How to Create Your LinkedIn Profile | Career Training | Seacoast Career School
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How to Create Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn can be an important tool in your job search

When searching for a job, you want to use all the tools in your toolbox. If you ever wondered how some people got their foot in the door, you may be surprised that they used LinkedIn, the social media network for job seekers. LinkedIn not only helps increase your exposure to hiring managers and employers but can provide the latest trends in your industry, connect you to other people in your career, and suggest potential jobs.

If you aren’t already using LinkedIn, you will need to create a profile. It’s only a few simple steps to start your free account.

  1. Visit LinkedIn’s home page: www.linkedin.com.
  2. Choose “Sign Up” or fill out the automatic form that may display when you visit the site.
  3. LinkedIn will walk you through the steps to help you complete your profile.

Make your profile stand out

Setting up your account is just the start. While LinkedIn will guide you through your Education, Experience, and Summary sections, you need to market yourself to potential employers. Take the time to complete a full profile, you could give yourself an advantage over your competition. Here are some tips to get you started:

The photo

Many hiring managers say they avoid users who don’t have a profile picture, so a picture is a must. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is for professionals, so you don’t want to use photos from your other social media accounts or include a picture with you and a friend or pet. Get dressed in appropriate business attire and have someone snap a headshot; you should be recognizable to someone who will meet you in person.

The headline

You are given 120 characters, make the most of them. Describe who you are and what you do. You don’t have to use complete sentences, you can separate keywords with a space separator. For example, if you are seeking a job as a Dental Assistant, you may write, “Professional Dental Assistant| Patient-focused | Pediatric Experience | Dental X-rays | Computer Proficiency.”

The summary

With 2,000 characters, you have more space to sell yourself to potential employers with your summary. Again, you want to include keywords, but you can make yourself stand out by proving how you are computer literate, for example, with the types of programs or systems you know. You can add other media, such as testimonials. If you have a patient, for example, that wrote a letter or provides a video testimonial, you can include it in this section.

If you want examples, you can view other people’s profiles in your field. It’s good to see what others may highlight, especially to get an idea of keywords, but don’t ever copy anyone’s profile. You can find similar profiles by simply putting your field into the search box, such as “Medical Assistant.”

The final steps

Before you complete your profile, shorten your URL. LinkedIn will give you one, but it will have a string of letters and numbers. You will want to include your LinkedIn address on your resume, so to shorten it:

  1. Click on the “Me” icon/your photo at the top of the LinkedIn homepage
  2. Click on View Profile
  3. On the Profile page, click “Edit your public profile & URL” in the right column
  4. Click on the pencil icon next to your URL and type a simple one, like yourfirstnameyourlastname.
  5. If that is taken, try yourlastnameyourprofession instead
  6. Save

Post it

Make sure that you have a friend or Career Development advisor proofread your profile. You spent all this time making it perfect, you don’t want any typos or errors. Once you are done, post your profile!

Keep it up to date

Check in with your profile periodically to keep it up to date. When making any changes or updates, turn off your notifications so your connections will avoid getting multiple notices about your changes. To do this:

  1. Click on the “Me” icon/your photo at the top of the LinkedIn homepage
  2. Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown
  3. Click on the “Privacy” tab and then “Sharing profile edits.”  
  4. Slide the box to “No.”
  5. Be sure to turn it back to “Yes” when you have made all your updates.

 

LinkedIn can be a powerful job search tool. Take time to get to know the features that will allow you to go beyond what you can convey in a traditional resume. We wish you luck as you start your job search!

This post is part of Seacoast Career Schools weekly blog where we provide job search tips to help support our students. If you are interested in our career training programs, please explore our options, request more information, schedule a tour, or call a career advisor at 800-758-7679.

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