How To
9 min

A Guide to Creating a Great LinkedIn Profile

Nicole Hankey

October 3, 2022

With over 830 million members, LinkedIn has quickly become the go-to social media platform for professional networking. In fact, it recently claimed a spot in the top five platforms used by U.S. adults. 

With so many users, it can feel impossible to set yourself apart. However, only about 50% of users have complete profiles. This means you can get ahead simply by completing your profile. But don’t stop there: Read on for our top recommendations on creating a stellar LinkedIn profile. 

Why you need a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is an extremely valuable platform for all things professional, from job searching to networking and everything in between. Regardless of where you are in your career, you can benefit from using LinkedIn. Below are just a few ways a LinkedIn profile can help you. 

Build your professional network

As a social network, LinkedIn is great for, well, networking. 

You can join groups, contribute to discussions, connect with current, former, and prospective colleagues, and more—all from one place. Updating your profile can help open doors to new connections and grow your network. 

Manage your brand

A strong personal brand has become a hot topic lately, with many claiming it’s key to professional success. Regardless of how you feel about personal branding, it is indisputably important to present a quality image of yourself to the world—especially in a professional context. 

Your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to do this, as you control the information you include and can curate the image you want to project. 

Related: If you’re curious about personal branding and want to learn how to make it work for you, check out our guide to Personal branding.

Cultivate opportunities

The more information you include in your profile, from experience and recommendations to content and posts, the more likely you will connect with people who can present opportunities to boost your career. 

Whether it’s job offers, networking opportunities, references, or something else, you never know what your LinkedIn profile can do for you. 

What to include in your LinkedIn profile

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of a complete, up-to-date LinkedIn profile, let’s explore the ins and outs of what exactly your profile should include, along with tips and tricks to get the most out of it. 

Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash

Profile and background pictures

Did you know that people with a LinkedIn profile picture can get up to 21 times the number of profile views compared to people who skip this step? 

Selecting a quality profile picture is crucial for setting up your ideal profile—so what should you be sure to look out for? Make sure your picture is a close-up or headshot, not a long-distance photo. Your face should be visible, and you should be the only person in the shot.

Dress how you would dress for work—but even if you work in a casual, work-from-home environment, you should opt for a more professional presentation for your picture. After all, it’s your first impression with any and all LinkedIn connections and can make or break your opportunities. 

There’s also the option to add a background picture, which is another chance to make a lasting impression. It’s not as important as your profile picture, but it’s still best to upload something to stand out from the default settings. You could opt for a landscape picture from your home or favorite travel spot, or a branded banner that represents your company or position. 

Headline

Your headline should be more than just a job title. This is your chance to sell yourself in a single line—how can you sum yourself up? Try thinking about unique characteristics or identities that set you apart professionally. This is a great place to incorporate your mission or vision statement if you're into branding. 

Summary

Your summary can build on the concept you introduced in your headline. Here, you can paint a picture of your strengths, skills, background, goals, and personality. You want to keep it brief and relevant while still capturing the essence of you and what you’re about, professionally and otherwise. 

We have a comprehensive guide to help you craft the perfect LinkedIn summary.

Work and education experience

You should highlight your past and current experience on your LinkedIn profile. You can pull this straight from your resume or CV if you wish, but you can also be strategic about what you include.

Use the education and experiences that make the most sense with your current career goals. For example, if you’re trying to transition into a new field or role, you should focus on experience in similar areas and minimize your less relevant experience. 

A recurring theme you might pick up on here is that your profile is not about what you include but how you frame this information. 

Relevant skills, endorsements, and assessments

A simple way to make your profile shine is to list your relevant skills and have colleagues endorse them. Simply including them is a great start, but having people vouch for your competence can take you further. 

To upgrade your profile, even more, you can take LinkedIn assessments to certify that you actually do know your stuff. Including these certifications adds an even greater level of credibility and authority to your profile. 

Fun fact: People who verify their skills through assessments are around 30% more likely to be hired! 

One tip to keep in mind when it comes to your skills: Don’t drown readers in an exhaustive list of everything you know how to do. Instead, focus on the skills closely aligned with your goals, current or desired roles, and who you are. It’s a good idea to regularly edit and update your skills to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. 

Recommendations

There is one final piece of your LinkedIn profile that, unfortunately, many people don’t take advantage of. LinkedIn has a built-in feature for requesting and providing recommendations between connections. 

This feature functions like a review section or reference collection, demonstrating that your connections think highly of you and highlighting why you’re a pleasure to work with. 

By freely writing recommendations for others, you can boost your image by appearing generous and kind—and potentially connecting with more people in the process. 

Unsure about how the recommendation process works? We’ve broken it down in this guide to writing a LinkedIn recommendation. 

Tips for getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile

Once you have the foundations covered, you can still do a few more things to spruce things up and give your LinkedIn profile a serious competitive edge. 

Complete learning courses

By completing LinkedIn Learning courses, show off that you’re a lifelong learner and build your skillset. Once you finish a course, you can add the certificate to your profile and update your connections. 

