If you want to be taken seriously in your career (and even have recruiters reaching out to you with opportunities) then you need to take LinkedIn seriously.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- The minimum
- A professional profile photo (and video)
- A high-quality cover image that represents you in some way
- A headline that clearly describes what you do
- An About section (bio) that makes people want to work with you
- Past & current work experiences & internships along with short, achievement-based, story-form descriptions of each role
- The powerful stuff
- At least 100 connections
- Recommendations from past colleagues, supervisors, professors, and clients.
- Skills that back up what you do
- Accomplishments (a good place for side projects)
- Volunteering you’ve done
A professional profile photo (and video)
If you don’t have a good professional photo of yourself, ask a friend to take one. Any decent smartphone nowadays can take a great picture. Just dress well, and make sure your face is well-lit.
Then, upload it to pfpmaker.com (100% free) to generate a bunch of high-quality options that will make your profile really stand out!
A high-quality cover image that represents you in some way
Search unsplash.com if you need:
Beautiful Free Images & Pictures | Unsplash
Beautiful, free images and photos that you can download and use for any project. Better than any royalty free or stock photos.
A headline that clearly describes what you do
Freelance Graphic Designer specializing in engaging social content
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
An About section (bio) that makes people want to work with you
When you position yourself clearly, people stop doubting your abilities. They begin to trust what you say & want to work with you. CareerOS has a Positioning exercise that results in something like this:
Past & current work experiences & internships along with short, achievement-based, story-form descriptions of each role
Even if unrelated to your career now, it helps you build “general credibility.” Check out my very first job 😁 👇
Add your school and field of study. Even if you didn’t get a university degree, you can still list certifications and other forms of education. Something is better than nothing!
The powerful stuff
At least 100 connections
Search for people you know from school, work, etc. (professors, classmates, coworkers) and send them a connection request! This helps them build their network, too. Every person you’re connected to brings you 1 degree closer to all their connections.
Recommendations from past colleagues, supervisors, professors, and clients.
Go to their profile, click More, and click Request a recommendation:
Skills that back up what you do
Use this chance to list out all the skills you have, from hard skills like coding languages or software tools to “soft” skills like communication and time management.
Bonus: ask your LinkedIn connections to hit the ➕ sign next to a few, to build your credibility.
Accomplishments (a good place for side projects)
It’s really too bad LinkedIn doesn’t place this section higher up on the profile, because one of the most impressive things you can do is display projects you’ve worked on.
Volunteering you’ve done
We all love seeing people doing a little pro-bono work in the world, and if you’ve done volunteering of any kind, make sure to add it here.
20 steps to a better LinkedIn profile in 2020
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