LinkedIn profile checklist

Here’s a starting point for shaping up your LinkedIn profile. Taking a few minutes to tweak what you have will make a big difference in potentially landing an interview or phone call with a prospective employer.

Photo

  • Upload a professional headshot.
  • Personalize your profile by uploading a background image.

Headline

  • Answer the question: Why do you matter to the reader?
  • Your headline must stand out; make it memorable; use keywords; use certs; if you’re comfortable with it: use humor or wit where appropriate. What separates you from the crowd of qualified candidates next to you in line?

Branding

  • Decide how you want to use LinkedIn. Answer the question: Do I want to be viewed as entrepreneurial? Executive? Job seeker? Networker? Marketer? Thought leader? This will dictate the tone of your narrative.
  • Optimize the order of your respective LinkedIn sections to align with how you want to be perceived.

Marketing

  • Update status or post once a week (stats show Tuesday is the best day to post – in general, between 9-11 a.m.). This will help drive traffic to your profile.
  • Organize experience throughout individual job categories using headers to help recruiters find what they need more easily.
  • Personalize your LinkedIn URL.

Narrative

  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Include contact info in contact area AND in narrative.
  • List promotions, leadership roles, and examples where you led a team.
  • Narrative should include a career summary written in first person; list of specialties; call to action; website if applicable; contact info; willingness to refer others.
  • Types of narratives: amusing, anecdotal, or serious. Focus on what your passion is; summarize what you do well and what you’re interested in.
  • Tie narrative to headline if appropriate.

Endorsements

  • Request recommendations and endorsements from respected colleagues.
  • Organize endorsements according to how you want to position yourself and how you want people to perceive/think of you.
  • Evaluate, refine, and reorder your skills and endorsements.

In general…

  • Turn off the “Notify your network?” option while you’re updating your profile so as to not announce your every move to your connections. This is a temporary change; you can set the option however and whenever you want.
  • Use numbers to prove ROI; use stats in prose and bullets.
  • Use target job listing to craft experience prose in narrative and throughout profile.
  • Format bullets as “achieved x accomplishment, resulting in y benefit.”
  • List specific education, projects, volunteering, languages, certs, and credentials.
  • Align LinkedIn experience with your résumé; make sure details are consistent.
  • Don’t overwhelm your readers with content; keep it conversational and concise.
  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread. Your profile needs to be error free – just like your résumé.
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