Share media

You’re not limited to plain text in your LinkedIn profile. Feel free to add images, videos, and links if they add value to your page. Try to stick to content that your connections find relevant, whether examples of your work or pictures and videos that relate to your role or field. 

Of course, you don’t have to be all business all the time. There’s room for a playful spirit here too, as long as you don’t overdo it with memes and gifs. LinkedIn is a professional space, after all. 

Take advantage of Publications

Another LinkedIn profile section that most people neglect is the Publication section, a space where you can highlight anything you’ve had published.

Have you done a case study or white paper? Or perhaps you’ve written an article for a reputable journal or website? Whatever it is, show it off here and you’ll stand heads above the crowd. 

Share relevant content

This is all about engaging with your network. Many connections aren’t enough if you never show up on their feeds. To fortify your existing network, regularly post and share content your connections will find useful and valuable. 

Engage in comments

Another great way to maintain engagement and strengthen your network is by engaging with other people’s posts in the comments section. Commenting is an opportunity to support your connections and share your thoughts, leading to new relationships and opportunities. 

Connect with influencers

Even if you don’t personally know them, it’s good practice to follow prominent LinkedIn influencers. This will provide more content on your feed for you to share with others. 

It will also demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded and informed person passionate about learning and staying up to date in your field. Plus, you never know the connections you could form by simply following and engaging with others’ content. 

Publish long-form content

Last but certainly not least, you should make sure you’re regularly writing and publishing long-form content on LinkedIn. These articles can do wonders for your profile by setting you up as a thought leader and knowledgeable voice. And the more people who see your post, the bigger the chance that you have a post go viral. 

If writing a blog post or article seems daunting, we get it. Copy.ai offers a super helpful AI tool to generate an entire blog post from start to finish, all in a matter of seconds. 

Many posts do quite well on LinkedIn, and it’s a great boost for your connections and network. Even if you never reach viral numbers, writing long-form content on LinkedIn provides a collection of your thoughts and writing for anyone to see on your profile, demonstrating your expertise and depth of knowledge. 

We’ve developed over 70 LinkedIn content ideas and formats that have proven effective in helping you get started posting content to your account.

Conclusion

If you keep these tips and strategies in mind, you’ll create a strong LinkedIn profile that will turn heads.

Just make sure to fill out your profile as completely as possible, be yourself and stay true to your personality, focus on how you frame your unique experiences and goals, and maximize all of LinkedIn’s features to get the most out of your time on the platform. 

If this all sounds like a lot of writing, consider giving Copy.ai’s free writing generator a shot to help lighten your workload. This AI-powered tool can generate copy and content for you in seconds, saving you valuable time to focus on other elements of your profile.

How To
9 min

A Guide to Creating a Great LinkedIn Profile

Nicole Hankey
October 3, 2022

With over 830 million members, LinkedIn has quickly become the go-to social media platform for professional networking. In fact, it recently claimed a spot in the top five platforms used by U.S. adults. 

With so many users, it can feel impossible to set yourself apart. However, only about 50% of users have complete profiles. This means you can get ahead simply by completing your profile. But don’t stop there: Read on for our top recommendations on creating a stellar LinkedIn profile. 

Why you need a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is an extremely valuable platform for all things professional, from job searching to networking and everything in between. Regardless of where you are in your career, you can benefit from using LinkedIn. Below are just a few ways a LinkedIn profile can help you. 

Build your professional network

As a social network, LinkedIn is great for, well, networking. 

You can join groups, contribute to discussions, connect with current, former, and prospective colleagues, and more—all from one place. Updating your profile can help open doors to new connections and grow your network. 

Manage your brand

A strong personal brand has become a hot topic lately, with many claiming it’s key to professional success. Regardless of how you feel about personal branding, it is indisputably important to present a quality image of yourself to the world—especially in a professional context. 

Your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to do this, as you control the information you include and can curate the image you want to project. 

Related: If you’re curious about personal branding and want to learn how to make it work for you, check out our guide to Personal branding.

Cultivate opportunities

The more information you include in your profile, from experience and recommendations to content and posts, the more likely you will connect with people who can present opportunities to boost your career. 

Whether it’s job offers, networking opportunities, references, or something else, you never know what your LinkedIn profile can do for you. 

What to include in your LinkedIn profile

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of a complete, up-to-date LinkedIn profile, let’s explore the ins and outs of what exactly your profile should include, along with tips and tricks to get the most out of it. 

Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash

Profile and background pictures

Did you know that people with a LinkedIn profile picture can get up to 21 times the number of profile views compared to people who skip this step? 

Selecting a quality profile picture is crucial for setting up your ideal profile—so what should you be sure to look out for? Make sure your picture is a close-up or headshot, not a long-distance photo. Your face should be visible, and you should be the only person in the shot.

Dress how you would dress for work—but even if you work in a casual, work-from-home environment, you should opt for a more professional presentation for your picture. After all, it’s your first impression with any and all LinkedIn connections and can make or break your opportunities. 

There’s also the option to add a background picture, which is another chance to make a lasting impression. It’s not as important as your profile picture, but it’s still best to upload something to stand out from the default settings. You could opt for a landscape picture from your home or favorite travel spot, or a branded banner that represents your company or position. 

