to the corresponding company or university, identify the date range in which you worked there and list your title.

Additionally, you are able to include details about your duties, as well as specific accomplishments. While you should definitely use smart and relevant keywords, try to stay away from buzzwords.

Connecting

Now that your profile looks great, start connecting with past and current colleagues, professors and other professionals who you know personally. As your network increases, you will gain access to other professionals and appear more frequently in search results. Try to stick with people who you know personally, especially in the beginning. Carefully curating your LinkedIn network can only benefit you professionally.  

Recommendations  

An important task is to request recommendations from past colleagues and supervisors. LinkedIn recommendations are a simple way to showcase your skills and work ethic through the feedback of other professionals in your industry who know you personally. Ask your connections to write a recommendation about something specific that you worked on or an impressive accomplishment.

Remember that your LinkedIn profile is just one step to conquer while working toward achieving success in your job search. Keep your profile current and remain engaged with your network. Other tools that LinkedIn provides, such as groups, publishing content, and following people and companies of interest are also invaluable to the job seeker. Download the app and get started today!

Christina Stokes

Christina Stokes is the vice president and director of talent acquisition at Rubenstein. She is passionate about refining and enhancing employee engagement, company culture, and diversity and inclusion efforts. Twitter: @NewYorkRoses.

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