Linkedin profile ‘How to guide’ cover image

Linkedin profile ‘How to guide’

Natasha Harley • October 2, 2022

Your Linkedin profile page is the foundation for your personal branding. This is a great way to demonstrate your skills, motivations and interests, think of it as your digital CV. Even if you are not actively seeking a new job, just having a well-structured profile could change your career!

Other benefits of a Linkedin account mean you can network with like-minded individuals, get involved in forums and join interest groups. Another advantage of having a Linkedin profile is that it can help open doors to opportunities that may never have existed previously but having an incomplete or unprofessional profile can also have a detrimental effect and portray a negative impression to potential contacts and/or employers.

Below are some tips to help you build a professional looking profile.

1. Clean URL

Having a more professional, clean, name-only URL is much easier to find, read, and share.

Steps to change your URL:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. At the top right of your profile page click “Edit public profile & URL”
  3. Again at the top right of the page now click the edit pen image button
  4. Fill in “[First Name] + [Last Name]”

2. Professional Headline and Summary

This is the most important part of your Linkedin profile and is what visitors to your profile see next to your name. This needs to include your career focus and components of your work or professional interests.

Having the right headline ensures you get found by recruiters/hiring managers for the right, relevant job, since many of them only search by title or keywords.

Eg. Aspiring cybersecurity professional | Curious about GRC

3. Profile summary

This should provide a deep insight about what makes you unique, where is your career headed, how would others describe you, what are your values and personal traits?

  • Include industry related keywords, core skills, your strengths/talents and professional interests

  • It can be read in 30 seconds

Try to structure your summary as follows;

  1. Description of what you did in your previous career, not only your job title, think more about the impact and value your work had to the business/client/customer/end user.
  2. If changing career, why? What motivated you to pivot your career?
  3. What are your top transferable skills or what do others/ex-colleagues think are your top skills?
  4. What is your career goal? Do you want to be recognised as an expert? In what area and why?
  5. Do you have a personal goal, are you passionate about making a difference somewhere or to something? What and why?
Make it between 3 and 5 paragraphs long. Make it too short - one sentence won’t do.
Use clear, concise sentences. Make it too long - don’t see the summary as an opportunity to tell your entire life story. Recruiters/Hiring Managers won’t take the time to read it and your main point will be missed.
Separate the information in structured paragraphs. Copy and paste a generic summary you’ve seen somewhere, even if it sounds good. You want to stand out, not fit in!
Use bullet points when relevant

4. Work Experience

  • Listed in reverse order, current job at the top.
  • Link job to the company
  • Clearly state your Job title
  • Brief overview, use 1 or 2 sentences to give the reader an overview of what your job involved/s, what is your purpose and responsibility?
  • List achievements/high level role objectives as bullet points approximately 3-5.

5. Education

  • Don’t forget to add all learning and development, courses, certificates. Anything big or small. This shows your commitment to personal development, even if not for your job. This isn’t just for school/college/university. Demonstrating continuous self -directed learning is absolutely critical in this industry, which evolves rapidly. How do you/will you stay ahead of the curve and learn about new developments/tech/industry intelligence?

6. Skills and Endorsements

  • Adding a list of skills on your profile helps other understand your strengths, it also allows other people in your network to endorse you. This will also enable Linkedin to match you with opportunities and recommend new connections.
  • Ask people in your network, colleagues, clients or associates to endorse your skills that they have experienced (remember you need to be highlighting your transferable skills now). That is the purpose of this section so don’t be embarrassed to ask. You could endorse your connections first which will prompt them to return the gesture.

7. Recommendations

  • These should come from former managers, colleagues, clients, vendors, professors or fellow students. (Basically, anyone who will have good things to say about you and your work.)
  • Identify a reason for wanting recognition, this isn’t just about improving your chances of getting a new job, its about positioning yourself as the professional you want to be known as, and there is nothing more credible and powerful than other people recognising you for your skills and achievements.

8. Interests

  • Identify organisations, competitors, associations and media channels in your industry that will help you stay up to date with industry developments and news and follow them so you see their posts and news items in your feed. Its really important to stay up to date with industry news and activity so you can actively engage in professional conversations in the office or at a networking event. It will build your credibility and boost your confidence to engage with others face2face or virtually. You can use topical matters to instigate Linkedin connections and engage in community discussions on your feed or in groups. Also identify and follow Key Influencers in your industry as they will often do the hard work for you and post anything that is relevant and worth knowing, so regularly check their posts on their profiles.

9. Build your network

  • Engage with your connections by writing comments on peoples posts and getting involved with discussions. If you are keeping on top of industry news and what interests you then you will be able to engage and voice your opinion confidently.
  • Start with joining some specialist interest groups on Linkedin, maybe with a small group of members, and engage with the members to build your confidence. Ask questions and ask for advice, people love to help.
  • Share content that is relevant to your network that is informative, interesting or you want to get feedback on. Ask for peoples opinions to encourage engagement. Talk about subjects that you want to be recognised as an expert in. Your network will share your posts with their networks and new people will engage and connect with you.

Open to work feature

#OpentoWork will feature on your profile picture.

  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View profile.
  3. Click the Open to button.
  4. Click Finding a new job.
  5. Provide the requested information in the pop-up window that appears.
    1. You can choose whether all LinkedIn members or only recruiters can see that you’re open to job opportunities. If you choose to share with all LinkedIn members, we’ll add an #OpenToWork photo frame to your profile photo.
    2. Click Add to profile.

You can also click Get started from the Show recruiters you’re open to work box near the top of your LinkedIn Profile to access this feature.