We get asked a lot to check people's LinkedIn profiles. We are happy to check (and recheck) your profile for free. However, please read through this first so it's in the best shape it can be. If we see these errors, we are just going to redirect you here. If you don't have these errors, contact us and we'll review your profile for you! For tips on using LinkedIn as a social media site, writing articles on LinkedIn, posting updates, promoting stuff, and more, check out this page [coming soon].
Your picture should be a professional looking photo on a white, black, or single color background. Plan to keep your photo for a really long time because people will recognize you and associate it with you. So don’t take a photo with a faddy hairstyle or clothes. If you’re wearing glasses, make them be normal glasses you’re planning to wear for the foreseeable future. We will have more information on how to take a professional photo with your cell-phone camera soon!
First Name Middle Initial or [Maiden Name] Last Name. Only capitalize the first letters. For example: Isvari M. Maranwe or Isvari Maranwe or Isvari [Mohan] Maranwe or Isvari Mohan Maranwe. Only two names (your first and last) is best. Make your first name what you actually go by. If you go by your middle name, just put your middle name first, for example.
Unless you have multiple jobs or reasons for using LinkedIn (applicable in very few cases), it should be your current position at your current company. For example: Head of Marketing at Google.
If you don’t have a job or have multiple positions you want to highlight, use straight lines in between. For example: Attorney | Writer | Singer
Do not use emojis. Make sure the capitalization is correct.
Your bio should showcase your personality.
- It should be present tense paragraphs written in first person.
- People won’t read long bios. So if you can find a way to have short paragraphs, bullet points, or numbered lists, use them.
- For the same reason, have as much white space as you can get away with.
- Don’t use emojis.
- Tell your story. How did you get from your past to where you are now? What do you want in the future?
- Highlight your successes.
- Highlight these skills.
- Mention hobbies or your personality.
- Use keywords, but not jargon. Don’t use these words.
- Brag about your accomplishments, but try to come across as humble. This is difficult, so if you need help walking this line, please ask us. One trick is to self-deprecate or admit that talking about yourself is hard.
- Do not brag about your GPA or awards. This comes across as very full of yourself.
- Pro tip: Go to your dashboard and click on “Search appearances.” It will tell you keywords that people who found you typed. Make sure those are the words you want appearing in your bio. (For example, “content,” “python,” “writer,” etc.)
- Start strong.
- Try to have a call to action or what you’re looking for at the beginning or end.
Here are some good examples below from this site. (If you click on them, they will pop up and you can read them!)
Very frequently asked question: Why, Isvari Maranwe, is your LinkedIn bio not like this?
- I use LinkedIn as a social media site/personal blog and for writing more than my legal career.
- I actually don’t want recruiters to find me on LinkedIn.
Unless this is the case for you, don’t do this.
This should be like your resume. See our resume tips here.
- Every position should include your title, the dates, and the organization you worked for.
- Try to find the official organization so the picture pops up on the side.
- Use past tense full sentences for every past position, such as “I worked on…”
- Use present tense full sentences for every current position, such as “I research on…”
- Be as specific about your jobs as possible. Such as: “I was head of marketing and increased website clicks by 120% in one year.”
- Include at least three bullet points under each experience.
- You should include both internships and work here.
Pretty self-explanatory. You do not need to include GPA’s, unless they’re extremely high. No one cares. Do include honors and activities.
If you are still a student or still looking for your first job, go into more detail on education instead. You can include bullet points about career-related classes, projects, or a thesis.
Include it. If you haven’t done any, volunteer.
Skills and Endorsements
Super doesn’t matter and never has, but it’s fun. Just put some skills you’re good at. Don’t ask people to endorse them for you (unless it’s us…we’ll do it) because no one cares and you’re wasting social capital.
One of the best ways to ask without asking is to endorse someone else’s skills, perhaps someone you know personally. Very often, they’ll reciprocate.
Give them because they’re heart-warming to receive. Ask of them from your mentors, professors, and old bosses. Don’t worry; you can decide whether or not to post them.
If you want to ask for one, ask from people you’ve actually worked with at a position you’ve listed on LinkedIn. Make sure you know them well. Here’s a form message to send: “Hi [Name], I hope you and your family are doing well! I was trying to clean up my LinkedIn profile and I was wondering if you’d be willing to write me a recommendation so it shows up. I heard it’s a great way to get more leads and connections. No worries if you’re busy and thanks so much for your time!”
Include languages, honors and awards, and links to publications and portfolios wherever possible.
It can be worth finding more courses and certifications to study. If you add recent certifications to your profile, it shows that you are constantly updating your knowledge to stay relevant and up to date.
Weird specific tip #1: Don’t do LinkedIn’s certifications or tests. They aren’t helpful. If you have extra time, spend it reaching out and connecting to people.
Weird specific tip #2: Don’t list your clearances if you work for any government, especially the United States. If people know you have a cleared position, you are putting your government at risk from people trying to get at that information.
Make a list of relevant companies with the kind of job you want. Even if you aren’t looking to change jobs right now, go through their lists of job openings every week.
Note the key words they say they’re looking for. Use those words across your profile, many times, in the skills or work experience sections. This makes sure that the next time you are applying for jobs, your profile looks exactly like what the companies in your industry want.
Try to have www.linkedin.com/in/[your first and last name or some variant]. To do this, on the Edit Profile screen, click Public Profile URL and edit it.
Connect to your blog, Twitter handle, and anywhere else you want employers to find you. If you use your Twitter account for posting unprofessional things, do not list it. (But in general, employers will stalk you anyway before they hire you, so don’t put unprofessional things online.)
There are ways in privacy settings to hide if you’re searching for jobs so your current employer won’t know. You can also decide if your network is updated about changes to your profile and other weird things, like if you’re online or not. Play around with the settings.
The easiest way to grow connections is to connect to the people you know in real life. You want to cross 500 if you can, so it just says 500+. Then connect to 2nd level connections.
Another tip is to connect to mentors on this website (including a nice intro message) because most of us will accept. You can also follow posts by LinkedIn open networkers or those who have a lot of connections and respond to their posts with thoughts and ideas. This will make others in their networks connect to you. You can also follow me, Isvari Mohan Maranwe, and I will post posts every once in a while about people who want to network and follow each other, so if you comment on those posts, people will connect. A lot of my followers are safe to connect to.
If you want to reach out to someone you don’t know, include a polite message, such as this: “Hi [Name], you have a really cool bio! I saw that you’re [in this field] or [have this experience] that I found interesting. I’d like to connect because [I’m also in this field] or [interested in this experience]. Thank you so much!” If you have connections in common with them (if they’re your 2nd level connection), mention that.
A good source of common ground is professional associations. If you have those listed on your profile, other people in the association will know that you are the type of person they’re interested in connecting with.
If you find someone in a mentor’s network you want to connect to, ask us and we’ll reach out to them and see if they’re willing. You can figure out who we’re connected to by clicking See connections on the top right of our profile page. On the People tab, click on a name to view that member’s profile or use the additional filters on the right rail. You can also click [number] shared connections next to a member’s name to view additional connections with that LinkedIn member.
DO NOT MESSAGE PEOPLE WITH JUST “HI.” Say what you want from the first message. People on LinkedIn don’t respond to “hi,” “hello,” “how are you?” or other such content-less messages.
Message people with perfect grammar, spelling, and capitalization. Do not demand help nor be rude. Remember that sometimes people don’t respond because they’re busy and it’s not personal.