We’ve already talked about how to set up the header in your LinkedIn profile. Now, I will move on and tell you how to setup your LinkedIn summary, work experience and education.
The summary is really important and is often overlooked on LinkedIn. This is your chance to talk about who you are as a professional and provide a narrative of your work experience. It allows you to highlight your strengths and your accomplishments. Having a well thought out summary will take your profile from just being an online resume to being something that really sells you as an individual.
When you write this, we recommend writing in third person. If you write about your accomplishments in first person, it can end up sounding like you are bragging a little bit. Writing in third person gives the perception to the reader that someone else is saying these nice things about you, even if you wrote them.
I also recommend making this a summary of who you are as a professional, not just what you are doing in your current job. As you can see in my summary below, it includes information about all of my experience, not just from my current job.
Also, include your contact information at the end of your summary. This allows people to easily get in touch with you without having to look further.
Lastly, you can upload media to represent your work. It could be a video, a presentation or a portfolio. You can also do this in your experience section.
Listing your experience is one of the core elements of a LinkedIn profile. It allows people to see your professional history. However, one of the most common mistakes I see people make is listing either too many jobs, or not enough jobs. Think about why you are filling out your LinkedIn profile. If you used to work in retail 10 years ago, but now are working as an investment banker, it probably doesn’t make sense to list your retail experience. List what is relevant and what puts your professional career in the best light.
When you do list your jobs, there are a few things to make sure you are taking full advantage of LinkedIn’s features.
First, be sure to link your job to your company. If you look at my job below, you will see that the logo for Katie Wagner Social Media appears to the right of my title. That is a link to KWSM’s company page on LinkedIn. When you input your job, be sure to try to link to your company’s page.
Second, list the city where you work. As you can see, I have listed Aliso Viejo, CA. Beyond the obvious reasons for doing this, it helps you be found in more LinkedIn searches. For example, if people are looking for a Director of Operations in Aliso Viejo, I am more likely to show up in that search because I have listed the city where I work.
Lastly, get recommendations. As you can see, I have two recommendations for my work at Katie Wagner Social Media. Recommendations are something you can request from people directly through LinkedIn. They are a powerful form of social proof, allowing other people to talk about your strengths. Try to get recommendations from every type of person you work with: Colleagues, bosses, people you manage, clients you work with and people you partner with.
Be sure to list your education. Most people simply list the college they went to, but there is a lot more you can put in here to show your training. If you don’t have a college degree, I still recommend listing the college you went to (even if it was just for some time), or list out any certifications or training that you have.
For example, in my education I have listed my university (Go Beavs!), but I have also listed a few other pieces of ‘education’ that I have. After college, I worked for Starbucks and was part of their management training program. I list this because their program is recognized as one of the better management training programs for operations management. In addition, I have also listed the fact that I have a real estate license and also the financial licenses that I have. Although I don’t actively use those, they required quite a bit of education and testing to get.
If you didn’t go to college, these non-traditional sources of education are a great way to showcase the education you do have.
Next time, I will talk more about skills and endorsements as well as the other sections that are available to add to your profile. Until then, be sure to get your LinkedIn profile up to speed by reading this post and completing these sections. If you run into any questions, please ask in the comments below!
Also, while you are on LinkedIn, please follow the KWSM company page. We provide a lot of great social media tips and advice for running social media for your business.