Do you have a LinkedIn account? Have you heard of LinkedIn before? LinkedIn is a widely used social media platform, where students can connect with employers and network online. Although many people believe LinkedIn is basically an online version of your resume, it is much more than that! LinkedIn is where you take your resume to the next level and elaborate your skills and experience, allowing for employers to learn more about you and how you could contribute to their company.
If you are just creating an account or if you are more advanced but want to further enhance your online profile, I have provided some tips and advice for your profile!
1) Professional Profile Picture
LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more profile views.
When selecting a LinkedIn profile picture, it is important to keep in mind employers will be looking and having access to your profile; therefore, keeping it professional is essential. Dressing professionally is a must and I would suggest you wear clothes that you would wear to a job interview or a networking event. Your headshot should also have a neutral background (i.e. solid colour), so it is not too distracting to the eyes and you keep it simple. Another important aspect to consider when taking the picture is to take a photo starting from the top of your shoulders, where your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. It might be obvious to select a current photo of yourself, but the picture should resemble what you look like right now and what recruiters would see if they were to meet you in person.
During the Telfer Connects and Telfer Networks, two annual networking events that the Career Centre hosts, we offer students free LinkedIn headshots. Make sure to mark your calendars for Telfer Networks (happening in January), as you do not want to miss this opportunity!
2) Background Photo
Everyone’s LinkedIn profile looks the same and often boring. By adding a background photo will allow you to express your creativity and bring more personality to your page. Again, just keep in mind that the background needs to be professional but visually appealing.
Check out this website for some ideas and inspiration for creative LinkedIn backgrounds.
3) Customize public profile URL
Did you know that you can create a customized LinkedIn profile URL?
I didn’t know this until last year and it is very useful when connecting with employers. It will not only allow you to be easily searchable by employers, but you can add it to your resume, email signature, or business cards. When you create a LinkedIn account, your URL will be generic with a bunch of random numbers/ letters attached to the end. You can shorten the URL and make it personalized by changing the ending to your name: linkedin.com/in/yourname
Here are the two easy steps on how you can personalize your LinkedIn profile URL:
- In the top right area, click the section “Edit Public Profile & URL”
- Once redirected to the page, in the top right area under “Edit Public Profile URL” there is a pencil icon and click this and type your name in
When employers view your LinkedIn profile, they want to quickly get a sense of who you are and in the summary section this is the perfect opportunity. The summary section is a short paragraph outlining and expanding who you are, your current work experience, and relevant skills and abilities to the industry. It should also highlight some of your interests and career aspirations. Ensure that your summary is only a couple sentences in length (I would say 5-6 sentences maximum), as it is easy for employers to read.
Still need some guidance in creating the perfect professional LinkedIn profile? The Career Centre offers individual LinkedIn critiques. Stop by the Student Services Centre and book an appointment with the Centre Centre!