Professional Development Corner: How to Effectively Use Your LinkedIn Profile


Dear Job Seeker,

Have you spent endless hours customizing your LinkedIn profile, but still aren't hearing from employers or seeing results? Whether you're in the middle of the job search process, or have just entered the vast museum world as an Emerging Museum Professional (EMP), WMA's tips on how to best optimize your LinkedIn profile, might prove useful.

With 660+ million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is a social network devoted to creating professional networking and economic opportunities for the global workforce. Designed for job-seekers and companies, LinkedIn allows users to showcase their skills, advertise job opportunities, and connect with employers, recruiters, and industry colleagues. However, when it comes to representing yourself as an experienced museum professional and placing yourself infront of employers, maximizing LinkedIn's capabilities go far beyond simply adding your relevant work experience and skillset to your profile.


When formating your LinkedIn profile, you should:

  • Include a quality, up-to-date profile picture.

  • Choose a compelling headline. This does not necessarily need to be your title and/or institution, but something that best describes and represents you. Get creative! 

  • Highlight your unique personality in the "About" section. This is the opportunity for others to get to know you, your passion, and your core values.

  • Format your profile in a clear way that concisely draws attention to only pertinent jobs and skills. Remove all out-of-date information and keep your text short.

  • Incorporate keywords that are relevant to the museum sector to help recruiters and organizations find you. Google Trends is a good keyword tool to use.

  • If you're interested in mulitple areas of work or switiching roles/industries, keep your profile "broad" by making your experience easily transferable.


Beyond your LinkedIn profile, you should:

  • Proactively and thoughtfully connect with employeers, colleagues, and industry professionals to expand your presence within the online museum community. LinkedIn makes it easy to stay in touch and keep reciprocal relationships.

  • Request recommendations to validate your professional ability and character. Be strategic in who you ask.

  • Trade endorsements or have others endorse your specific skills to further enhance your credibility.

  • Actively join various museum-related LinkedIn groups like the WMA group. You should become a regular contributor within your groups by sharing content and adding to conversations.

  • Follow organization pages such as the WMA page to keep up-to-date on news and trends. These institutions should be of interest or those that you aspire to work for.

  • Search for people and view their profiles to learn about career progression. This will expose you to people who have had similar or different paths to yours.


Bottom line, you don't need to spend to hours making LinkedIn work for you. If you simply follow these little tips and tricks, you'll begin to see results as you move forward in your job search. If you plan to be in attendance at WMA's 2020 Annual Meeting this October in Portland, Oregon, you'll have a plethora of opportunities to meet professionals in your specific field and expand your LinkedIn network.




Written by Jessica Noyes - Communications Coordinator, The Western Museums Association


External Sources:

14 Tips for Getting Most out of LinkedIn - LinkedIn

How to Use LinkedIn Effectively - The Balance Careers

The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers

15 Ways Smart People Get the Most Out Of Their LinkedIn Profile

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