Everything You Should Actually Include on Your LinkedIn Page

LinkedIn is a professional development tool that originated in late 2002 and currently has over 500 million users. The social networking site allows individuals to display a more extensive, online version of their resume and professional accomplishments. Additionally, users are encouraged to connect with one another to stimulate the growth of their professional network.

In a sea of 500 million profiles, it can be challenging to make yourself stand out to potential employers, business partners and colleagues. In order to maximize the potential opportunities presented through this site, you can ensure that your LinkedIn profile is a glowing representation of your best self through the following tips. 

1.  Images

We all know the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This is especially true for your profile image on LinkedIn, as this may quite possibly be the first impression an employer has of you. 

Your profile image should be a recent, high-quality, head-on shot, and you should be smiling and clean-cut. Don’t leave this portion of your profile blank. Instead, show off that awesome new headshot you had taken.

Additionally, LinkedIn also gives its users the option to include a heading image. Feel free to be more creative with your header, while remembering to stay professional of course. 

For my personal LinkedIn, I chose to frame my profile image with a heading picture of my nametag and pin from the FSU College of Communication and Information Spring Career Fair. 

2.  Writing Samples

As important as images are, words still matter as well. Luckily, LinkedIn provides the perfect opportunity for you to include writing samples that demonstrate your linguistic capabilities.

Through the “Articles & Activities” section, users are able to construct new content or link previously created pieces as well. Not only will any articles you publish be shared instantly with your connections, they will also live permanently on your profile so that any visitors to your page can easily access them.

On my LinkedIn, I have chosen to share previous class projects including a semester-long blog, a campaign plan from a social marketing course and all of my previously published Her Campus articles. Whether you are trying to demonstrate your ability to write for a specific audience or your proficiency in constructing professional documents, LinkedIn is the proper channel to exhibit all such work.

3.  Recommendations

Another all-too-neglected feature on LinkedIn is the “Recommendations” section. LinkedIn allows users to request and write recommendations for their connections and even automatically attaches them to the subject’s profile. 

With this in mind, don’t hesitate to request recommendations from previous or current employers, professors, colleagues or even classmates. This is an excellent tool for establishing a plethora of glowing references that will impress any employer. As an added bonus, these paper-less recommendations will never be lost and will only accumulate over time.

4.  Course Work

Finally, let us not forget that one of LinkedIn’s unique advantages is the ability to display all of your extensive skills and experience without the “one-page rule” that confines traditional resumes. 

Typically, advisors will recommend that individuals leave their relevant coursework off of their resume to save valuable space. Still, it is always tempting to show off the rigorous courses you have spent your college career completing. Fortunately, the “Courses” subsection under the larger “Accomplishments” subdivision on LinkedIn provides the exact appropriate place to list every course you have taken at the college level. 

Through this tool, visitors to your LinkedIn profile are able to appreciate the work that you have completed and assess the potential value of your carefully-cultivated skill set.

For more information on developing your LinkedIn, contact your Career Liaison or advisor today. 

All images courtesy of Sydney Gilmore-Duffey.