LinkedIn Basics: Creating Your LinkedIn Profile

Lesson 5: Creating Your LinkedIn Profile


Creating your profile

Your profile is one of the most important things on LinkedIn, especially because it's the first thing people will see when they find you on the site. You should treat your profile as you would a resume, taking the time to make sure it is complete, accurate, and professional. LinkedIn also allows you to add things you might not include on a traditional resume, like a profile picture and personal summary.

Adding profile information

The process of changing your LinkedIn profile is fairly straightforward. Once you understand how to add job entries and edit your education history, it should be much easier to focus on the information itself.

Watch the video below to see how to create a LinkedIn profile.

To edit your profile, navigate to your profile page, then select the pencil icon in the section of your choice. To add a new entry in the work experience and education history sections, just click the plus icon.

A screenshot of a LinkedIn profile's Experience section

We recommend editing the section at the top of your profile first because it contains your current job title, location, and personal summary. Because it's the first thing people will see in your profile, you'll want it to make a strong impression. Once you're done, click Save.

Adding a profile picture

A high-quality profile picture can make a big difference to potential employers. That's why we strongly recommend adding one to your profile before searching for jobs on LinkedIn.

Watch the video below to learn how to add a picture to your profile.

To add your picture, click the camera icon near the top of your profile. If you want to change your existing photo, just click the photo itself.

A screenshot of a LinkedIn profile

You can then upload a photo from your computer or take a picture using the camera on your device. You can use the sizing handles to adjust the crop, or add other effects to get your picture looking polished and professional.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a profile photo. Generally speaking, we recommend the following:

  • Upload a high-quality JPEG file.
  • Make sure you're the only person in the photo.
  • Ensure you're dressed appropriately for your career field—in other words, wear what you'd wear to a job interview.

Tips for an effective profile

In our experience, these tips will help complete and improve your profile. Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong way to use LinkedIn, so you'll need to experiment to find what works for you.

  • Keep your profile up to date. Make sure the information on your LinkedIn profile is updated and consistent with the details on your resume. This will make it easier for an employer to match your resume with your LinkedIn profile. Also, because a LinkedIn profile doesn't have length restrictions, you can even add details and positions you can't fit on your resume.
  • Add relevant skills. LinkedIn makes it easy to add skills to your profile page. Examples of skills you might add include problem solving, strong communication, and computer software—think Microsoft Office, Photoshop, QuickBooks, and so on. Your connections can even endorse you for the skills you've added to your profile.
  • Ask for recommendations. A recommendation is a short comment written by another LinkedIn member that will appear on your profile. When seeking a recommendation, try to reach out to people who are familiar with your talents, skills, and performance in the workplace. You can also review this lesson on obtaining references from our Job Applications tutorial to learn more about the best way to ask for a recommendation.