9 steps for building a linkedin profile as a cybersecurity professional

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Linkedin is a business and employment focused social media site. It acts an online resume that showcases people’s work experience, education, certifications, connections and anything else related to their career. 98% of recruiters and 85% of hiring managers use Linkedin to find or research candidates for a job. It’s one of the first things people will use to judge you and if you don’t have one it can cause some people to question if the experience on your resume is legitimate. Also, because of the visual element many people prefer to look at online resumes instead of a plain pdf document. At this point I would argue linkedin is a must have most professionals. Making a linkedin profile is completely free so there’s almost no reason not to have it. Here are 9 tips for making a good linkedin profile:

1) Create an account

First thing to do is go to linkedin.com and register. It’s completely free and guides you through step by step on what you need to do in order to create an effective profile. This includes adding your work experience, education, adding contacts etc. Linkedin doesn’t make a distinction between paid and unpaid work so you can put things like personal projects, volunteer work, your own business etc. You want to keep it professional but I would suggest personalizing it as much as possible, don’t think you can only add “real” job experience.

2) Add a professional photo

Linkedin profiles are 33% more likely to be looked at when they have a profile picture. It doesn’t have to be a professional picture, although professional pictures are good. Just make sure that it is clear and a good representation of you so that you make a good first impression.

3) Write a good summary

Linkedin has a summary section that goes at the top of your profile. It’s a chance to highlight your best qualities in a short concise way. This is important because people may not look at your whole profile but if you demonstrate value and expertise in that short summary people are much more likely to take you seriously and read the rest of your profile. 

4) Add links to your other online portfolios

Linkedin has a feature that lets you link to other websites on your profile. So if you have a Github, a blog, youtube etc you want to make that part of your profile so people find it when they find you. Depending on your field this can be really useful if you have something that you want to show that linkedin doesn’t directly support.

5) Create a unique linkedin URL

When people are trying to find your linkedin they usually just google your name, so you want to have a linkedin URL that is customized to your name so it will appear whenever someone tries to search you up. For example if your name is John Doe, you want a linkedin profile that’s something like www.linkedin.com/in/johnDoe as opposed to www.linkedin.com/in/johndoe3254543.

6) Add Recommendations

Social proof is an important part of marketing yourself. People are more likely to view you positively and have confidence in your abilities if they see that other people have confidence in you. So if you have any co-workers, friends, family, managers etc that you can speak to your character or abilities ask for a recommendation. Linkedin has a built in feature where you can request recommendations and have it featured on your profile.

7) Add Connections and join Cybersecurity groups

Once you have the profile setup you want to add as many relevant connections as possible. This includes people you know, recruiters in your area and other people in your field. The more people you have the better. That’s more people that will see your profile. Also, when you have mutual connections people are more likely to accept your connection requests or answer you if you message them about something. Linkedin also has groups that are dedicated to certain career fields. You can search for groups that are relevant to the area of cybersecurity that you are interested in.

8) Change your settings to let recruiters know you’re available

You can change your profile to state whether or not you’re open to jobs from recruiters. You can state the type of job, the type of contract, the location and salary range. If you’re using linkedin to get job offers then you should definitely have this up to date and let recruiters know you’re interested.

9) Keep it updated

The last tip is to update your profile regularly. If you’re going to use it as an online resume you want to update it with your latest information, such as your experiences, certifications, contact information etc.