Develop Your Profile
It takes seven essential elements to have a completed (All-Star Level) profile. To qualify, your page must contain the following:
- Industry and location
- An up-to-date current position (with a description)
- Two past positions
- Skills (minimum of three)
- Profile photo
- At least 50 connections
Filling in these fields is only the first step, but it’s a good one because only 51% of members have a completed profile. Once you cut out half the competition, your next move is to separate yourself from within the All-Star pack. View the steps below to build a strong and unified message about your professional identity and elevate your LinkedIn profile to All-Start status.
Step 1: Profile Introduction
Your name, industry, geographic location, profile headline, photo, and education are several pieces of information that will be highlighted in your LinkedIn profile introduction. Some of the listed information is optional to include in the profile introduction (education, current job title, etc.).
Step 2: Customized Public Profile URL
Your LinkedIn profile is created with an automatically generated website address (URL) that you can use to share your profile with others. Edit your contact information to select a custom public profile URL (e.g., http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname) that is more streamlined and makes your profile easily identifiable.
Step 3: Profile & Banner Photo
Profile Photo: Select a photo for your LinkedIn profile that is a clear, single head shot in which you're professionally dressed and presenting a natural, friendly smile. Avoid blurry photos, photos in which others are cropped out, or any image that does not support you being perceived as mature and professional.
Banner Photo: Select a banner photo as a backdrop to the content that appears at the top of your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has several options that you can select from, or you may upload your own photo. View examples of banner photos for inclusion in your LinkedIn profile here.
Step 4: Headline
Write a headline statement that contains a benefit to the reader. Use keywords others might search when needing your services, but omit overused lingo such as "superior," "proactive," "top-performing," "dedicated," "hard-working," etc.
Examples of Descriptive Headlines:
- Creative Communicator: Writing & Editing | Graphics & Video | Social Media & Blogs
- Partnerships Manager & Creative Strategist
- Certified Professional Facilitator | Helping teams to get from chaos to clarity
- Helping Businesses Enhance their Online Marketing Image Through Social Media
- Increasing your sales by combining integrated media solutions with high precision targeting
- Bilingual Compliance Manager | Hedge Funds | ABC Company Inc.
- Transforming Healthcare Tech at HealthWise
- Consumer Marketing Expert with a Focus on Strategy, Promotions, and Campaign Management
Step 5: Summary
Write a brief summary (3-5 short paragraphs) in first person language that provides the reader with an overall picture of who you are and what they should expect to see in the rest of your profile. Write about what makes you unique: your strengths, values, experiences, and the things that motivate you. Incorporate industry keywords into your statements so that your profile is more likely to show up in search results.
Step 6: Honed List of Skills
Include a skills section to outline your specialized qualifications. Be strategic about including the skills that best highlight your unique skills profile as related to your industry. Your skills will be organized in the areas of industry knowledge, tools and technologies, interpersonal skills and "other".
LinkedIn has introduced skill quizzes to assess the strength of your knowledge in several technical skill areas. It's not required to take a skill quiz, but those who pass a skill quiz will receive a badge for inclusion on their profile.
You may add up to 50 skills altogether in the skills and endorsements section of your LinkedIn profile. Select up to three (3) skills as top skills, which will be featured at the beginning of the skills and endorsements section.
Step 7: Add Examples of Your Work
Enhance your profile by uploading media into the experience section, and/or the education section. When appropriate and relevant, incorporating media such as documents, slides, and videos can provide evidence of your skills and make your profile more interesting and dynamic.
Step 8: Profile Activity
You can view your posts or another LinkedIn member’s posts, articles, and profile activity from the Activity section of the profile page. However, if you don’t see any activity in the Activity section of a member’s profile, the member may have set their settings to private, or they may not have any recent activity. If you haven’t had any activity on LinkedIn for 90 days, your Activity section will be hidden from your profile.
Research and Connect
Use LinkedIn to identify contacts in your industries or companies of interest. You can message those contacts through LinkedIn, invite them to be your LinkedIn Connection, or reach out via external methods of communication (email address, phone, etc.)
Advanced Search: Use LinkedIn's filters to search for people with particular job titles, with work histories at organizations that interest you, or with ties to Webster.
Alumni Insights: Go to school profile pages to view alumni affiliated with Webster University or previous institutions of learning. You can search the list of alumni by keyword or sort by location, workplace, job, or major.
Company Profiles: Browse company profiles for organizations that interest you. From a company profile, you can find any current jobs posted on LinkedIn and a list of employees. You'll even be informed in the company profile if you have connections to anyone working there.
Groups: View or join groups related to your areas of interest. There are LinkedIn groups for professional associations, industries, topics, schools, and hobbies. Once a member of a group, you'll be able to search and message other members who share your interests.
Sample Connection Request
When requesting to connect with an individual on LinkedIn, it’s advisable to personalize your message rather than sending LinkedIn’s standard text. You can do so by navigating to the individual’s profile, selecting Connect, then Add a note, then creating your customized message.
Example of a customized connection request:
Dear Mr. Jones,
I identified your LinkedIn profile through a common group, the Webster University Alumni Association. I'll be graduating in May of this year with a degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications. I see you're an Advertising Account Manager at ABC Company - if you have some time, I'd be interested in speaking with you to learn more about your career path and to gather your advice and insight.