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LinkedIn profile checklist:

Part 1 – getting started


In the first part of our LinkedIn series we discuss the first 5 steps that should be completed in order to build a professional and appealing profile.

LinkedIn is an online professional network used by professionals to connect with other professionals. In order to put your best foot forward and appeal others in your industry the following basic, yet important steps should be completed.

1. Photo:

We all know first impressions count so having a professional photo is vital. If you don’t have a professional picture, take a photo against a white background while you’re wearing business attire.

Take a head and shoulders picture, look straight ahead at the camera, and don’t forget to smile. LinkedIn data shows that having a profile picture makes you seven times more likely to have your profile viewed.

2. Headline:

The headline should be used to show your current title. Don’t forget to update this as soon has you have a change of title.

3. Summary:

Many people skip the summary section, which is a huge missed opportunity to show who you are as a person and what you aspire to become. A good summary consists of a few paragraphs summarizing your professional background, key areas of expertise and what you can do for potential employers.

Mention what motivates you, what your main skills are and what you are most passionate about. You can also use this section to write a little about the company you work for and your role there or to explain gaps in work history and how you’ve kept your skills up to date.

4. Experience:

Experience is the list of jobs you held along with what you’ve accomplished within the companies. 

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• Give a short description of the company, state why it was a great place to work (even if it wasn’t). Keep it to one or two sentences.

• List your tasks and responsibilities involved in your role.

• List all that you’ve accomplished in this role, including results and outcomes of projects you were involved in. Use numbers and stats where possible; this will make you stand out.

• Use bullet points and start each sentence with an action verb highlighting in detail what skills and accomplishments you’ve brought from that role.

• Write your profile in the first person – it will look more approachable to people viewing the profile.

• Check for grammar and spelling mistakes – a spelling mistake could cost you a job opportunity. 

• Include any photos, videos or publications of your work.

• Add the company logo to make your page more visually appealing and complete. This can be done if the company has a LinkedIn page of its own.

5. Education and Courses:

Start with your highest achievement and work down. There is opportunity to mention the names of classes you took. It is recommended that you don’t list all classes you have ever taken, instead list the ones you think are most impressive and sought after by employers in your industry.

Mentioning grades is not necessary on LinkedIn; however if you were lucky enough to achieve an outstanding result by no means leave it out.

You now have the basic sections filled out, next time we will discuss growing your presence and engaging with your network. We will also discuss other areas of your profile that can be completed and added to in order to optimise your LinkedIn presence. 

View part two How to maintain your LinkedIn presence.


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