As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or, in more practical terms, your audience determines your message.
To see if your LinkedIn profile has all the right stuff… go through the 20-step checklist below.
Your profile headline is the first thing someone sees after your name. Make it memorable. It should help someone understand the role you want to do next or contain key words important to your profession.
Choose a professional, high quality headshot for your photograph. Having a picture is recommended.
List all your email addresses so they are associated with your LinkedIn profile. You can set the default email which will be viewable by your connections and the account that receives InMail and updates from LinkedIn.
4. Vanity URL
Your LinkedIn profile has a URL (an Internet address). You can and should edit this by adding your name (www.linkedin.com/in/yourname). This also looks more professional when you include it on your resume, business card, or email signature.
5. Other Web References
If you have a personal website, professional Twitter account, or links elsewhere on the web, you can add them to your profile within the “contact info” section at the top. You should change the label from “other” to a short, descriptive title.
Consider this section a mini bio. Highlight the best of your background, experience and skills. You could also provide insight into your leadership style, personality, values, longer term goals, or outside interests.
Keep the reader’s attention by using short paragraphs. And make it more personal by writing in the first person by using “I”, “Me” or “My”. You may want to include your email address to make it easy for people who are not connected to contact you.
7. Work Experience
Include all the significant work history and include strong, key word rich descriptions and accomplishments under each position. Your work experience should be the same as listed on your resume. You may chose to include more or less detail for each job.
8. Embed Media
Add media (documents, video, images, audio) to your profile to make it an online portfolio. You can embed these links in your summary, work experience and education sections.
9. Skills and Expertise
List all the skills and areas of expertise which are most important to your profession and you want to highlight.
Include all the institutions you attended. List your concentration, major, and/or minor. If you are a recent graduate, include clubs committees and groups you were active in.
11. Certifications, Test Scores, and Courses
These sections are particularly helpful for new graduates. List the most relevant and important information.
You can reference class projects, special work assignments and side gigs as a project. This is another way to showcase skills and experience.
Ask for recommendations from colleagues, managers or even clients who know your work.
14. Honors and Awards, Publications, and Patents
Complete these sections with as much detail as necessary to highlight why it is important.
15. Organizations, Volunteering and Causes
Provide details about your involvement in professional associations and the organizations you belong to or committees you serve on. You may also choose to list the volunteer work you do and causes you support. Use discretion when choosing to include any religious or political affiliations.
16. Personal Details
Your birth date and marital status are the least important details. You may choose not to include this information on your profile.
17. Status Update
Regularly update your status so your network can see what you are up to. A status update could include a link to an article, information about a presentation you are attending, or it might be a question you would like feedback from your contacts.
Join college alumni groups, professional associations, and any industry related groups. Share their badges on your profile and participate in discussions by answering questions, sharing links to interesting articles and engaging in conversation with other like-minded professionals.
19. Make It 100% Complete
Don’t leave information blank or overlook details which may help set you apart such as: Languages, Honors & Awards, Patents, Courses, Test Scores, Certifications, Volunteering & Causes, Organizations, and Interests.
20. Make It Public
By default, LinkedIn sets your profile to be viewable to the public. For active job seekers this is the best option.
Those are the 20 steps to ensure your LinkedIn Profile is awesome. But don’t stop there! Take one section at a time and make it better and better. Talk to you mentors about how to get maximum impact from each section. Visit LinkedIn often… and update at every opportunity.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!