30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired


LinkedIn is the world's largest global professional network — with 400+ million corporate and individual members in more than 200 nations.

LinkedIn is more than a professional network and job board. Corporate headhunters use it as a recruitment tool in their quest to retain viable talent. And it's the first place potential employers and business associates look when deciding to hire and do business with you. In today's business community, it's imperative that you have a professionally designed LinkedIn profile.

Here are six major components to creating a successful career-building LinkedIn profile that will get you the job opportunities you've been seeking.

1. Use Appropriate Profile Images

Use a professional looking photo as your profile picture. Use a headshot or three-quarter photo that shows you from the waist up. Ideally, it should capture you in your business environment. Real estate agents, who understand the importance of branding themselves, do this exceptionally well. They often embed a forward facing photo in property listings to convey their professionalism and sense of style.

LinkedIn also offers the option of adding a background image. This is a second opportunity to brand yourself that adds visual context to your profile. Use it and upload a high-quality image. Also, you may want to add text to the image using a photo editor. For example, "Raymond Miller, Java Developer." Make use of the space, as it's an opportunity to stand out in the crowd.

2. Customize Your Public LinkedIn Profile URL

Create a unique URL on LinkedIn from which your public profile will appear. You should use your given name if possible, but those with highly common names will encounter limitations. In this case, you should get creative and try lastname-firstname or use professional titles in your vanity URL, such as Dr., MBA, PhD, DDS, CFA, CPA, etc. Professional designations will also work. If, in the future, you acquire a professional title or designation, or you simply don't like the vanity URL you've created and wish to change it, you can always do so by clicking the gear icon to manage your "public profile URL" settings. (See also: 6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation)

3. Tag Yourself With Keywords

LinkedIn's search tool functions are based on keyword relevance, just like Google's. Therefore, you should tag yourself with keywords you want to be found under. It's very important that you use them in your headline, or current job title. Do this by giving it a "present" value in the date field. For example, if you're looking for work as a freelance journalist, make sure your title as a freelance journalist remains present in order to stay relevant to search queries.

And secondly, tag any companies you worked for in the job description area. In addition, list work experience separately (see below). This will improve your chances of appearing in "current search queries," which is a feature of the Advanced Search options. To better understand how LinkedIn's search algorithm works, read 5 Tips on How to Search LinkedIn Like a Pro.

4. Detail Your Experience

Describe your professional background in a brief summary that highlights your accomplishments over your career. Add degrees, awards, TEDx Talks, brands that you've worked with, and project achievements. Most sources recommend including 10 years of work experience, or more, but only if it's relevant to the present. The multimedia feature that LinkedIn introduced in 2013 let's you embed video and web content to sections of your profile. This is an obvious one for artists, authors, and speakers, but every professional can find use for this feature. Add letters of recommendation, presentations, case studies, press feeds, and anything that you contributed to that will give your profile a boost.

5. Build a Network

Start to build your network by granting access to your email contacts. Here you may find former colleagues and alumni. You should have added the names of schools you attended and companies you worked for to your profile. If so, LinkedIn will automatically begin to suggest connections. Another way to build your network is to join groups and connect with its members. Search for groups based on your interests and ask to join. You can also use the "People you may know" tab beneath "My network" in the top navigation, surf member profiles, and connect. From there, watch your network grow. Then, periodically rinse and repeat.

6. Promote Yourself

Connect your social media accounts and start sharing. Promote insightful content to your network. If you like an article or blog post you've just read, share it as an update on LinkedIn. Use the rich media feature to add photos to your updates and make them more eye-catching.

And with LinkedIn Pulse, you can publish posts by contributing original content you feel may be valuable to your network. Pulse posts are visible to all of LinkedIn's 400 million members and adds a follow button to each title you publish, which is another great way to build your network and promote your brand: You!

Any tips we missed for creating a LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments!

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