Six Steps to a Great LinkedIn Profile

To further your career, you’ll need to create a LinkedIn profile as a tool for networking and job searching. But how do you make sure to use LinkedIn effectively? Here are six tips.

  1. Complete the entire profile. Your LinkedIn profile is just like your résumé—It should include all of the elements that describe you and your qualifications. The registration process is a guided one, and LinkedIn even includes a meter that tells you how close to completion you are. Just follow the instructions, and you’ll be set.
  2. Use lots of the right keywords. LinkedIn is a virtual résumé, and just as you want to use keywords in a paper résumé, you want them to work for you on LinkedIn, too. One great way to find terms is this one from The Muse: Put the text from a few different job postings into a word cloud generator, and you’ll see in the results which terms are most likely to resonate with employers in your industry.
  3. Get personal. A résumé is a just-the-facts document; your LinkedIn profile should “sound” like you. Write in the first person, and state strengths as your strengths and successes as your successes. Let your personality shine through.
  4. Add media. Build to your personal brand by personalizing your URL, customizing your links, adding a background image and writing a great summary; then, highlight the work you’ve done by adding links, images, video and other multimedia to each position you list. Learn more about these from
  5. Get endorsements. With the click of a mouse, your contacts can vouch for your skills one at a time, which backs up what you say about the work you’ve done and gives recruiters a good idea about what you can do. You can request that a contact endorse you, or you can get the ball rolling by endorsing them first!
  6. Get recommendations. Just like with endorsements, this can be a good way for colleagues to promote one another. There’s even a simple recommendation request template that you can use when making contact. If you didn’t work closely with a person, though, you can still ask them to recommend you by reminding them of work you may have in common.