Headline

Your headline should be more than just a job title. This is your chance to sell yourself in a single line—how can you sum yourself up? Try thinking about unique characteristics or identities that set you apart professionally. This is a great place to incorporate your mission or vision statement if you're into branding. 

Summary

Your summary can build on the concept you introduced in your headline. Here, you can paint a picture of your strengths, skills, background, goals, and personality. You want to keep it brief and relevant while still capturing the essence of you and what you’re about, professionally and otherwise. 

We have a comprehensive guide to help you craft the perfect LinkedIn summary.

Work and education experience

You should highlight your past and current experience on your LinkedIn profile. You can pull this straight from your resume or CV if you wish, but you can also be strategic about what you include.

Use the education and experiences that make the most sense with your current career goals. For example, if you’re trying to transition into a new field or role, you should focus on experience in similar areas and minimize your less relevant experience. 

A recurring theme you might pick up on here is that your profile is not about what you include but how you frame this information. 

Relevant skills, endorsements, and assessments

A simple way to make your profile shine is to list your relevant skills and have colleagues endorse them. Simply including them is a great start, but having people vouch for your competence can take you further. 

To upgrade your profile, even more, you can take LinkedIn assessments to certify that you actually do know your stuff. Including these certifications adds an even greater level of credibility and authority to your profile. 

Fun fact: People who verify their skills through assessments are around 30% more likely to be hired! 

One tip to keep in mind when it comes to your skills: Don’t drown readers in an exhaustive list of everything you know how to do. Instead, focus on the skills closely aligned with your goals, current or desired roles, and who you are. It’s a good idea to regularly edit and update your skills to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. 

Recommendations

There is one final piece of your LinkedIn profile that, unfortunately, many people don’t take advantage of. LinkedIn has a built-in feature for requesting and providing recommendations between connections. 

This feature functions like a review section or reference collection, demonstrating that your connections think highly of you and highlighting why you’re a pleasure to work with. 

By freely writing recommendations for others, you can boost your image by appearing generous and kind—and potentially connecting with more people in the process. 

Unsure about how the recommendation process works? We’ve broken it down in this guide to writing a LinkedIn recommendation. 

Tips for getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile

Once you have the foundations covered, you can still do a few more things to spruce things up and give your LinkedIn profile a serious competitive edge. 

Complete learning courses

By completing LinkedIn Learning courses, show off that you’re a lifelong learner and build your skillset. Once you finish a course, you can add the certificate to your profile and update your connections. 

Share media

You’re not limited to plain text in your LinkedIn profile. Feel free to add images, videos, and links if they add value to your page. Try to stick to content that your connections find relevant, whether examples of your work or pictures and videos that relate to your role or field. 

Of course, you don’t have to be all business all the time. There’s room for a playful spirit here too, as long as you don’t overdo it with memes and gifs. LinkedIn is a professional space, after all. 

Take advantage of Publications

Another LinkedIn profile section that most people neglect is the Publication section, a space where you can highlight anything you’ve had published.

Have you done a case study or white paper? Or perhaps you’ve written an article for a reputable journal or website? Whatever it is, show it off here and you’ll stand heads above the crowd. 

Share relevant content

This is all about engaging with your network. Many connections aren’t enough if you never show up on their feeds. To fortify your existing network, regularly post and share content your connections will find useful and valuable. 

Engage in comments

Another great way to maintain engagement and strengthen your network is by engaging with other people’s posts in the comments section. Commenting is an opportunity to support your connections and share your thoughts, leading to new relationships and opportunities. 

Connect with influencers

Even if you don’t personally know them, it’s good practice to follow prominent LinkedIn influencers. This will provide more content on your feed for you to share with others. 

It will also demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded and informed person passionate about learning and staying up to date in your field. Plus, you never know the connections you could form by simply following and engaging with others’ content. 

Publish long-form content

Last but certainly not least, you should make sure you’re regularly writing and publishing long-form content on LinkedIn. These articles can do wonders for your profile by setting you up as a thought leader and knowledgeable voice. And the more people who see your post, the bigger the chance that you have a post go viral. 

If writing a blog post or article seems daunting, we get it. Copy.ai offers a super helpful AI tool to generate an entire blog post from start to finish, all in a matter of seconds. 

Many posts do quite well on LinkedIn, and it’s a great boost for your connections and network. Even if you never reach viral numbers, writing long-form content on LinkedIn provides a collection of your thoughts and writing for anyone to see on your profile, demonstrating your expertise and depth of knowledge. 

We’ve developed over 70 LinkedIn content ideas and formats that have proven effective in helping you get started posting content to your account.

Conclusion

If you keep these tips and strategies in mind, you’ll create a strong LinkedIn profile that will turn heads.

Just make sure to fill out your profile as completely as possible, be yourself and stay true to your personality, focus on how you frame your unique experiences and goals, and maximize all of LinkedIn’s features to get the most out of your time on the platform. 

If this all sounds like a lot of writing, consider giving Copy.ai’s free writing generator a shot to help lighten your workload. This AI-powered tool can generate copy and content for you in seconds, saving you valuable time to focus on other elements of your profile.

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