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How to Build an Eye-Catching LinkedIn Profile

Thursday, February 4, 2016
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LinkedIn discontinued its resume import function well over five years ago. This is good news. Why? Because LinkedIn is not your resume.

Traditionally, a resume is a brief account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience. But your LinkedIn profile is your professional online page; it can describe your career history, education, interests, and other related content you want to publish.

In order for your LinkedIn profile to provide value in your career transition or current role, it must adhere to these five key points:

1. Your LinkedIn profile content must be relevant or show professional growth of who you are and what you are doing today.

Review your summary, experience, publications, and other sections on your page and remove anything that does not support this philosophy. You do not need to leave gaps in your experience section, however. You may need to rewrite the job description text to show what you did during those gaps that’s relevant to your career, or shows professional growth.

2. Bullet points are not necessary on a LinkedIn profile.

When writing your summary and experience sections, consider writing them in first person and telling a story. Your LinkedIn profile is your story of what you can do, your accomplishments, and what value you provide to your employer or clients. Most important, unlike the way we are coached to write our resume, your LinkedIn profile should tell the reader what you enjoy doing. The text should be relevant to who you are today.

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3. Know and use your most important keywords.

LinkedIn profiles are highly indexed for LinkedIn’s search function, as well as for Google. There are approximately 15 sections in LinkedIn that are indexed for search. Writing your keywords in these sections increases the ranking of your LinkedIn profile in searches.

4. Use Slideshare to include content on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn’s Slideshare feature is used for far more than just PowerPoint presentations. You can upload .PDF, .PPT, .DOC, .RTF, .TXT, and .ODT files and YouTube videos embedded in other documents. Because we love to consume graphical content, this is a great way to add value to the text in your LinkedIn profile. You can attach Slideshare and other rich content to your summary, education, and experience sections. 

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5. Building a LinkedIn profile is not a race.

Because of the significance of each section of your LinkedIn profile, you can’t build it all in a day or two. Don’t rush. Rushing leads to typos, misinformation, and other mistakes that you won’t want others to see.

Think through how you want to tell your story. Review your resume so you remember the chronology, company names, and how your past helped you become who you are today. Think through what you want to tell the reader and what you are trying to achieve with your LinkedIn profile.

If you rush, you’ll likely end up with a LinkedIn profile that is more like your resume than a public story of who you are, what you do to create value for others, and why the reader should consider connecting with you.

You should be proud of your LinkedIn profile by separating it from those who simply upload their resume to LinkedIn. Visit my LinkedIn profile for an example; if you want additional help building your LinkedIn profile, visit my program at Burriss Consulting LinkedIn Coaching.

About the Author

Teddy Burriss is a member of ATD Piedmont. He and his wife, Rebecca, run Burriss Consulting and focus on training and coaching individuals on LinkedIn best practices. Teddy has been studying social media since 2008 and became a Certified Social Media Strategist in 2014. He is often asked to share his advice on networking and using LinkedIn as a business tool with groups and associations across the country

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