How to create an awesome LinkedIn profile

Your first step to networking for medical writing, and why you need a LinkedIn profile to market yourself.

This article includes 3 main sections:

1. Why is a LinkedIn profile important?

2. What do I need to create an awesome LinkedIn profile?

3. How will I know that my LinkedIn profile is working?

1. Why is a LinkedIn profile important?

Your LinkedIn profile is important for so many reasons – here are 10:

  1. It proves you are a real person – there is only one YOU, so claim your name!
  2. You can advertise yourself and your skills, as well as previous experience
  3. It’s always on – even if you are asleep someone can look you up
  4. It’s an extension of your personality – putting in the effort to make your LinkedIn profile awesome shows that you care about how you represent yourself as a professional
  5. Permanent references – you can get recommendations from people who have worked with as proof of your skills, directly from their LinkedIn profile (and give one in return too!)
  6. You can include links to your portfolio or website
  7. Upload a copy of your CV, or keep a record of your work history
  8. Feature articles or posts that you’re proud of (a type of free portfolio)
  9. Build connections with people in the industry so you show up on search results (like Google)
  10. Keywords help recruiters and employers find you

You can also use your LinkedIn profile to “easy apply” to jobs on LinkedIn.

2. What do I need to create an awesome LinkedIn profile?

I recommend that your first step is to go and look at other profiles, because it’s hard to imagine what yours will look like unless you’ve seen examples of what you like.

Have a look at profiles that you find impressive and put your own unique twist on it for your profile. It’s always good to look for inspiration off LinkedIn too – to be original and stand out from the crowd.

The most important parts of your profile are your name and your profile picture. Make sure your photo is clear and professional.

My profile picture, name and banner on LinkedIn
  • Your name should be your real name and you can include your credentials, such as BSc, MSc, PhD. You can include an emoji to spice it up 😊

You can change how visible your profile is to people who are not connected with you.

Optional extras: Record how to say your name or include an introductory video clip of yourself. This adds the “human element” to your profile and you can show your personality.

  • Include a banner at the top, and you can use Canva to make it online for free. A LinkedIn banner is 2000 x 600 pixels, which is a huge space to market yourself.

    Here’s an example of a clear photo, and a banner used for marketing. To view the video, you click on the profile picture.
My profile picture and banner on LinkedIn.
  • Make sure the words and hashtags under your name are the most relevant to your profile.
My name, keyword tags and hashtags on LinkedIn.
  • For example here, I have put “Pharmacist” and “Medical copywriter for health brands” as my primary keywords. I’ve also put #pharmacist and #medicalwriter underneath. To get hashtags, you need to “switch on” creator mode on your LinkedIn profile.

You can find creator mode under resources on your LinkedIn profile.

Creator mode is under resources, here you can see the green square to show it is on.
  • You have 2,600 characters that you can use to fill in your “About” section. Be sure to include as much detail and as many keywords as possible to help people find your LinkedIn profile.
My About section on LinkedIn is packed with keywords, skills and my most recent 2 years of experience.
  • Keep your experience section up to date, with around 2 to 5 years worth of relevant work experience. If you freelance or provide other services, create a section for it here so it’s visible 😊
My experience section on LinkedIn.
  • Include relevant education, especially any degrees that you have achieved.
My university degree in the Education section of my LinkedIn profile.
  • Add as many skills as you can think of in your “Skills” section. It’s awesome if you can complete a “LinkedIn skill assessment” to test your knowledge on a particular skill and get a badge for your profile.
Some of my skills, and an SEO Passed LinkedIn Skill Assessment badge.
  • Include the languages you can speak, and the level you can speak them at in the “Languages” section.
You can see I can speak 2 languages, English and Arabic.
  • Fill in the causes you care about at the very bottom of your profile.
Causes I care about include health, education, the environment, human rights, and science and technology.
  • When you post on LinkedIn, you can feature your posts on your profile. It’s a good idea to post about your achievements or pieces of work from your portfolio, or publications. Maybe even books or an article you’ve read recently, and a short review.
The features section on my LinkedIn profile shows a recent post, a collaboration article and a book review.

3. How will I know that my LinkedIn profile is working?

You’ll know your LinkedIn profile is working when:

  1. You start to get recruiters to reach out to you through direct messages.
  2. You start to get a lot of profile views, which means the keywords you are using are helping you turn up on search results.
  3. People who have similar jobs to you start to send you connection requests

On your profile, LinkedIn shows a summary of how many profile views you’ve had, and how many times you’ve appeared in search.

Analytics for my profile on LinkedIn showing how many times I’ve appeared in search.

If you click on search appearances, you can see more information such as what keywords people are using to find you.

Clicking search appearances shows keywords people have used to find me.

And you can also see the job titles of the people who are searching for you.

The job titles of people who are searching for my profile include recruiters.

Published by Virginia Chachati

I am a UK GPhC registered Pharmacist from London. I love to write easy to understand health and wellness content. My goal is to help empower people to better their own health.

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