How To Create A LinkedIn Profile That Will Actually Benefit Your Career

by Dan Schawbel

Let's get one thing straight. If you are in business, you need to be on LinkedIn. This is also true if you want to be in business. Meaning, if you are in school… now is the PERFECT time to get started on LinkedIn.

No matter where you are in your career, NOW is the time to spend some time ensuring your LinkedIn profile perfectly describes you, your goals, your accomplishments and what you bring to the table.

Your goal should be to help the reader decide:

Do I want to do business with this person?

There should be no debate about this point. Your career may depend upon it.

There is nothing wrong with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ or any other social networks. It’s just that LinkedIn is the place to be for business.

Why LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become the de facto place for business people to connect. People you want to do business with are on LinkedIn. They will look for you there too. Depending upon what they see, they may decide to go all in with you or take a pass on you. Your LinkedIn profile says a lot about you… or it should. Taking the time to ensure you put your best foot forward is time well spent.

If you still need convincing:

The goal is to make sure you Stand Out, Inform and Engage.

The ultimate goal is to help you Stand Out In Your Career

A Few Initial Tips For Your Profile

-Current Picture (It should be a professional look.)

-Current Role (Be candid if you are looking for your next challenge.)

-Current goals/deliverables (What are you doing now?/What have you accomplished?)


-Professional Associations/Clubs/Non-Profit Work

-Recommendations (Ask for them AND Reciprocate.)

-Endorsements (Appreciate them.)

-Have a Call to Action (This can help people move in the way you prefer.)

Your Profile Defines You

Your Profile should include your goals, your accomplishments, the value you add and the role (or types of projects) you are seeking.

This is not to imply you are putting yourself out there to work for another company. Maybe that is your goal, but whether you are staying put or considering a move… Your LinkedIn profile lets people know what they can expect when working with you.

When Writing Your Profile

-Spell Check – Take special care to ensure you have no errors. People DO notice.

-Grammar Check – An incorrect word or odd turn of phrase can be off-putting and distracting from your message.

-Pro Tip: Ask a Friend to read your profile.

-Be Brutally Candid – Ask them to read with a critical eye.

-Ask them to Read, Review and Rip it to Shreds.

-A friendly face and voice reviewing your profile now can save a lot of time and potential headaches later.

-Provide guidance if needed. For example, if you are looking to make a dramatic shift in careers, ask the person to read your profile through that lens.

-Read, Edit, Re-Read – Be a brutal self-editor, but not too brutal. Let your trusted advisors' voices and thoughts come through.

Pro Tip: Continuity and Brevity Matter

Make sure your LinkedIn profile makes sense. And that it does so in a quick and consumable manner. People are busy. They may genuinely be interested in you, but they will appreciate you more if you can get your points across in "Bite Sized Chunks."

Why Do Any Of This?

It’s simple.

-To Stand Out

-To Inform

-To Engage


Your goal should be to help the reader decide:

Do I want to do business with this person?

This article was originally written by Jeff Shuey of, a site created by Elite Daily contributor Dan Schawbel.  

Photo credit: Getty Images