8 Steps to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Profile | Good linkedin profile examples, how to create a good linkedin profile as a student, how to create a linkedin profile with no experience, how to make your linkedin profile attractive to recruiters, best linkedin profiles, linkedin profile picture, linkedin profile examples for job seekers, how long does it take to create a linkedin profile… In this article, we will walk you through the steps to creating a powerful LinkedIn profile.
Many tern to create LinkedIn Profile that do not carry the necessary requirement that will attract potential professionals to their profile.
Below are the 8 steps needed to for the creation of a Powerful LinkedIn Profile;
- Perfect your profile & background pictures
- Target your headline
- Focus your summary
- Detail your work experience
- Add your education & skills
- Ask for recommendations
- Connect with relevant professionals
- Join relevant groups & pages
Step 1: Perfect Your Profile & Pictures
Unlike your resume, your profile picture is very important on your LinkedIn profile. It needs to be professional. LinkedIn research showed that having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed. It is your first chance to get noticed.
Pick a photo that looks like you now: If the recruiter is to invite you for an interview tomorrow, they should be able to recognize you from your LinkedIn picture. A picture taken a while ago might make the recruiter question your credibility.
Use a high-resolution image: LinkedIn ideal picture size is 400×400 pixels. Avoid low resolution photos.
Your face needs to occupy more than 60% of the frame: Crop the image at the top of your shoulders.
Don’t use group pictures: You need to be the only one in the frame. Cropping team pictures is not a good idea. Relevant group pictures could be included in your banner.
Don’t use a selfie: It would be optimal to get a professional picture. If that is not an option, get someone to take a picture of you. Make sure you have a natural and comfortable pose.
Choose a natural facial expression: you should look happy and confident.
Avoid distracting backgrounds: Remember! You should always be the focal focus of the picture. You don’t have to stand against a plain or white background. If you want to show your office and cool details about your space, you would better do that in your banner.
Wear what you usually wear at work: You don’t have to be wearing a suit or very formal clothes for your LinkedIn picture as every workplace has a different vibe. You don’t want to be over or underdressed.
Take your photo in soft, natural light.
Use filters wisely: LinkedIn offers 6 filters that you can apply to your profile picture. You can still adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, and vignette of the photo directly on LinkedIn
Your cover photo needs to be a high-resolution and correctly sized. We recommend that you use a JPG, PNG or GIF file under 8MB.
Step 2: Target Your Headline
The aim of a headline is to give an overview of you and briefly outline what makes you unique. Your headline should encourage LinkedIn users to check your profile.
LinkedIn headline has a character limit of 120 characters including spaces. That would roughly be 18 words.
The question now is: How can you summarize your character, experience and skills in just 18 words? Follow this guide to write a headline that does you justice.
Start your headline with your job title and company name: e.g., Virtual Assistant at Zirtual, Product Manager at M-Pesa. If you are a student or recent grad, provide your major and university. e.g., Electrical Engineering student at the University of Nairobi.
Add your unique selling point: Describe what makes you unique. This is the part where you can make yourself stand out. e.g Women Techmakers Scholar, Ghana’s 30 under 30, National Chess Champion. You could choose to add your interests. e.g., Machine Learning Enthusiast, Blockchain, Marketing.
Ensure that your headline has the keywords relevant to the most desired positions that you are applying for. This will help recruiters find you and make your fit for those roles more clear.
Step 3: Focus Your Summary
You should not leave this section blank! Studies show that job applicants with complete LinkedIn profiles are more likely to receive a call back for a job interview than those with no LinkedIn profiles. Recruiters use your LinkedIn to know more about you and verify your credibility. Think of your LinkedIn summary as your elevator pitch.
There is no standard formula for writing your LinkedIn summary. Remember, it needs to reflect your personality.
In this article, we will use the following 4-step formula:
Introduction: Before jumping into the numbers and achievements, tell us more about who you are. LinkedIn is a social network, remember.
Authenticity & Unique value proposition: Don’t use generic templates. Be Authentic. Recruiters look for what makes you unique, and what makes you stand out from all the other LinkedIn users with similar profiles.
Quantified achievements: Use bullet points to highlight your achievements and be succinct. Only highlight your most important achievements.
Call to action: Tell your readers explicitly what you want from them – what you want them to do. (e.g., check your website, get in touch if they have questions, reach out to if they have open data analyst positions, etc.)
Step 4: Detail Your Work Experience
Your LinkedIn profile can be more comprehensive than your resume. You don’t have a limit of 1 or 2 pages. So, you can add all the work experiences you had. If you have had more than one role in the same organization, it is worth it to include all of them drawing attention to the major achievements.
It is still important to be clear and succinct. Use the bullet points format in the description to list your achievements. You can copy paste what you have on your resume.
You can also add photos, documents and media links.
Step 5: Update Your Education & Skills
Add your education the way you added in your resume:
- School Name
- Field of Study
- Start & End Date
- [Optional] Grade (or Grade Point Average) (If it is something you would want to share)
- Activities & societies (share your extra-curricular activities during your school time)
- Description: You can add a short description of your school or any additional information you would want to share. You can also share more details about a scholarship you got in this space.
Step 6: Ask for Recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations are a valuable tool in building up your credibility in the job market.
You have to proactively ask for recommendations, follow-up and thank your recommenders.
Recommendations could be from:
- Happy clients
- Anyone that collaborated with you before.
You don’t want to have copy pasted template recommendations. This is why you have to put in the effort and guide your recommenders. Ask your recommender to highlight particular skills and highlight certain experiences. Provide details about your engagement that your recommender can use. For example, if you want them to highlight your project management skills, remind them of a project you led excellently.
You want your recommendations to highlight different skills. It does not help to have 2 – 3 recommendations only focusing on your project management skills. You also want to make sure that the recommendations don’t contradict one another.
Once you get your recommendations, thank your recommenders. You can offer to recommend them or even go one step further and send them a draft of a potential recommendation.
Step 7: Connect With Professionals
You need to grow your LinkedIn network. You can start by adding people that you know: professors, classmates, and colleagues. If you click on “Connect,” LinkedIn will send them the following message:
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
This message could work with people that already know you but is unlikely to work with strangers unless they have a reason to connect with you. So we recommend that you use the 300 characters that LinkedIn offers you to customize your invitations.
If you are connecting with someone you know personally, use this space as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship.
If you are connecting with someone you recently met or connected with in a conference/meeting, use this space to remind them of how/where you met.
If you are connecting with someone you don’t know at all, you need to give them a reason to accept your request. You have to do your homework. Go to their profiles and read thoroughly then pick something you can connect with and highlight it in your personalized message.
Remember the following when connecting with people on LinkedIn:
Not everyone is interested in networking: You should not just send random connection requests with no customized messages and expect people to connect with you.
Your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand: You have to make sure that your profile is complete and that the information on it is accurate.
People dislike anything that looks like spam & advertising: People will immediately disregard your message if they don’t know you and think that your connection request is solely for advertising purposes.
Step 8: Join Relevant Groups & Pages
Groups give you a space to connect with people with similar interests as you. LinkedIn has more than 1M groups. You will definitely find groups about your fields of interest.
- Join 3 different groups
- Engage in conversations & get to know different people.
- Add to your network people that you engaged with in group conversations. These people are no longer complete strangers. They know you now. Use the templates provided in previous sections.
Groups are mainly for networking and communicating with other professionals & business people while pages are mainly for marketing purposes. Follow the pages of 10 companies you would want to work for. This would keep you updated about their news and what they are looking for. This could come in handy in job interviews.