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How to Fill Out Your Profile

Getting started on your LinkedIn profile is fairly straightforward; the website will walk you through some basic steps. Remember that those reading your profile could be potential employers, employees, or clients, so try not to leave anything blank. Describe the positions and responsibilities you have had well.

Moving into the open-ended sections:

Please first take note that LinkedIn offers both a ‘skills’ section as well as an ‘interests’ section. This should clue you in that these are considered different parts of the picture you are presenting to the world. Consider using your interests section to display personal interests. LinkedIn is not a headhunting service, it’s a networking platform. When you network in person, do you only ever discuss business, or do you also discuss your recent fishing trip in Vermont? This is a good place to tell people who you are outside of work. You never know what interests may spark a conversation with someone new and lead to business.

Your summary should tell people about your whole person. Do not limit it to what qualifications you have, but also discuss where you want to go with your career. This is the box where you can really ‘talk’ to those looking at your profile, so think about what you would say to them if you were meeting them in real life.

You profile should tell the story of your professional life, explaining both where you have been and where you would like to go. Using LinkedIn is not only a matter of filling out a profile and letting it sit, however. So read some more about ways to engage the community and build your network.

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