How to build a LinkedIn profile that attracts connections and opportunities
By Avreet Jagdev
Over the past couple of years, LinkedIn has grown immensely as a professional networking tool. It can be very useful for those hunting for jobs, internships, or other opportunities, but also for those looking to build their professional network. Networking can be immensely helpful in opening doors for you as you step into your career – in fact, surveys show that 85% of jobs are filled via networking. This is why your LinkedIn profile is incredibly important: it is your personal brand, and if you build a strong profile, you will be able to attract not only a strong network, but also life-changing opportunities. Here’s how to do it.
- Upload a profile picture
Studies show that LinkedIn accounts with profile pictures are 40 per cent more likely to be clicked on, so make sure you add a picture of yourself to your page. It doesn’t need to be a formal headshot — as long as it’s professional and your face is framed well, you should be good to go! Bonus points for a smile!
- Upload a banner picture
The more personalized your profile is, the better! LinkedIn gives you the option to upload a banner picture that sits behind your profile picture, so take advantage of this by using a picture that tells people more about you. You can use your city skyline, an inspirational quote, or display a hobby or personal interest.
- Write a catchy headline
Your headline sits right under your profile picture and should concisely sum up who you are. Use this space to highlight your current role, or if you’re a student, what you study and where.
- Write your “about” section
This is your opportunity to add a more thorough summary to your profile. You might choose to write a couple sentences about your current position, your educational background, your passions, and where you hope to take your career. You can also include an email address for connections to reach you at.
- Add your relevant work experience
The key word here is relevant. LinkedIn is your personal brand, so make sure to highlight positions that you’re proud of. Avoid listing every single job you’ve worked, club you’ve been a member of, or volunteer initiative you’ve taken on. Too much information can make your profile overwhelming, and you don’t want recruiters to have to read through tons of fluff before they get to the good part of your profile.
- Add your education
It’s commonplace to add your high school and post-secondary institution to your profile. Anything before that is unnecessary — recruiters don’t need to know what middle school you went to! You can also specify what you studied, and any organizations you were part of at your high school, college, or university.
- Include any volunteer experience you have
LinkedIn’s volunteer experience section can be great to utilize if you have done volunteer work in the past. Again, it’s not necessary to add every single organization you’ve volunteered with. Stick to the main ones that you’re passionate about!
- Start building your network!
Now that your profile is up and ready, start building your network by connecting with people you know. You can search for colleagues, peers, and friends using the search bar. You can also follow companies or organizations you’re interested in to stay up-to-date and receive notifications about job opportunities!