How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile - dummies

How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

As you go through the various sections on LinkedIn, it can seem overwhelming. You can spend considerable time filling in all your past work history, accomplishments, and awards, as well as requesting reviews and sending out invitations.

Start with the most important information: your current position and your most recent, or most notable, accomplishments. As you do, here are a few suggestions about filling in the various sections of your profile on LinkedIn.

You can always come back and add more details by clicking Edit Profile.

Add examples of your work

The most important thing to keep in mind as you design your profile is who you want to reach on LinkedIn, and what you want them to do as a result. Are you looking for a steady fulltime job as an accountant, or do you want to be a freelance creative director?

Consider what you want to be known for and let that guide the way your write your biography and choose the projects you include as examples of your work.

  • If you’re a designer or photographer, upload a few of your best photographs or images that demonstrate your design talents.

  • If you’re a public speaker or television personality, like Zain Meghji, including a video of a recent speech or appearance lets visitors see you in action.

  • If you’re an author or a consultant seeking media attention, including a video of an interview can demonstrate that you’re media savvy.

To add videos, images, or other documents to your LinkedIn Summary, click the Upload File button or add the URL of the file while editing your profile. Be sure that your file is within the 200K limit imposed by LinkedIn.

[Credit: Zain Meghji]
Credit: Zain Meghji

Key positions (but not necessarily all)

You can list the company (or companies) you work for now as well as those in your professional past. If any of those companies have websites, you can link to them from your profile to include additional information and greater credibility.

Adding each place you’ve worked to the Experience section takes time, and the options for positioning multiple jobs are limited. For example, if you have more than one current position, the two titles will be separated by a comma, but you can’t put them on separate lines to make it clear they are both current positions.

On LinkedIn, job and educational listings are posted in reverse chronological order, so pay special attention to the dates you include when you add a new position.

Make sure you include at least enough detail to reinforce the information you include in the Summary section.

Accomplishments and awards

If you’ve been voted the best sales representative in your region, by all means let people know. If you’ve won a literary award, a scholarship, or anything else that helps build your credibility and expertise, include it in your profile.

LinkedIn provides you with a place to add this type of information in the Honors & Awards section of your profile. To add notable achievements, simply click the Edit button next to this section while editing your profile.

Recommendations: References build credibility

LinkedIn offers a number of ways to endorse people for specific skills as well as write testimonials. Including testimonials from employers, colleagues, and clients is one of the best ways to build credibility and improve the chance that someone else will hire you based on what they find on LinkedIn.

In addition to recommendations, you can give and receive endorsements for specific skills. When people endorse you, their profile photos appear next to the skill that they have endorsed you for. Here, you see the endorsements that have been made to date for Janine Warner.