19 Tips for the Best Professional LinkedIn Profile [PLUS 4 Bonus Tips]

Emily Meade
Posted: September 21, 2018

More often than not, our LinkedIn profile takes the backseat behind professional development and daily work to do’s. When we sign off at the end of the day, the last task we want to tackle is updating our online portfolio. But whether you’re in search of work or comfortable at a job you’ve had for years, utilizing LinkedIn as a networking tool can serve many purposes throughout your career.

Related: 5 Reasons You Need to Update Your LinkedIn Profile Today

LinkedIn provides access to connections you might not otherwise have contact with through your job or peers. Those connections may become professional acquaintances, which could in turn lead to sales, clients, or future jobs. If you’re an instructional designer, training manager, or graphic designer, you might even be able to collaborate or exchange services. The possibilities are endless with an updated LinkedIn profile. Did you catch that? An updated LinkedIn profile.

You might be asking yourself questions like “Where do I start?” and “How do I merge my professional side with social media while staying warm and conversational in tone?” That’s why I’ve rounded up 19 tips to apply to your LinkedIn profile today — so you can take advantage of this space and bring it to its full potential. Who knows? You might make a connection that leads to coffee and soon becomes a business opportunity or venture. Hop on over to your profile and let’s get started!

First, let’s cover the basics of your intro.

  1. Start with a high-quality professional photo. This is the first step to making your profile look legitimate to viewers and potential connections. It doesn’t have to be a professionally taken photo, but it should be professional (i.e. not you on the beach!). Be sure that it’s current and represents what you do.
  2. Make the most of your headline. After your picture, this is the second thing people see when they get to your profile. This section should be eye-catching and engaging; if there’s anything special or unique about your role or company, say it! The key is to think about what qualities/services recruiters and clients would be searching for and cater your wording to fit that. 
  3. Input all current and relevant information. Fill out every section regarding your job, location, and company to take full advantage of this space. If it looks like you didn’t take the time to fill it in, viewers might click on!
  4. Create a summary that stands out. This area can be as short or long as you’d like. Think of it as your chance to virtually shake hands and share a quick cup of coffee with your viewers! Here are a few tips:
    • Don’t be afraid to incorporate some personality — let them know who you are!
    • Use first person — no need for extreme formalities.
    • Describe what you enjoy about your area of expertise and how that makes you different from people in your field.
    • Use keywords that can be found in your job description to better your chances of populating in searches.
    • Include a professional email address to contact you. (Don’t worry — if people aren’t connected with you, they can’t see your contact information!)

  1. Keep it professional. Social media is a wonderful way to connect with others, and you are welcome to link to your accounts on other platforms. However, if your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. do not relate to your professional role or contain information you’d like to keep private, you may want to consider leaving those off your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Update your customizable URL. When you create a LinkedIn profile, you are assigned a generic URL, but this can be customized! Use your name or get creative, depending on how casual your job is. The thought behind the details will call attention to your profile!

Next, let’s talk about key tips for your profile.

  1. Note your current and past roles.
  2. Include a sentence about your company within the description.
  3. List your responsibilities, things you’ve accomplished, and other notable achievements of each position.
  4. Upload relevant media that will help viewers understand what you do. (For example, an instructional designer might upload a few examples of work; a training manager might upload a PowerPoint, etc.) 
  5. Input roles that are relevant to your career. If you are just beginning, try to keep your professional-oriented roles and internships to your profile.
  6. Share your volunteer experience and organization involvement. These can also be noted in your summary to add personality. If you are a member on a board, this is the perfect place to put it!
  7. List any honors and awards you’ve received on the job. This is your chance to impress ‘em!
  8. Include online publications that enhance your credibility. Bonus: You can even link out to them so connections can take a look for themselves!

Now what?

Now that your profile is up to date and you’re ready to network with clients, connections, and friends, here are a few helpful suggestions to keep your profile fresh!

  1. Share suitable and valuable content with your connections (like this blog post)! This can help you network, gain clients, or start interesting conversations.
  2. Join relevant career groups and follow companies to broaden your network and receive helpful updates. Bonus: Check your messages frequently. You never know who dropped a note!
  3. Ask a few friends and connections to leave positive recommendations on your profile for a viable boost!
  4. Update your profile frequently with job changes, volunteer opportunities, honorable awards, online publications, or organizations you participate in. Think of your profile as a business card – no one wants an outdated, incorrect card! 
  5. Endorse your connections so they will be more likely to endorse you for tasks that are your specialty.

If you made it through these tips and checked each one off, your profile should be looking good! Remember: Never underestimate the value of keeping LinkedIn up to date. You never know who might stumble across your profile and want to connect. If you have any questions, meet me over on LinkedIn and I’d be happy to help!

Want to learn more? Download the 4 BONUS tips below to enhance your LinkedIn Profile Success!

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About the Author

Emily is a social media marketer with an affinity for bringing an authentic voice to creative words. In the past few years, Emily has primarily assisted both small and large businesses alike craft their brand, grow their audience, and build community through social media platforms. Her own writing can be found on a number of blogs relating to the industry and laced through social media accounts masked as the brand’s identity. She first joined the ttcInnovations’ family as a freelance contractor but has now settled into a part-time role where she oversees all social media initiatives with her expertise flair and intrapreneurial skills. Her love for craft coffee, explorative travel, and watercolor art fuel her inspiration and creativity on the job.