10 Steps to Help You Get Started on LinkedIn

3No matter your experience level, your LinkedIn profile is one of the most important resources you have as a job seeker. But how do you get started? What does it take to build a quality profile?

Use this LinkedIn Profile Checklist to build your profile – and profile that will help you gain more connections, and be found by recruiters!

1. Optimize Your Tagline

LinkedIn’s official algorithm – how you get to the top of a search result – is an industry secret. But what we do know is this: it is very important to optimize your tagline with keywords.

In your tagline, also known as your headline, use the words, descriptors and deliverables that will help a recruiter find you. Do not let your tagline default to your current job title, as mist do. Instead, use that area for an optimized description of who you are and what you are capable of.

2. Use a Professional Photo

Having a photo attached to your LinkedIn profile is critical – as long as the photo is appropriate for your career goals, of course.

Use a cropped headshot that is free from blurs, other people and distractions. Make sure you look approachable and eliminate unnecessary backgrounds, below the torso details, and any awkward poses. In other words: be professional.

3. Achievement-Driven Summary

The summary section provides you space to showcase your achievements and key accomplishments. So instead of simply providing a recap of your experience, your summary should be filled with quantified examples your various achievements.

Remove the fluff and clichés. Make it jam-packed with action-driven information and language, letting your personality and confidence shine through!

4. Use Keywords in Summary & Experience Sections

Keywords are important throughout your profile, not just your tagline. To get started, cut and paste a relevant job description from one or more of your target companies into a word cloud function, such as Wordle.com. Based on what recruiters will use for terms to find people like you, this will help identify keywords and acronyms that should be in your profile.

5. Choose the Right Skills & Endorsements

The Skills section allows you to create an instant association to different skill sets you want to be known for. Be careful to choose the right skills for the job you seek, as well as for your personal brand. Again, you can reference the job descriptions you apply to for guides on keywords and phrases to include.

Your connections will then be able to provide endorsements, creating a testimonial map for your skills.. Choose to keep relevant and most pertinent endorsements. It is OK to delete endorsements for topics not pertaining to what you want to be found / recruited for.

6. Complete All Sections

The more complete your profile, the higher up in the rankings your profile will be in search results. Be sure to complete all of the sections including Education and Interests Insert the applicable information – being conscious to include details that help enhance your brand and make your profile stronger.

7. Claim a Vanity URL

It’s a lot easier to point people to your LinkedIn profile when you have a direct link that contains your name. LinkedIn allows you to customize your profile URL easily, enabling you to include that easy-to-read link on your resume materials and/or business cards.

8. Get Recommendations

Having colleagues, bosses, clients, and others provide a recommendation about your work and capabilities is the best kind of social proof you can get on LinkedIn. Reach out to your connections and ask them to provide a recommendation. The more qualitative the recommendation, the better. Be sure to approve and include the recommendations on your profile and return the favor when asked.

9. Showcase Your Work

There are several sections in your profile that allow you to showcase your work, professional credentials and demonstrate your personality; each adds dimension to your overall brand.

Include relevant information such as Publications, Projects, Courses, Volunteer Experience, and so on. Upload applicable whitepapers, media, presentations, and videos as applicable.

10. Sync Your Profile to Your Resume

In many application scenarios, people will find your LinkedIn profile after they have reviewed your resume. So it is critically important that your resume and LinkedIn profile are synced with accurate information across both mediums. Everything needs to align! Not word-for-word, of course. But the dates, titles, information, skills, and so on, need to match up in addition to everything in this LinkedIn Profile Checklist.

Now, go get started on LinkedIn. Or, use the 10 steps found in this LinkedIn Profile Checklist to update your current profile. Your goal: a LinkedIn profile that stands out, reinforces your personal brand, and gets you found!





For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Chameleon Resumes!


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Lisa RangelAbout the Author: Lisa Rangel is founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website, has helped hundreds of people land the exact job they wanted – even when they weren’t sure they would get an interview. Lisa is a 7-time certified resume writer and job search consultant, a former recruiter and one of the few executive resume writers performing resume and job search-related contract work for LinkedIn. She has been featured on Forbes.com, LinkedIn, Investors Business Daily, and so many more publications. Follow Lisa on Twitter.



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