Is Your LinkedIn Profile Ready for 2020?

LinkedIn is an effective tool to virtually network with othersIn order to allow employers, recruiters, and others to find you. Create a profile that stands out and will entice professionals to contact you once they view your profile.  Use this checklist as a guide to optimize your visibility and show your best work.

Why LinkedIn is Important

  • 94% of employers use social networks and social media to support their recruitment efforts.
  • 93% of employers research candidates before or after an interview.
  • Supports your traditional job search documents; shares professional information beyond your resume.
  • Expands your network beyond first-degree connections and personal contacts.
  • Create alert for new available positions 
  • Research companies prior to interviews and explore companies with available opportunities  


100% Complete Profile

According to LinkedIn, you are 40 times more likely to turn up in a search if your profile is complete (All-Star level). Include the following in your profile to reach this level.



  • Should be professional headshot with simple background 
  • Remember to dress in business attire when taking your LinkedIn photo
  • Good lighting  
  • Invest in high-quality photos if funds are tight get a friend to help 


  •    The default is your most recent job title. Edit the headline to reflect a professional brand statement, that will attract attention
  • Make this 10-15 words telling companies you’re top skills and career focus.  
  • Example: “Marketing Manager – Architectural & Engineering Industry Focus” 


  • The search feature allows you to conduct searches by levels of connections, the industry of employment, location, and company  
  • Making the search too detailed will lower your chances of finding a job and will only show you ones that require years of experience 
  • Consider searching for internships especially if you are still just a student, this will give you more practice, and you’re more likely to get more of a response.  

My Network

  • In the “My Network” tab you can view your invitations and individuals you may know 
  • Start building your LinkedIn network by uploading your online address book (from your email account). 
  • Contact the hiring manager directly, this tactic helps a lot with internships 
  • However please follow LinkedIn etiquette. You do this by introducing yourself to the hiring managers and being honest about your experience and skills. 
  • Keep in mind that if you are unsure of how your skills could contribute to their company do not contact the managers.  


  • The drop-down menu under “apps” provides more helpful tools. Click on the salary button to view salary ranges in various employment areas. Use the learning feature to develop your skills and abilities. The Lookup feature allows you to identify members of a company and lastly, you can share and view presentations through SlideShare.   


  • View available positions in your area of interest and other related areas. Employment opportunities are available in finance, accounting, business, education, social sciences, and more!  
  • Don’t feel bad if you don’t have “relevant” work experience. Any work is relevant as long as you highlight the skills you can “transfer” into a desirable position. 
  • Do research on the company that you are trying to work with, this will give you an idea of how to craft your page.  


  • Ideal to have 1-2 recommendations for each of your most recent work/project experiences 
  • When requesting a recommendation, your recommender must be a LinkedIn member 
  • Customize the recommendation request to share why you are asking for a recommendation and what you would specifically like them to highlight; this will help each recommendation cover different aspects of your skills and qualifications 
  • Keywords in job titles support LinkedIn search algorithm. Some terms you can use are (e.g., Marketing & Advertising Consultant vs. just Consultant) to help readers understand what you did in the job and boost your search ranking. 


  • Connections should only be made with people you have a personal or professional relationship with  
  • Ideally, you would be able to recommend each other for networking or job opportunities  
  • Always customize connection requests; this adds a personal touch and will remind the person who you are and how you know them 
  • Begin by connecting with family and friends; the more 1st-degree connections you have, the more helpful your 2nd-degree connections will be  
  • Connect with classmates and professors, as well as current and past employers and colleagues. 
  • Continue to maintain your LinkedIn connections and add new ones as you meet new people at networking events or jobs 
  • Make notes on their profile to track your engagement activities 


  •     Located under Personal & Contact Info, this is a great place to link to your personal blog or portfolio.

