| Create an effective LinkedIn profile

How Good is Your LinkedIn Profile? If you are a do-it-yourself-er, you may want to see how your LinkedIn Profile stacks up. Check out this self-assessment worksheet for LinkedIn:

Profiles that are considered “complete” by LinkedIn’s standards receive 40 times more “opportunities” (contacts from prospective hiring managers and recruiters) than incomplete profiles, according to LinkedIn’s research. LinkedIn has its own criteria for “profile completeness.”

These are the items you need to have on your LinkedIn account in order to have a “complete” profile, according to LinkedIn:
• Your industry and location
• Up-to-date current position (with description)
• Two past positions (under “Experience”)
• Your education
• Skills (minimum of three)
• Profile photo
• A minimum of 50 Connections

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Is your LinkedIn profile photo giving the right impression?
• You have a photo on your LinkedIn profile
• The photo is appropriate for a business profile (not a glamour shot)
• Face is clearly recognizable (in focus, close up, looking at camera)
• Photo is high resolution (sharp, clear)

For your LinkedIn profile to help you reach your personal and professional goals, you must be able to communicate what makes you exceptional and compelling — this is your personal positioning, or “brand.”

Ensure that:
• Information in your LinkedIn profile is concise yet comprehensive and provides a good representation of your career and qualifications
• Keywords relevant to your job target are woven throughout your LinkedIn profile (helping increase your ability to be found online)
• This profile answers this question: “Would I want to hire someone with this profile?”
• The profile is attention-getting and persuasive

Do you make these mistakes with your LinkedIn profile?
• Profile is focused on a single job target. 
(Mistake: An unfocused profile tries to be “all things to all people”)

• Profile is written from the correct point of view. 
(Mistake: An informal profile written in third-person, or a formal profile written from the first person point of view – most LinkedIn profiles should be written in first person.)

• You use all the content sections available to you 
(Mistake: Not including information in all relevant sections 
— i.e., Honors & Awards, Languages, Certifications, Courses, Patents, Projects, Publications, etc.)

• Your Profile includes several positive Recommendations 
(Mistake: Not asking for Recommendations; not having enough Recommendations on your profile)

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.