Three tips to improve your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn logo

Make a positive impression with your headline

 The headline is the most visible section of your LinkedIn; it is displayed under your name when users search for you and it’s on top of your profile page. More to the point, it is the first thing a recruiter will see when they search for potential candidates. By default, LinkedIn creates your headline based on your current job title and employer; for example “Managing Director at XYZ Enterprises” or “Sandwich Artist at Yum”. It is best to replace the text with a short statement as appropriate- this could be what you can offer (eg. Your degree title, your achievements), or what you are looking for.

Focus on keywords that reflect the skills you’ve learned and would like to develop.  Eg. “Biology student at The University of Manchester with 12 months industrial experience in a biotech business” or “Final year History student at The University of Manchester developing a career in Journalism”.

There is a 120 character limit for the headline.

“Unemployed”, “Student” or “Seeking opportunity” say nothing about what sector you’re interested in, your skills, your experience or what you can do. Be specific.

Make your story interesting in your summary

The summary describes what you are about, your accomplishments, your values and interests, supported with facts and figures if appropriate. You only have 2000 characters to tell your story so make sure every word counts.

This is an opportunity to describe who you are, what you’re interested in, what motivates you, what makes you unique. Say what you are looking for.

Write the summary in the “first person” i.e. using “I”.

Have a look at other people’s summaries for inspiration and ideas but there are also lots of “how to” guides on the Internet with useful advice on how to write a good summary for LinkedIn.

Customise your public URL

When you set up a profile on LinkedIn, the default URL you get is a not so readable mix of your name and what looks like random numbers and letters: eg. uk.linkedin.com/pub/ Joebloggs/35/777/25a. So how can you change it?

  • Select Me > View Profile, and then Edit your public profile on the right of the screen.
  • Select the pencil icon to go into edit mode.

The customised URL is available on a first come first served basis so it is possible that the one with your name is already registered, depending on how common your name is. So what to do if your vanity URL is already taken? Then you can go for a variation. Let’s take Joe Bloggs as an example. Ideally he would have uk.linkedin.com/in/joebloggs. If already taken, then the following variations also work well:

  • Firstname- surname- city you work in- eg. joebloggsmanchester
  • Firstname- middle initial/name- surname- eg. joembloggs

What are the advantages of having a customised profile link on LinkedIn? Well, it is easier to remember and it will look more professional on your email signature, business card or CV.

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