One of the key secrets to using LinkedIn is achieving what the site calls “All-Star” status. No, you don’t get a gold sticker on your profile (but that would be cool, wouldn’t it?), but All-Star profiles are 40x more likely to get viewed! That’s super important if you’re job searching, trying to connect with industry professionals, or just using LinkedIn to get your name out there. If All-Star status is so awesome, you’re probably wondering why I’m still holding out on you! Okay, okay, I’ll reveal the secret:
- Add a profile picture. A professional headshot if you have it, but any high quality picture that can easily be cropped to show your face will do. That means, no arm around your shoulder, obvious background, or dog face scrunched up next to yours (I know Fluffy is cute but he’s go to go for this one).
- Include your industry and location. What industry do you currently work in or want to work in? Where do you live?
- Fill out your work history. No need to be exhaustive here. Only fill out recent or relevant work history. That time you worked children’s birthday parties and had to dress up as the giant purple mascot in high school (true story, btw) should be left off.
- Include your education history. Did you complete a degree or some college courses? Show off those brains!
- List five of your skills. Napping, reciting lines from Friends, making a great margarita. Fun, but not what I mean. Pick the top five job skills that you currently perform or could offer in a position.
- Write a Summary. If you’re an overthinker like I am, this is a tough one. We’ll go more in depth about how to write a killer LinkedIn summary later. But for now, a brief description is fine. LinkedIn even offers the option to start one for you!
- Make 50 connections. Mine that alumni network, reach out to the other interns from summer jobs, and add your current coworkers of course.
LinkedIn allows you to create a custom URL to link directly to your profile. (No, this isn’t the place to resurrect your old AIM handles.) Ideally, your URL should be a combination of your first and last name. If you share the same name with 10,000 other LinkedIn users, you may need to get creative by using an initial or two.