The new year isn’t just about crash diets and exercise regimens. It’s also about setting professional resolutions. As we embrace a new year of social distancing, LinkedIn is more important than ever. Professionals must maintain an online presence similar to a digital resume. To accomplish those resolutions, our career counselors put together their best tips on how to create a LinkedIn profile in 2021.

1. Professional Photo

By now, you should know having a photo-less LinkedIn profile will not get you very far. Research indicates that LinkedIn profiles with photos will get 21 times more views and 36 times more messages. However, any photo is not enough. Research also indicates that someone’s first impression from your photo likely sticks for long periods. This includes even after you meet in person.

When you go to choose a photo, opt for an image with a professional tone for your industry and niche. Your photo doesn’t necessarily have to be a stereotypical headshot. Some of the best LinkedIn profile tips for 2021 include field photos.

For example, if you are an engineer, a photo of you out in the field would suffice. Another LinkedIn profile example would be a snapshot of you on stage speaking at an event. If you take the field-photo route, make sure you are easily identifiable in the photo. Plus, make sure the photo is in high resolution.

How to create a LinkedIn Profile in 2021 with a professional headshot

2. Create an Eye-Catching Headline

About how many people do you think share the same job title? Maybe 100,000? Or one million? A headline should be more than your current position. It should be your selling point. Moreover, the best LinkedIn profiles for 2021 include novel headlines.

A LinkedIn headline introduces you in 120 characters to provide a snapshot of your professional brand. Using strategic keywords and descriptors in your in headline will help your profile appear higher in LinkedIn searches. This will help your profile be found by hiring managers and recruiters.

Here are a few examples of LinkedIn headlines that spell out how to create a LinkedIn profile in 2021:

  • Senior SEO Consultant & Founder at TechBiz ▸Premium SEO Services for Enterprises
  • Google-Certified Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Web Developer | I Help Companies Rank #1 on Google
  • Digital Analyst | Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker & Futurist
  • IT Project Manager | SOF Veteran | Digital Anthropologist

3. Create a Summary Statement

A summary statement or your about section takes what you stated in your headline and gives it depth. The best LinkedIn profiles for 2021 continue to sell themselves but with greater context. Besides your photo and headline, summaries are the first item people view on your profile. Provide the introductory information employers will need to determine if you qualify as a candidate.

You can mention your title, its description, brief experience, and goals moving forward. However, like anything, selling yourself has no room for mediocrity. When learning how to create a LinkedIn profile for 2021, you want to state all of this in an intriguing yet concise way.

Furthermore, you also don’t have to stick to one type of summary. Instead, narrow it down to these LinkedIn profile examples:

The Mission-Based

woman choosing coworker as one of job references and showing her resume

Spin your summary with the intention on how you can help the employer. Many of these types of summaries deal with clients.

  • I give clients the overall picture that best fits their cause in a functioning website. Currently, I develop websites for multi-million dollar corporations in the gaming industry. I have reduced bounce rates by 30% and will continue to push toward 40%. Companies that I have collaborated with are GameFAQs, Metacritic, and Shockwave. My specialties include optimizing the user experience and identifying user behavior.

The Personality

The personality, the more creative of the three, tells users a unique story of how you got into your industry. A word of caution: do not make it too lengthy.

  • I love creating nothing into something and getting the right people to notice. I’m obsessed with the feedback loop in the user experience. UX Design isn’t just tools, technology, or the latest growth hack. It’s about telling your brand’s story. The rest follows.

The Short-and-Sweet

Make it easy and straight to the point. Recruiters and some human resources professionals probably look at 100 profiles, resumes, and summary statements a day. So, give them the necessary information they need in a concise format.

  • Digital marketing specialist and media enthusiast with six years of experience of in associate-level online strategies for B2B and B2C such as SEO, lead generation, online advertising, and website development. Google Ads certified, detail-oriented, and rising leader in organizational branding and corporate identity. Worked within start-ups to multi-million dollar corporations.

4. Choose a Background Image

Along with a headshot, a background image for your LinkedIn header is another great LinkedIn profile tip for 2021. Only 20% of people remember what they read while 80% of people remember what they see and do. Therefore, to be remembered, it’s best to take a visual approach when you can.

Choose an image that demonstrates your personal brand, interests, or an image that’s relevant to the industry you’re in. Several different websites exist across the web that give you free templates and photos. When choosing a design, be sure it has a high resolution and looks professional. If you choose to incorporate text, check to see if any of it is cut off before publishing.

linkedin profile example of Dan Jones of IT Resources with background image

5. Showcase Your Professional Work

Think of your LinkedIn Profile as your professional portfolio. Utilize the project section on your LinkedIn profile for showcasing your work that is related to your profession. Upload media, presentations, and videos to showcase your projects, publications, course work, or volunteer experience.

6. Obtain references and endorsements

Reconnect with old colleagues and managers to receive references and endorsements. After sending connections to colleagues and managers, consider asking for a reference or endorsement. A reference is simply a professional recommendation featured at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile. An endorsement is a connection indicating that you excel in a particular skill. Both items help boost professionalism.

Have you found yourself scrolling through job boards, applying to positions, and not hearing anything back during your job search even if you know how to create a LinkedIn profile in 2021? Consider stepping away from the job boards and contact IT Resources, a career counselor specializing in the tech industry.

best linkedin profile tips for endorsements and recommendations

IT Resources works year-round to provide the path for successful placements. Our success is attributed to communication, patience, and expertise in matching people and positions. Contact us today to see how we can help you take the stress away from the holiday job hunt and find you your next opportunity.