Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Optimize your profile, part of Learning LinkedIn Premium Career.
- [Instructor] Before you flip the switch and upgrade your profile to a Premium Career account, it's a good idea to first make sure your profile is already looking its best. That way you won't have to spend as much time working on the basics after upgrading and you can instead immediately focus on taking advantage of the Premium Career tools. So let's take a look at some ways you can prep your profile page before upgrading. I'm currently signed into Reggie Tupp's account. This is a fictitious profile we've created for this course, so we'll just pretend that I'm Reggie for now. This profile is already in fairly decent shape but occasionally you may be prompted to answer some questions to further complete your profile.
Notice at the top of the screen here I see that we're 15 connections away from having 30 connections, I'm basically being prompted to add more people to my network. And to the right of that I can see Profile started, with a suggestion to continue adding info to my profile. Depending on what information you still need to add you may see prompts to add photos or video content to your profile, or to list any professional organizations or associations you belong to, or to add any languages you know and so on. Now I'm currently viewing my feed, which is what you see when you log into your account.
To work on your profile at any time click the Me menu up here and choose View profile. That takes you to your profile page. And here you can click the Edit button, which is the pencil icon that you see here, next to any section in your profile to edit that section, or over here on the right, under Add new profile section. So take some time to browse through these categories to see if there's anything relevant you can add to your profile. Many of these sections have a small blurb describing the advantages of having that information.
For example, it says by listing your published work you'll be found seven times more often. Or listing your certifications will get you five times more profile views than other people who don't list their certifications. Basically any information you can add here will just further round you out as a job candidate. For example, under Background, you might want to add Volunteer experience. And then list any volunteer work you've done that might not fit anywhere else in your profile, but which could let potential employers know about your interests and skills outside your current job. So just type in the organization name and then fill in any other relevant information.
And in the Description area you can add the details of your volunteer work. I'll just click Save for now. And if I scroll down in the profile now, we'll see that volunteer experience has been added. Now while you're working on your profile it's not a bad idea to go to Me, Settings and Privacy, and here under the Privacy tab click Sharing profile edits and here turn this option Off. This way every change you make to your profile doesn't start showing up as updates in the feeds of your connections.
You probably don't want all the people in your connections seeing that you're overhauling your profile page. Instead, keep the notifications off until you're done, so fewer people will see your profile while it's a work in progress. All right, let's go back to the Profile page. So in addition to making sure your profile information is as complete as possible, there are some other things you should be sure to take care of before upgrading to Premium Career. First, make sure you have a profile photo. Without one, you'll literally be a faceless LinkedIn member and chances are, most potential employers want to see what their potential candidates look like.
Not only that, but having a photo of yourself makes it easier for people who want to connect with you to confirm that you're the person they mean to connect to, especially if you have a fairly common name. Now that said, you'll want to put some thought and effort into selecting your profile photo. Remember, you're most likely trying to make a professional impression here, so you're not going to use the same types of photos you might post on, say, Facebook, of you out for a night on the town with your friends. Make sure you're the only one in the photo and be smiling if it suits your personality and try to look approachable. If you can, get a professional head shot taken, or, if you're on a budget, you can shoot it yourself, but avoid selfies, or any shot where it's obvious that you're holding the camera yourself at arm's length.
Instead, set up a tripod and get yourself into your professional looking clothes, dressed for the type of job you want, and then use a timer or have someone else take your photo. You might want to check out courses and videos on LinkedIn Learning for tips on shooting self portraits. Once you have a photo you want to use you can click in the photo area to add your photo. This is also how you change your photo if you already have one, like we do here. So from here you could click Change photo to add a new one, or you can work with your existing photo. Once it's been uploaded you can adjust the visible area by dragging it around, you can zoom in and out and reposition.
This button here is for rotating your photo, if it came in at the wrong orientation. Click the Visibility button and decide who will be able to see your photo. This is important if you want to be noticed by people who aren't in your network, so make sure to change it to All LinkedIn members or Public and then click Apply. Once your profile photo is set, take some time to pick a background photo. Now if you're not already on this screen, I'm just going to say Discard for the moment, you can get to your background photo by clicking the Edit button here, which takes you right back to this screen, and then click the Edit button next to the background image.
So your background photo is where you get the opportunity to say a little bit more about yourself and express more of your personality than your profile photo will necessarily allow. For example, you might want to use a photo in which you're performing one of the skills you mentioned in your profile. If you're a good public speaker or teacher for example, use a photo of yourself speaking in front of a crowd. If you're a photographer, use a picture of yourself on the job or use one of your own photos. The background image is really your free space to place whatever you like onto your profile and really give it some personality. So it's just like adding a regular photo.
You can change the current one, you can upload a new one, you can zoom in, straighten, crop. There are also filters available if you want to change the look of your photo. I'm going to leave it at the original. And we also have some Adjust tools to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, or you can add a vignette to darken the edges of the image. I'll click Apply and my changes have been applied.
Now lastly, at least for now, spend some time sprucing up the Summary section of your profile. This is not the place where you want to put your entire resume or just list a bunch of items, this is where you want to make sure to mention all of your major selling points, the characteristics, accomplishments, or accolades that make you stand out from the crowd and which identify you as an attractive candidate for the job you're looking for. For example, here on Reggie's profile, he mentions the variety of experience he's had as an administrative assistant, and that he's experienced in developing computer systems and operating practices.
So this is the place to provide a quick overview of who you are and what you can bring to the table. Try to make it interesting enough that it encourages viewers to scroll down and check out the rest of your profile, I'll click Save. Now there are a couple of other ways to optimize your profile before switching over to a Premium Career account, but we'll talk about them in their own upcoming movies. But I do also want to remind you here that all the profile characteristics we've looked at can also be managed from the mobile LinkedIn app on iOS or Android devices, so you don't necessarily have to wait until you're at your computer to work on your profile.
Just log into your account from your mobile device and you can touch it up in small increments while you're waiting for a bus or sitting in a hotel lobby or any time you have a few minutes free with your phone. Just log into your account with the app, go to your profile by tapping your profile photo in the upper left hand corner. And here tap the Edit button next to any section you want to work on. And you can start editing your account just like you can on the desktop version of LinkedIn. OK, so there you have a couple of housekeeping things you can do to start getting your LinkedIn profile in order before upgrading to a Premium Career account.