Creating a good LinkedIn profile isn’t rocket science. In many cases, the most valuable addition to your LinkedIn is your time. It makes sense that the more time you invest in making your profile better, then the better it will become. You may have the occasional misfire, but so long as you are improving and perfecting your profile on a regular basis, you are mastering your LinkedIn profile.
Step 1 Take a professional photo
It goes without saying that people judge others on appearance; it is just a fact of life. You have two options, you may use a professional photographic and editing company to take and improve your photo, or you may do it yourself.
If you try it yourself, then take a lot of photos. Take them with the best camera you can find, and take them with a series of different backgrounds, lighting effects, and try different hairstyles and types of clothing. Take as many photographs as humanly possible because at least one of them will be remarkably better than the rest.
However, with that said, show your photo to other people, especially people of the opposite sex who are not related to you. Show other people five of your best photos and see what they think. You may think one photo is far better than the others, but you may be surprised by other people’s opinions.
You can have your photo edited by a professional, or you may take the time to learn how to do it yourself. Ideally, if you have a great photo, it shouldn’t need a massive amount of editing. The harder you work to get a good picture, the less work you will have to do with Photoshopping software.
Step 2 Write a perfect summary
Do not concentrate too hard on perfect grammar and immaculate English. Remember that the impact your text makes is more important than obeying the rules. Do not mistake this tip as an excuse to use poor-quality written English.
Example of a terrible line:
I haven’t never had any time off. Work rules!
Example of an overly perfect line:
Over the last five years, I have not had any days off work for illness or otherwise.
Example of a line with impact:
My attendance record is immaculate. I haven’t had a sick day in the last five years!
Nobody is expecting you to become a perfect writer for the sake of your LinkedIn profile, but keep going back to your summary to improve it. Add things that you think are relevant or that you forgot to add last time, and think of your summary as a permanent work in progress.
Step 3 Get endorsed for your skills
You may give and receive endorsements. They are a way of allowing other people to say, “Yes, that is true” when you enter a skill onto your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has a great tutorial page that explains what endorsements are, how to get them, how to receive them and so forth.
Enter your skills onto your LinkedIn profile, and take a little time getting them endorsed. It is not vital to your success, but it helps improve your credibility with people that do not know you very well.
Step 4 Customize your public profile URL
If you are actively searching for a job, if you are looking for a promotion, or if you are trying your best to prove yourself to other people, then you need to make your LinkedIn profile as shareable as possible.
Help other people share your profile by customizing your public profile URL. Make it easier to share and make it look more professional at the same time.
Instead of it looking like this:
You can make it look like this:
LinkedIn has a full tutorial page on how to customize your public URL, which mainly involves going to the “Edit profile” section and changing your settings.
Step 5 Do not hesitate to show your work samples
Showing your work samples is a good way of promoting yourself, your work and your skills. It may also increase your credibility on LinkedIn, but it is both tricky and difficult.
If you are a hairstylist, then showing examples of your work is easy and straightforward, but most jobs do not allow for such simple work samples. For example, how does a doctor, masseuse or hacker show samples of his or her work?
In addition, picking samples has its own share of problems. For example, if you are a freelance writer, you have probably had to write different types of text with different styles and formats. It may be difficult to pick your best work. After all, the work you did for an comic book is hardly likely to impress the academic-business clients who look at your LinkedIn profile, and the essay you wrote on snail migration will not impress the comedy-blog owners that would have otherwise wanted your writing skills. Do not hesitate to show samples of your work, but be very careful with your choices.
Trial and error testing is another key to success. Consider what you want to get out of your LinkedIn profile, and create a plan with measurable results in order to achieve your goal. Remember that making connections and gaining endorsements is useless if you have no end-goal in mind.
Eva Wislow is a career coach at CareersBooster.com. She loves helping people to achieve job satisfaction and success at work. Eva cannot imagine her life without writing.