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  • Writer's pictureWyatt Carlson

8 Steps to Building a Professional LinkedIn Profile

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

As Advertising and Public Relations Professionals, it’s our duty to invest ourselves in building brands for clients, but how often do we take our own well-developed skills and aptly use them to develop our own personal brands? Just as a new trendy startup or a mom-and-pop coffee shop needs to be properly marketed to succeed, a professional must also be capable of marketing themselves properly.

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for major employers seeking fresh blood with new perspectives to add to their companies. Like Facebook, LinkedIn offers users to post status updates that show in other’s feeds, but unlike Facebook, LinkedIn offers a professional atmosphere that users can use to apply for jobs and subsequently land interviews.

Most professionals have a LinkedIn account, but many professionals lead such busy lives that sometimes it can be a drain or feel selfish to properly use the tool to market themselves. Many professionals tend to neglect the thought as it may seem inherently useless. Think of LinkedIn as your online living resume. Other collogues and potential employers have access around the clock and can interact with your “living resume”. Why wouldn’t you want your profile to be the best it can be?

Here are 8 Steps to building a professional LinkedIn profile. Many of these can also be applied to other similar professional platforms as well.

1. Choose the right profile and background photo

Like any social media platform, your profile picture is the first thing people see. It’s the first impression humans are given – a face. Make sure the photo you choose a recent photo of yourself where your face takes up a majority of the photo. The attire you have on in the photograph should be fitting of the field you are trying to enter.

Your background photo should grab people’s attention while showing more about who you are. It helps your page stand out and be memorable.

2. Make your headline personable, not just a title.

No one has said that your bio on any platform must be a job title. Use the headline to tell others why you do what you do.

3. Stories sell

Anyone loves a good story. The summary section on your profile should tell your professional story and how you’ve come to be in your career. Many people leave sections like this blank, but it’s a crucial element to your profile. Bring yourself to life here by telling others why your skills matter and the difference you make at work. Don’t be afraid to write a few drafts and have others read through it a couple times. Make this section count.

4. No buzz in buzzwords

Buzzwords in any industry can be overused and borderline meaningless. Words such as “leadership”, “creative”, and “innovative” should be reworded to not sound like you’re just making things up. Show that you have these qualities rather than stating that you do.

5. Connect with others you know on the platform.

Growing your network of people is crucial for engagement on any platform and the more engagement you have, the more personable you’ll seem to be. After meetings and introductions to new people, make sure to follow up with LinkedIn connections.

6. Share content from your profession on the platform.

Content you produce for your employer or business can always use extra sets of eyes. Showcasing work you’ve done in the real world on LinkedIn helps to show what you’re capable of and demonstrates the love you have for your work.

7. Follow influencers on the platform that align with your ideals and line of work.

Sharing other’s content, especially content from big influencers, keeps your face in other feeds. The more you’re seen on the platform, the more recognizable you become.

8. Always comment.

Sharing content is one thing, but when you add comments to posts, it allows you to express your opinions and why you think that content matters. Displaying what you value shows employers that you have standards.

Your LinkedIn profile is as stated – a living resume. Building a professional profile doesn’t have to require hours of your time, but it does require effort. Try incorporating these ideas and build on each one further. Who knows? Maybe you’ll just land that interview because of it.

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