Often referred to as the "Facebook for Professionals", LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows you to create business connections, search for jobs, and access shared knowledge/insights. With over 400 Million users, LinkedIn can truly help you expand your professional network and link you to hundreds of thousands of career opportunities.
Creating a LinkedIn profile is easy. The website walks you through building your profile (and offers many suggestions to improve it!)
Outside of the suggestions, there are additional ways that you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to ensure you're reaching your targeted audience.
Use a Professional Photo
Your profile is 7x more likely to be viewed when you add a professional picture. The world wants to put a face to the name (what's a profile without a picture anyway?) When choosing a picture for your profile, be sure to select one that is well-lit, clear, and focuses on your face (your face should take up at least 60% of the frame). As far as attire goes, wear what you would normally wear to work. Stick to solid colors and take your picture against an non-distracting background.
Customize Your Profile URL
I cannot stress the importance of this...not only does it make it easier for you to be found, but when including a link to your LinkedIn profile in your resume or email signature, the shorter, customized URL will be more aesthetically pleasing. Use this link to get started on setting up your custom URL: LinkedIn Custom URL.
Enhance Your Profile Headline
Most LinkedIn Users overlook the Profile Headline section, not realizing its purpose and importance. The Headline section is a 120-character section that is highly visible to other LinkedIn users through a search, profile view, or group activities. By default, LinkedIn creates this section to highlight your job title and employer. But you can significantly increase your search listing and optimize your profile by including essential keywords related to your targeted career. And don't forget to use some creativity when creating your Profile Headline to grab the attention of recruiters/hiring managers!
Complete Your Profile Summary
Now this is the main course! Your profile summary is the section of your profile that showcases who you are. It's important to show your personality in this section, so don't forget to be engaging and memorable! This section should have a different tone from your resume and should be written in first person.
It's important to update your profile regularly. Also, check in from time to time to read any messages that may have been sent to you.