LinkedIn is a very important networking tool. Many employers look at it to either recruit someone or to glance over your profile for research if you happen to be interviewing for them. You can also use it to meet new people to expand your network in whatever field you are looking to be in. As for building the best profile, my suggestion is to list all of your education, associations, volunteering, honors, interests, and any applicable experience towards your career. Join LinkedIn networking groups in your field or your school. Keep your profile up to date and look at job openings on the site. With a good amount of work you should be able add to your network in no time.
This is a question that comes up often, and honestly it is up to you how you choose to leverage the network. I have connected with people I have never met in person, but if that same person was to ask me for a referral and I have never worked with them before then I would not give them one even if they were a connection of mine.
If you were connected to a ton of people you don't know, then it defeats the purpose of having a LinkedIn profile all together. It is meant for networking, and if you expect that someone you never met is going to help you in your career, just make sure to be active with them on the network (commenting, liking, following them).
First I would decide what you want LinkedIn to do for you. Are you wanting to job hunt, network or just feel you should have a profile on there because a lot of people have profiles on LinkedIn who are in the workplace.
Then I would look at the areas to complete before completing them. What I mean by this, is draft up your content outside of the platform. By not rushing this will enable you to edit offline and give you time to reflect on the content you will publish the the world.
The photo you upload should reflect you and not what you anticipate your audience will want you to be. If you are job hunting though, make sure you present yourself appropriately.
One thing which annoys me about LinkedIn, is people treating it like Facebook for the workplace, keep it professional.
1. Photo For starters, add a photo. It helps you build credibility with others and be authentic. It doesn’t need to be perfect or professionally shot. Just choose something recent that shows the real you. And when you upload it, you can enhance it with our ﬁlters.
2. Location Details are good. The more you add to your proﬁle, the more LinkedIn can help you ﬁnd your next opportunity. When you add your location, you’re more likely to be contacted by recruiters and employers about jobs in your area.
3. Summary This is your career snapshot. Think of it as your personal “elevator pitch.” Describe what you do and highlight your strengths. Pro tips: Stick to a few short paragraphs. Lose the jargon. And be your authentic self.
4. Experience Starting with your current position, write about projects, accomplishments, and the value you bring to your team and organization. Keep it clear and concise. Bullet points work great here.
5. Pictures and videos Adding media is a great way to engage other people. Posting photos, videos, and more helps you tell your professional story in eye-catching ways.
6. Education Be sure to include where you went to school and what you studied. People who list these details get up to 11x more proﬁle views.
7. Endorsements Add skills you want to be known for—and that your connections can endorse you for. Every new endorsement adds credibility to your profile.
I used to work at LinkedIn for 2.5 years prior to coming to Google.
I've learned a lot about what makes a good LinkedIn profile while being there. The three tips I have for you is:
1. Upload a professional photo. It's important to be able to put a face to the name and it tends to get more clicks and humanizes your work experience.
2. Fill out a summary with a short introduction to your career path. You can write about what you're passionate about, your interests, why you chose your major and what kind of jobs or roles you're interested in. This helps employers and recruiters piece everything together rather than guess.
3. Include the experiences you have in your extracurriculars from school or outside of school as work experience. For instance, if you are in a club in a certain role you have developed great skills that can transfer to work skills, don't cut yourself short, include them!
Feel free to check out my profile here if you want to use it as an example: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lenasernoff/
Hope this helps!