be-preparedThe top quarter of your LinkedIn profile is your chance to make a great first impression – to grab the attention of hiring managers, recruiters, or fellow professionals looking to make a connection. Here are some tips to make the most of it.

The Header (what’s in the box)

  • Name: use your first and last name. And only your first and last name: adding keywords, job titles, etc. clog up searches.
  • Title: use your job title. Use the industry-recognized title in your summary and keywords in a brief description if your company is creative with job titles. A simple online search will provide a list of keywords specific to your industry.
  • The Industry You Want To Work In: if you are working in a field that you don’t want to be in, don’t list that as the industry in your title
  • Your Photo: select a professional photo — or take one. This is your chance to make a first impression. We advise against this.
  • Contact information: include your e-mail address and contact phone number both in the Contact Info, your Summary, and in the ’Advice For Contacting” areas of your profile. If you are looking to connect with people, make it easy.
  • LinkedIn Profile Link: personalize your LinkedIn profile link by editing out the random letters and numbers and use your name (ex: You may need to include middle initials or numbers if you have a common name.

The Summary

You have 2000 words to tell your story, or give your elevator pitch. Make sure you’ve targeted your summary towards the audience you want to reach. We suggest keeping it around 250 words, keeping in mind that this is a quick overview of:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • What you are looking for
  • What you can do for someone (mutually beneficial relationships)
  • Why people would want to engage and connect with you

Use your summary to:

  • Tell your story
  • In first person
  • Use keywords conversationally – this isn’t a word cloud
  • Outline your goals
  • End with a call to action (“please send me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn” or “send me an e-mail at [email protected]”) and your contact information.
Next week, we’ll review the bulk of your LinkedIn profile: your experience, including tips on how to list your athletic experiences.


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