Facebook is a great social network for keeping in touch with friends and family’s personal lives, but is not the best way to promote one’s professional life.  LinkedIn is a professional social network that gives people a way to share their professional lives, accomplishments and qualifications online, while networking with other professionals. LinkedIn provides users  more than an online Resume however by allowing professionals to network, making  recommendations,  endorsing one’s skills and sharing examples past work.  LinkedIn also allows employers to list job openings and makes it easy for employers and recruiters to find qualified for job opening they have. These are just a few out of many reasons that all professionals should have a LinkedIn presence, whether they are just out of school, looking for a new job or simply want to maintain their professional network. While many users do not want to maintain yet another social media profile, as it may be daunting and time consuming.  However,  creating a LinkedIn Profile can open one to many career opportunities and provides a professional presence on the internet. The following is a guide for setting up one’s presence on LinkedIn.

The headline will get a potential reader’s attention and is like the objective on one’s resume. Use the headline to tell viewers what job one is looking to get out of LinkedIn and the level of experience one has. This should be kept very brief and should be no longer than one sentence.

The summary section is often used for a professional biography that includes a summary of one’s professional accomplishments and qualifications. Professional biographies are typically written in the third person, and should give reader insight into one’s background and experience. This is also a good chance to give the reader a chance to get to know the personal side oneself and can include a small section on one’s hobbies.

Education is a very important category especially for recent graduates but also for  all professionals. In addition to the years one attended school and the degree earned, it is also important to include organization involvement,  special projects and final GPA earned, as long as it is a 3.0 or above. Candidates who are more involved while in school are far more likely to get a response in their profiles, than someone who has little or no involvement.

The experience sections is more or less an online resume with one’s past jobs and descriptions of one’s experience. LinkedIn also recently added the ability to add examples of one’s work which many employers look for to see the quality of one’s work.

The skills section provides a place to list any special professional skills such as software knowledge, programming language knowledge, or other skills that are applicable for the jobs one is interested in. Skills can also be endorsed by other users, to verify they know that user is indeed knowledgeable in that skill.

Like skills, users can write recommendations for one another as for a specific position to endorse the job they did and provide a professional reference. Recommendations can be very beneficial for those who are looking for a job to show potential employers that they are a good employee and someone is willing to stick their neck out for them.

These don’t all have to be professional interests, although the many should, to show an interest in one’s work. However, it is good to also include leisure activities, to show one’s personality and can possibly lead to interesting conversation in a future interview.

List any foreign languages and the level of knowledge one has of them, this can be a huge plus to employers due the growth in international business.

Include any professionally published works one has written or have been involved in. Be sure to include where it was published, when it was published and if possible a link to the work. If it is not available online, see if the publication would allow a portion of the work to be posted as an example. Just be sure one has the copyright permissions for posting them online before posting them on one’s LinkedIn Profile to avoid legal issues.

Test Scores:
Standardized test scores can provide an easy way to compare one’s performance against another candidate and are a good idea to include on one’s LinkedIn Profile. This is especially true in industry-specific exams, although SATs are also good thing to include as well.

Any patents or intellectual property one has whether they are related to the industry they are in or not. Holding intellectual property is impressive to potential employer and can get them interested in a candidate.

Professional certifications provide verification of one’s skill set and can give a one-up over the other potential candidates. Certifications often require one passing an exam and paying a fee but, are worthwhile as they certify of one’s skills.

Volunteering and Causes:
Employers like candidates who care about more than themselves and getting involved in volunteer or charity work will make a candidate look good. LinkedIn has a special section for this type of work and  is a good thing to include on one’s LinkedIn Profile.


About the Author

MikeMike Gdovin has been blogging about technology since 2006 on his blog, Gdovin.net. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Kutztown University with a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Business. In addition to blogging about technology, Mike is a video producer, technology consultant and social media expert.