Tips for creating a LinkedIn profile

Q: I have been told to create a LinkedIn profile. I need
some guidance. What should I make sure is on there? I am a bit baffled
about what I should include and what I should exclude.

A: Creating a LinkedIn profile can be daunting. Realize it will take some time to create. In the end, it is well worth it.

Here is what I think is important in a LinkedIn profile:

1. A professional photo. LinkedIn pages with photos get a longer
look. Especially with the prevalence of telephone interviews, recruiters
will often rely on a photo to better “picture” with whom they are

2. Ensure that your LinkedIn page and your resume share similar
content. Your resume should not scream engineer if your LinkedIn page
says you are a trainer.

3. Set a goal for adding connections. Mine is 3-5 new connections per week.

4. Include key words if you are job hunting. Key words are often used
by recruiters to find those with specific skills. Make sure that your
key words are in your profile.

5. Make sure your contact information is included. Your cell phone, your email, etc.

6. Join relevant groups. If you are a marketing professional, I would
expect you to be part of several marketing groups. Some groups may be
appropriate for your profession and some may be driven by where you went
to college or where you live.

7. Market yourself. If you are quoted in a journal or an article, showcase it on LinkedIn.

8. Finally, keep your profile updated. If you have changed jobs or
been promoted, update your profile. If you have moved to San Francisco,
let us know that too!

I am on LinkedIn probably 5-6 days per week. It is worth the investment of time to develop a robust profile!

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.