LinkedIn gives professionals all over the world the opportunity to connect, share ideas, and grow within their industries. One of the keys to getting the most out of LinkedIn is to have a complete profile. Filling in all relevant information adds credibility to your public persona and makes other users more likely to connect with you. In fact, people with a 100% complete profile are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
What Makes Your Profile Complete?
Completing your LinkedIn profile is about more than simply filling in the blanks. The goal is to give users a comprehensive idea of who you are as a professional.
Here are the must-haves for a complete LinkedIn profile:
1. Personal summary
Your LinkedIn personal summary gives you the chance to appear knowledgeable, passionate, and approachable. Use the opportunity to tell a story about your career path and why you do the job you do. Highlight a few of your most impressive skills and achievements. Most of all, make sure your summary has a personal touch—use a human voice.
2. Your industry and location
Including your location and choosing the most relevant industry are important if you want your profile to appear in the searches of other LinkedIn users (hint: you do!).
3. Job history with descriptions
Include your current position and at least two past positions. Be sure to only list jobs that are relevant to your career path; you want to present a picture of professional development in your job history. Describe the responsibilities you had in each of your roles to help people better understand your experience and skills.
4. Your education
List colleges and grad schools. If a trade school is relevant to your job, list that, too. Don’t mention your high school unless it’s the highest level of education you’ve completed.
5. At least 5 skills
Listing your skills results in a visual way for other LinkedIn users to see what you’re good at—and what your colleagues think you’re good at. When you list skills on your LinkedIn profile, other users who know you can give you endorsements that verify your knowledge in certain areas and add to your credibility.
6. A professional headshot
Your profile photo shouldn’t be something you snapped with your iPhone in the bathroom mirror. Get a recent, professional-looking picture that represents who you are as a professional.
7. At least 50 connections
It might sound daunting, but making connections on LinkedIn is easy. You can use the search bar at the top of the page to find the profiles of people you’ve worked with—and people you want to work with. You can also find 2nd and 3rd degree connections of people you’re already following. Be sure you personalize your request to connect instead of using the generic message that LinkedIn provides.
Having a completed profile is important for taking advantage of all of the opportunities LinkedIn offers. Spend a few minutes a day making sure your profile is the best it can be.