Public Profile URL

  • Edit the Public Profile URL to your nameAdd your personalized LinkedIn URL to your resume, business cards, and email signature 
  • In case you hadn’t realized it, LinkedIn allows you to customize your address, versus sticking with the long, clunky one you were assigned when you first joined the site 


  • Describe what motivates you, what your skills are, and what’s next. 
  • Create a professional summary written in the first person, focusing on answering three main questions:
    • Who are you professionally?
    • What do you do or want to do?
    • What are your skills and specialties?
  • Include your contact information (e.g., professional email address), which makes it easier for people to get in touch with you (note that this can also be listed in the Additional Information section) 
  • Be sure to include keywords for your industry; review job descriptions and other professionals’ profiles, as well as the Skills tool, to get more ideas on which keywords to use 
  • This section is extremely important for SEO 
  • You may add any presentations, documents, projects, or videos to this section as well
    • Be sure to use watermarks over portfolios or other information that you want to remain proprietary; note that these documents will also populate in the Project section
  • This should allow the reader to understand your work passions, key skills, unique qualifications and list the industries you’ve worked in over the years. 
  • There are no restrictions on how long your summary has to be. The summary should highlight candidate’s achievements, including their participation in various projects and skills, unrelated to the job. 
  • Make sure you are using first-person singular pronouns 


  • Post your current position as well as at least two past jobs, internships, and/or volunteer opportunities (note that volunteer experiences could instead also be listed in a separate “Volunteering & Causes” section) 
  • Under each position, list the bullet points from your resume. Feel free to add additional points if you’d like  
  • Use bullet points for easy scanning and start your bullets with action verbs, just as you would on a resume  
  • Note that you can now post presentation materials, writing samples, videos, and other industry-related materials to highlight the work you completed at each job
    • Be sure to use watermarks over portfolios or other information that you want to remain proprietary; note that these documents will also populate in the Project section
  • As you are editing your resume, have the job you are applying for in front of you, and make sure your resume reflects the employer’s desirable skills and experiences. 
  • Add Freelance work that you were proud of doing 
  • If a manager wrote you a letter about your work performance in the past make sure to add it to your recommendations 


  •     Include all education as well as honors, awards, activities, significant projects, and relevant courses.
  •     Note that you can receive recommendations from professors, which would be connected to this section
  • Information about your previous education gives companies insight into why you are a proper candidate for a position in their company.
  • This also helps with filters when hiring managers are searching for candidates. This will ensure that you will pop on on the search results. 
  •     You can add a link to videos, images, documents, or presentations to showcase school-related work or projects

Skills & Expertise*

  •     Use this to identify pertinent skills for your industry, find professionals in your field, and find groups and companies in your industry.
  • Add up to 50 skills to your profile (you need at least five to complete your profile); this is another important section for SEO 
  • As your network endorses your skills, be sure to return the favor (if appropriate) 
  • You can adjust the placement of the skills you’ve listed to highlight more relevant ones 
  • These are some questions that you can ask yourself before adding on skills (eg: what skills are the companies looking for ?, What previous jobs/education support these skills, or what soft skills can you add to the hard skills?) 
  • These questions will help you find out what skills are important and worth focusing on  

Groups & Associations

  • Join up to 50 professional and social groups to highlight your interests and help you to expand your network 
  • Other helpful groups include Professional Associations, such as the American Marketing Association and Professional Writers 
  • Like, Share, and Comment on people in your groups post for better connections with professionals 

Additional Information


  •     Include your interests, both professional and personal; professional interests should relate somewhat to your field and personal interests should be unique 

Advice for Contacting

  • Another place to list your contact information (e.g., email and phone number) and to specify how you want to be contacted 
  • You will increase your profile visibility by liking, commenting, and connecting with others. 
  • Always update your work experience and skills 
  • Don’t be afraid to write to others even if you get rejected at first, it’s a part of the process.  
  • Ask for recommendation’s they help companies give an insight into what kind of person you are through other managers. 


Unlike Facebook, you want your profile to be as open as possible so that potential employers and other professionals can find and reach out to you about opportunities. You can control how people view your information and status updates in Settings.  

To learn more about how to create and modify your LinkedIn profile, sign up for the LinkedIn 101: Profile Development workshop on Starr Search.

Leave a Reply