Are you thinking of going to AfroTech this year? The event will bring together more than 6,000 Black tech professionals from November 8 to 10 at the Oakland Convention Center.
It’ll be an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders – even your next employer.
But to turn chance meetings into career-changing relationships, you need to come prepared. You need an all-star LinkedIn profile, ready to impress your newest connections.
The following four steps will help you revamp your profile for AfroTech:
Step 1: Choose the right profile picture
Your profile picture is the first thing people see when they look you up. Just having one gets you more profile views and connection requests. You want to make sure it’s professional, approachable, and friendly.
Tips for choosing a solid profile picture:
- Use a photo that looks like you. Make sure it’s recent.
- Crop the picture to show the top of your shoulders and a bit of space above your head. You want your face to fill about 60 percent of the frame.
- Wear what you’d wear to work – or to the job you want.
- Choose a simple, non-distracting background. You want to be the focal point of your picture.
(If you want a new profile photo, stop by LinkedIn’s AfroTech booth. You’ll be able to take a new headshot on the spot.)
Step 2: Use a headline that’s more than your job title
On your LinkedIn profile, your headline appears right under your name. Sure, you could just list your job title. But that’s a missed opportunity. Why? Because your headline accompanies your name and photo everywhere on the platform: updates, comments, and search results. Your headline is a critical part of your first impression.
Tips for writing a strong headline:
- Keep it quick. Your headline should sum up what you do in a few words.
- Make it memorable. Think of your headline as a tagline.
- Let it be you. Your headline should be unique to your personality and your job.
Step 3: Write a summary that tells your story
“Recent CS grad looking for engineering opportunities in the Bay Area.” Sound familiar? Generic summaries don’t show people who you are, what you bring to the table, or how passionate you are about your work. These are essential ingredients if you want to stand out to recruiters and potential employers. So, use your summary to list your passions, accomplishments, and professional mission. In other words, tell people why they should connect with you.
Tips for writing your summary:
- Tell a story. This is a chance for people to get to know you through the challenges you’ve overcome.
- Highlight qualifications and achievements that don’t stand out in your work experience.
- Write in the first person. Third-person summaries can sound impersonal and formal. Just be yourself.
- Link to your work. Share your portfolio URL, GitHub account, or any samples that show what you can do.
Step 4: Highlight your achievements in each role
It’s crucial to list recent jobs in the experience section of your profile. But you can take it one step further: add a brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments in the role. Just a few sentences can help people understand what you achieved – and what you’re capable of doing.
Tips for filling out your experience:
- Let your resume guide you. Condense bullet points into a few, short sentences that describe the role.
- Include everything. Freelance projects, part-time gigs, and volunteer work count, too.
- Use action verbs. Words like “achieved,” “built,” “designed,” and “solved” put you at the center of your accomplishments.
That’s it. Your profile is ready to impress during and after AfroTech.
Two bonus tips for using the LinkedIn mobile app at the event:
- Turn on Find Nearby to see who else is in the room and who you want to say hello to.
- Use your LinkedIn QR code to easily and quickly connect with people you get introduced to.
By the way:
LinkedIn will be at AfroTech too. Our team would love to meet you, talk about what it’s like to work at our company, and chat about your job opportunities here.
Share your profile with us and stop by to say hi, November 8 to 10 at the Oakland Convention Center.
This post is sponsored by LinkedIn.