Career Planning Finding a Job How To Sign Up and Log In To LinkedIn By Alison Doyle Alison Doyle Facebook Twitter Website Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts and has counseled both students and corporations on hiring practices. She has given hundreds of interviews on the topic for outlets including The New York Times, BBC News, and LinkedIn. Alison founded CareerToolBelt.com and has been an expert in the field for more than 20 years. learn about our editorial policies Updated on September 13, 2022 Fact checked by Hilarey Gould Fact checked by Hilarey Gould Twitter Website Hilarey Gould has spent 10+ years in the digital media space, where she's developed a passion for helping people understand economics, saving, investing, credit card perks, mortgage rates, and more. Hilarey is the editorial director for The Balance and has held full-time and freelance roles at a variety of financial media companies including realtor.com, Bankrate, and SmartAsset. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri, and a bachelor's in journalism and professional writing from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). learn about our editorial policies Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article How To Sign Up for LinkedIn Creating a Business Page How To Log In to LinkedIn Start Your Profile With a Great Photo Write Your LinkedIn Headline Summarize Your Credentials Create Your Experience Profile Stand Out From the Crowd on LinkedIn Networking on LinkedIn Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Photo: Nitat Termmee / Getty Images LinkedIn is the leading online directory of professionals and companies. Both individuals and companies use LinkedIn for professional networking, recruiting, job searching, career building, and staying in touch with connections. Many companies use LinkedIn's Talent Solutions, a tool that helps a hiring manager or recruiter use LinkedIn to find job candidates. Other companies use LinkedIn independently to find and recruit potential employees. Key Takeaways LinkedIn is a social media platform website for professionals to use to find and apply for jobs, network with others, and discuss career advice.Because so many employers use LinkedIn for hiring purposes, it is important for job seekers to have a strong presence on LinkedIn, and use the site actively.It is free to sign up, and you'll need an email address and phone number, and a username and password.To log in, you'll need to go to LinkedIn.com and fill in your username and password. There's also a mobile app you can use on your smartphone. How To Sign Up for LinkedIn In order to log in to LinkedIn, you'll first need to sign up to join. It's free—and simple—to create a LinkedIn account. You can do it on your phone via the mobile app or on the website, LinkedIn.com. Here's how: Visit LinkedIn.com or download the mobile appEnter your first and last nameEnter your email addressCreate a password (choose your own password; must be six or more characters)Click “Join now” Your LinkedIn password is case-sensitive. Strong passwords contain letters, numbers, and special characters. If you ever forget your password you can ask to have it reset, and a link will be sent to the email you used when you enrolled. Once you've set up your profile, you'll be able to add your work experience, education, skills, and other credentials. Here's the best way to use LinkedIn. Creating a Business Page If you are building a business page, you will also need to select the size of the business you have or if the page is for an educational institute or to showcase the company. LinkedIn offers specific tools to help you grow your network, depending on the type of company page you build. How To Log In to LinkedIn Once you have created a profile, you'll be able to sign in to your LinkedIn account to update your profile, connect with networking contacts, send messages to those contacts, job search, find information on hiring companies, and join career and business-related groups. Here's how to log in: Visit LinkedInEnter your email addressEnter your passwordClick “Sign in”You should be brought to your "Home" page. Click on "Me" in the top right corner of the page to go to your profile and make any edits. Note It's important to log in to LinkedIn regularly to work on building your network of contacts and to keep your profile updated. Start Your Profile With a Great Photo After you sign up for a LinkedIn account, you'll be able to create your LinkedIn profile. Most businesses and individuals start with a friendly and engaging photograph. Here are a few things to consider with your photo: The photo should be a recent headshot and look professionalMake sure your face is centered in the image and wear work-appropriate clothingFor a business, this can be your company logo or another image Add a Background Image LinkedIn also offers you an option to add a background or cover photo to your profile page. If you choose to do this, use an image related to your professional life. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you might include an image you created. If you are an art historian, you could add an image of a painting you have written about. Write Your LinkedIn Headline The headline will appear just below your photo or business logo. This item should be short, catchy, and describe what makes you unique. It can be your current job title, industry, or type of professional that you are. Note Make your headline stand out by describing your primary skill or ability. For example, "A data-crunching research firm that crushes the competition" or "Top accountant to small and large clients alike." And something like “Technology products branding exec looking to make small businesses skyrocket” shows how you might add value to a company. Your LinkedIn Headline is essentially the online brand that you're putting out there to the world. Your headline, name, and photo are the first things a LinkedIn user sees when searching LinkedIn and discovering your profile. Those elements determine whether the reader will click through to your full profile. Summarize Your Credentials Add a summary at the top of your profile, which is similar to a resume summary. The summary should give a general overview of skills and abilities. List your career goals and the strengths you can bring to the team. Include any specialized degrees, coding languages, or experience. Note Look at your summary as your personal brand and keep it focused on you. Your LinkedIn Summary section can be relatively freeform and written in the first-person as a narrative or a professional introduction like someone might give as they introduce you before a speech. Create Your Experience Profile You should include in your profile all the same information as your current resume or curriculum vitae (CV). This information will include your past and present employment, education, volunteer experience, and skills. Use your profile like a resume and provide prospective employers with detailed information about your skills and experience. Note With a more complete LinkedIn profile, you're more likely to be contacted by a recruiter or employer. Include promotions you may have received at a position. Also, add any accomplishments you had while with the firm. If you reduced customer wait time by instituting a new system, handled the preparation of bringing a new system online, or created a better organization of files for the company, for example, include these efforts. As you build this section, LinkedIn will offer to include the company's logo if they also have a LinkedIn page. Adding the logo will allow those viewing your profile to navigate to the company and see the information contained there. Add samples of work you completed for clients. Add Recommendations Ask clients and colleagues to write testimonials about your work and work ethic. These comments give prospective employers an idea of how you work with others in a business setting. Note One of the best ways to get LinkedIn recommendations is by giving them to others. Your connections will be more likely to give you a recommendation in return if you have provided them with one. Add Skills LinkedIn offers various skills assessments that you can take and include in your profile. These include technical, business, design, and general assessments. Stand Out From the Crowd on LinkedIn Finally, make your profile unique. If you're simply creating a dull laundry list of previous jobs, add some elements to jazz up your profile. These elements can include a presentation video, a speech you gave, or a link to an article you've published. Click on “Add New Profile Section,” and then click on “Accomplishments,” to see how to add a project or other unique component to your page. You can also add volunteer experience, certifications and licenses, and your education. Networking on LinkedIn It's critical to put in the time to build your profile, add to your connections, and effectively use your contacts to aid in your job search. Note It's important to give back and help your LinkedIn connections when they need careers advice and referrals for jobs. Networking is about building relationships rather than just asking for assistance, and it works both ways. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) What is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a website for career professionals to network and find jobs. You can use it on a desktop computer or via the mobile app on a smartphone. It's free to use and all you have to do is sign up with an email address and password. How much is LinkedIn Premium? LinkedIn Premium is the paid version of LinkedIn. It costs $29.99 per month for individuals and $69.99 per month for businesses. It allows you to look at others' profiles anonymously, send more messages to others, and more. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. LinkedIn. "About LinkedIn." LinkedIn. "Talent Solutions." LinkedIn. "Signing Up to Join LinkedIn." LinkedIn. "Sign Up." LinkedIn. "Create a LinkedIn Page." LinkedIn. "Signing In and Out of Your Account." LinkedIn. "Available Skill Assessments on LinkedIn." LinkedIn. "LinkedIn Premium."