How To Make LinkedIn Work For You

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There are good LinkedIn profiles, and there are bad ones. Basically, being a professional without a LinkedIn profile is like being a company without a website. LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful tools on the Internet for telling your story, and for creating a professional brand. Over 300 million people in 200 countries use LinkedIn today, and to have a profile on LinkedIn has become table stakes for anyone who works in the modern job economy….and certainly the tech economy.

Here are some tips to improve your profile - whether you’re a job seeker, an entrepreneur, or just someone looking to create more of a brand online - and make LinkedIn work for you.

Get found: Add a [professional!] photo and create keyword-heavy headlines. Photos make your profile 7-10x more likely to be found. As for keywords, Amy Cwalina, Talent Scout at Lightbank and Startup Institute Chicago instructor, says that the best candidates come from her own LI searches for the roles she’s looking to fill - make sure to load up your headline with your main skills and functional expertise (e.g. U/X designer, front-end developer, content marketer, etc.)!

Tell your story using the [underused] summary section: Use the summary section to highlight the things that you want someone to immediately know about your work experience. Especially if your profile reads like an unconnected set of work experiences, you can weave a narrative that makes sense to your audience, whether they be investors, hiring managers, or members of the press.

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Post by Jenn Yee, Director at Startup Institute Chicago. Find her on Twitter at @yeefunk.