LinkedIn is the leading social media platform for professional networking. At this point, if you're looking for a job (especially in a communications field), you are basically required to have an account. However, don't look at setting up a LinkedIn as extra work. Think of it as an extra opportunity to explain yourself and sell yourself to potential employers. After you've uploaded a photo, there's still quite a lot to do.

1. Leave nothing blank

Make sure you fill out every possible space on your profile. Don't leave any blank space at all. This includes the summary space at the top and descriptions of all of your positions throughout the page. Don't skimp out. To get started, you can copy over what you already have on your résumé. But where needed, not be afraid to expand with more details. You have more space on LinkedIn to explain your experience than you do on a traditional résumé. Don't waste it.

2. Include links and multimedia content

Other perks of LinkedIn that you don't get on your résumé are links and multimedia content. Where applicable, link to your work. Include videos and visuals as they relate to different positions that you've had. This will not only make your profile more visually appealing, but will also prove your experience even further.

3. Don't forget the education and awards sections

LinkedIn has options for many different types of content. If you've handled several big projects, you can easily add them. If you've done a lot of volunteer work or published essays or scientific articles, you can add those too. But don't forget to include your education. Awards look especially impressive if you have any that are applicable.

4. Get endorsements for your skills

At the very bottom of your profile, you can list skills that you have. LinkedIn also allows other users to endorse each other for their skills. Having more endorsements shows employers that you can be trusted and not just lying to boost your résumé. Your connections can also recommend you on your profile. Make sure you ask your work friends and colleagues to endorse you on your profile. And don't forget to give your own recommendations and endorsements too. If you offer your own endorsements, people are more likely to endorse you in turn.

5. Keep your profile readable and easy to understand

You can add so many details to your LinkedIn profile. It's a great resource, but don't make it too busy or unreadable. Keep your descriptions clear, succinct and to the point. You want someone to be able to skim or scan through your profile and still understand what you're saying.

6. Never turn down a connection

A core feature of LinkedIn is connecting with other users. This is similar to a friend request on Facebook. Try not to ever turn down a connection if you can help it. LinkedIn is a less personal platform than Facebook. You don't need to censor who you're connected with. Accepting more connections will grow your professional network. And in a job search, connections are almost as important as qualifications.


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