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Setting up your LinkedIn account

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1. Profile Picture

Ensure your face is 60% of your profile picture. Make sure to dress professionally and have a friendly smile.

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2. Background Photo

Add a background photo to your profile that captures something about you. It could be something you are interested in such as a field of work.

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3. Headline

Use your headline to add a personalized touch to your job role. This will make you stand out from the crowd because of your unique view of your occupation.

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4. Summary

Similarly, write your summary by telling a story. This helps to add personality to your writing and it can be more engaging to the people that are reading your profile.

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5. Keep it Simple

Stop using buzzwords or filler words! You may think it makes you seem sophisticated and professional, but employers all know this trick and will not be impressed by it. Instead, be concise with your writing and use examples to show your achievements and abilities.

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6. Adding Skills

Add skills to your profile that correlate to what type of job YOU want to pursue. Creating a long list of irrelevant skills is ineffective when trying to stand out in a particular field.

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7. Endorsements

Try to have other people you already have connections with endorse the skills you list on your profile. This will add credibility to your expertise. Make sure these endorsements are from people that are working in a relevant field that incorporate the skills listed.

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8. Skills Quiz

Take a skills assessment quiz to show that you are proficient in the skills you listed on your profile. You can obtain a Verified Skills badge on your profile that stands out to employers.

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9. Certifications

Update your pages with any certifications or relevant courses that you have completed. It makes you a more credible individual if you can show certificates of completion.

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10. Original Publications

If you have any original papers or things you wrote and published, make sure to include them in the publications section.

General Tips and Reminders

Be Professional

Only add details about you that you feel comfortable with others knowing on your profile. LinkedIn can be the platform where you make your first impression on someone, so make sure to appear professional. 

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Take Action

Reach out to others, don’t be shy! Message people that work in an industry that you are interested in or are studying at a university that you want to study at. It doesn’t do any harm to send a message or two. Most of the time, they will gladly answer your questions and inquiries. Try to also become active on the platform by connecting with people. This can include asking for people’s LinkedIn after a networking event and connecting with them. This application is a great place for you to get your foot in the door.

Good and Bad Examples of LinkedIn Profiles

Bad Example:

  • No profile picture or background

  • Only the school is listed, but not the program or description. 

  • A summary or “about” section is not present. 

  • A job role has not been established. 

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When people visit a profile on LinkedIn, they want it to seem as if they are seeing a real person and their accomplishments. Without providing any information about your professional career, the visitor has no idea what your aspirations and achievements are. They will most likely click off of the page due to the lack of information available and the minimal effort that was put into making the profile. Additionally, it doesn’t feel as if there is a real person behind this profile, making it likely that people will simply skip over it.

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Good Example:

  • Has a profile banner that relates to the person’s interests or experiences. 

  • A visible profile picture of their face. 

  • Their company and school are listed. 

  • He describes himself so that people who view his profile can see who he is and what he does for work.

This profile is very inviting considering the way that the person has a profile picture with a smile, a professional profile banner, and a description of what he does professionally. The audience might think he is a transparent person since he is willing to share things about his job and himself on LinkedIn. Furthermore, doing all of these crucial things when setting up a LinkedIn increases your career credibility and helps you develop an authentic digital footprint. It truly makes the viewer think that there is an actual person behind the profile, and that is what you want to achieve with your profile as well.

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