Guest Column | November 30, 2022

A Comprehensive Breakdown Of The LinkedIn Personal Profile

By Nina Riffaud, Head of Content Writing, Hyper Social

Social-Media-communication-GettyImages-665146638

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, you want it to be current and complete. The more you have filled out your profile, the better. This will do things like raise your social selling index (SSI) score and help you stand out among searches on the platform.

When you go to optimize your profile, it may seem a bit overwhelming. There are 14 overall sections within each personal profile.

One of the 14 is considered the "introduction" section which encompasses 10 different subsets: name, profile photo, background photo, headline, current position, education, location, industry, contact information and summary.

We’re going to break down each section and subsection, so you know what to include where. Check out our suggestions for how to make the most of each throughout!

Introduction Section

Profile Photo: Your profile photo does not need to be professionally taken, but it needs to be clear and appropriate. Use an up-to-date photo! Make sure you look like your picture. So, if you meet someone for a coffee or a zoom, they will know who to look for!

Recommended Pixels: 400 (w) x 400 (h) pixels and 7680 (w) x 4320 (h) pixels

Background Photo: We suggest you put your business logo on your banner photo. Use it as a chance to brand your page to your business. 

Type your email and company website address onto the bottom right corner of your banner photo. It’s the most visual part of your page. It’s essential to put your contact information front and center!

If you don't want to create a business-centric banner, just make sure your banner photo is not empty. LinkedIn has photos you can easily use. Or throw on your favorite city skyline! Anything that reflects who you are as a person, so long as it is not empty.

Recommended Pixels: 1584 (w) x 396 (h) pixels.

Headline: Make sure to state your position and what company you work at in your headline. You can also include a sentence that describes what you do - almost like a mission statement. If you want to add some personal flare, go ahead!

Here is a recommended template: {Position} at {Company} | {sentence describing what you do} | {something personal i.e. iced coffee enthusiast!}

Education: Put your university and any other higher education you have received. Pro tipyou don't need to include your graduation date on these! 

If your high school has a strong alumni network, you can include it, but there is no need.

Location: Make sure this section lists your location in your desired fashion.

For example, some people who live in New Jersey will have themselves listed as “Hoboken, NJ,” while others will have it say “Greater New York City Area.”

Industry: Chances are, you created your LinkedIn Profile a while ago. You may have filled in your industry as something different than the industry you work in now.

List your industry as the one you are currently working in so that your stats will be included within your industry's Social Selling Index Score, and you will come up in more accurate searches.

Contact Information: Your email is probably already listed here, but you can fill out your phone number and address if you’d like. That’s not to say it’s necessary. Security these days!

Summary: Your about section is at the front and center of your page. There is a 2,000-character limit, which is anywhere from about 285-500 words.

We suggest starting with an overview of your company, including a bulleted section with a short list of the services you provide, and ending with a call to action. You can use any of these bullets for quick access and formatting.

Here's a CTA example: “If any of this sounds like something you think you’d benefit from, I’d love the opportunity to speak with you. You can reach me at {email}.”

Experience Section

Take the time to write a short blurb for each position you’ve held that highlights what you did in those specific roles. 

Be sure to include each company’s website in the blurb so it is easily clickable if people want to check it out.

Licenses & Certificates

These are good for any certifications you hold through online courses, organizations like Red Cross, or anything specific to your industry and role. 

If you're working in a client success role and you happen to have your certification in Front-end web development, include that! The more professional certifications you have, the more well-rounded a professional you present as!

Skills Section

Skills will be a great area to highlight the specific skills you have gained throughout your career. But you should also let your personality shine! If you sing but you’re in sales, go ahead and throw in singing as a skill! If you play baseball, throw that in there, too!

Recommendations Section

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Social proof is really important on LinkedIn. This section will give you credibility that is visible directly on your page. You can ask connections to write a short blurb vetting for you.

Here’s how to request a Recommendation: Go to your profile - Click the "add profile" section - Click Recommended - Click add Recommendations - Follow the steps and write out your message to whom you are sending the request - Click send and you’re good to go!

Courses

Have you taken any impressive courses over your career or in grad school that you want to highlight? This is the area to do that. You’ll be able to pick which job or education it aligns with if you’d like!

No need to include the Yoga freshman seminar class you took, but if you took a specific class that guided you through your career, that would be something to add!

Honors & Awards

You can list any awards you’ve won here. Those can be anything from “Most positive” at work to “Nobel Prize.” If it’s important to you, put it on your page!

Languages

You can list any languages here that you feel comfortable communicating in. 

Be careful with the languages section! You may think that you are fluent in French, but if you haven’t spoken it since college, there is a high chance you may only be conversational! Just make sure you are honest, so you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation.

Organizations

Are you a member of any organizations? These can be great for networking and showcasing what’s important to you outside of the office.

If the organization is relevant within your industry, you should definitely include it!

Patents

This section is a bit niche - if your company or you have received any patents, you can include them here. But no worries if you have not - most people haven’t! All the more reason to include it there if you have.

Publications

Include the names of websites, magazines, or journals that have published your work. 

Whether it be a satirical magazine, an esteemed business journal, or a food blog, it’s awesome to show publications. You did something and someone else wanted to publish it - that’s impressive!

Projects

This will be an area to list any past projects or current public projects. 

If you worked on any that were highly esteemed in your industry, definitely mention them. But if you worked on a small project in a niche industry no one will recognize, you don’t necessarily need to share it here.

Test Scores

We urge against including test scores. People test differently. And at the end of the day, life is not graded. We are judged by the quality of our work outside of a testing environment. Don’t bother adding these.

Volunteer Experience

Volunteer anywhere interesting? Finding a shared passion outside the workplace is a great way to build rapport, so it’s a great thing to include if you do volunteer.

Make sure to consider each thing you add. There is a difference between quality and quantity. People will not read everything on your page so when you are going to add something to your LinkedIn profile, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this important to me?
  2. Will this resonate with anyone else?
  3. Does my profile gain anything by adding it?

Nina Riffaud, Head of Content Writing at HyperSocial
So long as you answer yes to these questions, you should be good to go!

But as a general rule, if you considered adding it to your LinkedIn page, you probably should!

Nina Riffaud is the Head of Content of Content Writing at HyperSocial.

HyperSocial is a B2B marketing agency with the goal of making B2B marketing and sales human. Visit them at www.gohypersocial.co