As Keith Kellersohn mentioned in a previous post, anthropologists and anthropology students should be on LinkedIn for several reasons, but how do you make an effective profile?

Essentially, you market yourself. You and your achievements are the product, and you need to frame that in the best way possible.

For LinkedIn, achieving the “all-star” profile rating is a good indicator of profile strength. Currently, LinkedIn requires 7 sections to be filled out completely to achieve all-star status, but there are a few more areas to consider as well, so here are some basics to make your LinkedIn profile look its best.

1. Fill Out the Intro Section.

This section covers the most basic information, such as your name, pronouns, industry, headline, primary education, and location. This section is especially important, as it’s your first impression.

2. Upload a Professional Headshot and Background.

This is crucial, as profiles without pictures are often passed over and sometimes are even mistaken as bots or fake profiles. Do make sure your profile image is professional, and that the image is clear and well-lit.

3. Fill out Your About Section.

If your profile image and headline are your first impression, the About section is your second. This is where you explain a brief overview of your history, expertise, and interests. This section should be treated the same as a personal statement, and it should have a narrative structure. Tell a story! The About sections that are formatted more like a story than a résumé, are much more likely to be viewed and read.

4. Add Work Experience

This can be professional or volunteer, but it’s best to have both your current employment (if employed) and any past work experiences relevant to your current goals.

5. Fill Out the Education Section

You want the most recent education, even if in progress. For example, if you’re currently in undergrad then you’d want to list your university in the education section rather than your high school. 

6. List 5 Skills

A minimum of 5 skills is required for LinkedIn to consider this section complete, however, you can add up to 50 skills if you desire.

7. Customize your URL

This is optional, but a good idea. Default URLs are long and unwieldy, so it’s best to shorten it to something specific to you and your profile.

8. Add Honors & Awards

Brag about yourself! Show off your achievements and awards. This section is especially helpful for students, as it’s an excellent way to showcase university achievements.

9. Licenses & Certifications

This one is again optional, as depending on your personal history you might not have any licenses or certifications yet. However, if you complete LinkedIn Learning courses they’ll show up here as a certification.

10. Organizations

These are any organizations you’re affiliated with. For example, you might be a member of the AAA, NAPA, or an Honors Society. This section can help others of the same group find you on LinkedIn.

11. Interests

This section also helps with finding others with similar interests and helps them find you. The Interests sections also help curate your feed.

12. Add 50 Connections

LinkedIn will not consider a profile complete till you have a minimum of 50 connections. The more connections you have, the more visible you’ll be in others’ feeds. I’d recommend taking my previous advisor’s challenge: 100 connections in 100 days.

13. Update every 30 days

This is a bit of an unofficial rule. LinkedIn profiles that receive an update every 30 days are seen as “active” and are more likely to be shown to other members. Note that an update can be big or small, even changing “an” to “the” in your summary is enough to trigger an updated status.

There are other profile sections you can add, such as courses completed if you’re a student, or publications if you’re in research. Take some time to explore and see anything else you’d like to add.

Now, you might not be able to fill out all these sections, and that’s okay. Not everyone has all-star status, most don’t in fact, but it is still a good way to get a measure of how complete and searchable your profile is on the site.

At the end of the day, you want your profile to be professional, detailed, and open. These profiles garner more attention than ones with just a name and a job description. The more complete your profile is, the more relevant you are to employers and connections.