Create a LinkedIn profile

Follow our guide on how to create a LinkedIn profile to build your network and boost your job search.

Benefits of using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a free, professional social networking site. You can use it to:

  • connect with professionals
  • get seen by employers looking to hire
  • learn more about work you are interested in
  • find and apply for jobs
  • get advice and support from experienced professionals

This short video by LinkedIn shows the benefits of using the site.

Create an account

To sign up for a free LinkedIn account you’ll need a professional sounding email address. ​​Do not use inappropriate references in your email address. You may need to create a new email account that is simple, using only your name.

Once you have signed up, LinkedIn will guide you through how to create a profile. Your profile will be easier for employers to find if you complete all sections. 

Upload a photo

Your profile photo should be a recent professional image, and:

  • be you on your own
  • be set against a plain background
  • have your face in the centre of the frame
  • be a good quality picture, not blurry
  • be well lit so your face is visible

Create your headline

You have 120 characters to create a headline that promotes who you are to your network. This can get the attention of a recruiter, employer, or anyone in your network. It may be the only information people see when you comment on people’s posts. It can also be shown to your network’s contacts. 

Make your headline fit the job you want. Include:

  • who you are
  • what you do
  • what you want to be

Make your headline attract the kind of employers you want to work with. It should be enough to get them to read more about you or connect with you on LinkedIn.

Write your summary

Your summary on LinkedIn is a chance to let people know more about you once they have read your headline. It can attract employers who are hiring, or recruiters who are looking for people on their behalf. 

Use your summary on LinkedIn to:

  • tell your story
  • show what you’re passionate about
  • talk about what your goals are

Make sure you:

  • write in the first person (use ‘I’, not ‘she’ or ‘he’ when talking about yourself)
  • use phrases that show you have some knowledge of the sector
  • include keywords
  • end your summary with a ‘call to action’. If you want employers to contact you, you could say ‘email me at [insert your email address]’
  • let people know how to contact you if you want them to

Work experience

Include details of any work placements, shadowing or internships.

Make your achievements at work stand out by using the STAR method.

You should also show examples of your work if you have online examples you can link to.

Include anything that’s relevant to the kind of job you want. Show the value you have added in the things you have done. Concentrate on how you have made things better for people - what you did and what happened because of it.

Volunteering experience

Let people know about any professional and related voluntary experience you have had. Volunteering shows commitment and can tell recruiters something about your values.

Share information about the causes that are important to you. It helps to tell the story of who you are as a person. Employers are looking for people who will be ‘a good fit’ for their company.

Skills

You can add up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn profile. Add 5 skills or more if you want to appear in searches. 

Don’t worry if you can’t find many. Even 10 skills related to the job you want to do is a good start. The more skills you list, the higher up in searches you’ll appear.

You can find the most relevant skills for your career goal by looking at job profiles or other jobs.

Education history

Make it easy for employers to check you have the level of qualifications they are looking for. They will also want to know what you gained from studying.

Concentrate on your education most relevant to your career aim. Give details of any achievements, like:

  • winning an award
  • getting a scholarship
  • giving a presentation at a conference
  • projects you’ve done well in
  • any positions of responsibility you’ve held

Connect with people on Linkedin

You should use LinkedIn to build connections. The more you have, the more people can find you.

Start with friends, family and people you know at university or college.

Get endorsements for your skills – ‘back up’ from people you know, that you can do the things you say you can.

When you meet people in a social setting or at networking events, offer to connect with them. Your network will soon begin to grow.

Be active

It’s good to maintain your presence on LinkedIn to get noticed by potential employers. To do this, you could:

  • check LinkedIn often, like you would other social media sites
  • like, comment and share articles and other people’s posts to get noticed by your connections
  • create your own content to raise your profile
  • join groups that are relevant for your chosen sector
  • check if your university careers service has an alumni group - if you're a recent graduate

Find out more about using LinkedIn

For more help and advice on using LinkedIn, take a look at their articles for students.

Related content

Networking to find a job

Find job vacancies

Identifying skills and upskilling

Speak to an adviser

You can call 0800 100 900 or use webchat to speak to an adviser.

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  • 10am to 5pm Saturdays and bank holidays
  • closed Sundays