Although you may be who you are in person, you are not necessarily that person on the web – a concept that carries with it its own curiosities and elegance. Your LinkedIn presence is incredibly dependent upon how you brand yourself and how searchable you make this brand on the wider web.
3) Geography/ Industry: It doesn’t matter if you’re currently employed or still on the job search – list the city and industry you aspire to work in on your profile setting. When employers conduct a basic search, the two most important winnowing factors are geography and industry, so it makes sense to list “Boston” if that’s where you’re looking to jump-start a career or “Finance” if this is your chosen field. And really, it would probably be much easier for MTV to find and contact you if you were listed under the “Greater New York Area” as opposed to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Not that we have anything against people from the Midwest.
4) Photo: Include a photo. Stat. This should ideally be either a headshot or at least a picture where your facial features are clearly defined and easily recognizable. A photo not only makes a recruiter that much more likely to click on your profile if curious about your credentials, it also establishes you further as a “branded” entity on LinkedIn. Just make sure said photo doesn’t capture your last Bros Icing Bros incident on the campus quad.
5) Listing Positions: Once someone has actually clicked on your profile and is redirected to your public LinkedIn site (which can be viewed by anyone doing a Google search), you’ll want to make them stay on long enough to get a sense of who you are and if you’d be a great fit for their firm. In the synopsis, list every relevant current and past position you’ve held since at least the beginning of college – this can include everything from official internships to executive positions on a Greek house board. Also make sure to list both high school and college under your educational info – you never know when a potential interviewer might have lived in the same state or grew up the next town over from your childhood home.
Under the longer “Experience” section, be sure to flesh out each position you listed with a time frame, an industry specification, and a short (bulleted) list of your impact on the firm in your role. Just like a resume, really.
6) Websites: LinkedIn allows you to display up to three personal or company websites on your profile, which you should take advantage of and fill in. If you’re currently on the search, put a link to a personal blog you might have or a campus organization you were involved with as an undergraduate that is listed on your resume. Also, put the link to your public LinkedIn URL on any other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and website you may be maintaining.
7) Synopsis: Make this a paragraph or two, and the goal here really is not only to provide enough depth for recruiters to be hungry for more about you (and therefore continue to the resume portion of your LinkedIn) but also to be clear and tight in your prose. Think of it as a condensed version of a cover letter you might send out to an employer, minus the firm-specific pandering.