I cannot stress the importance of having a complete LinkedIn profile. As a social media/community manager, part of my job is reviewing profiles of LinkedIn users interested in participating in the company’s LinkedIn groups. Here are a few things I look for when I say a “complete LinkedIn profile:”

A decent photo of yourself: Not you and your pet, spouse, sorority/fraternity etc.
I think people have forgotten the importance of a photo on LinkedIn. I once saw a woman posing over a beer pong table with the title “retail professional.” Nothing about her profile screamed “professional.”

Have a summary: You don’t have to write a book. Just a brief summary of your skills and current aspirations. This should wet your visitor’s appetite. If they’re interested in finding out more, they’ll continue to scroll.

Use keywords in your headline: If you’re looking to grab someone’s attention, your photo won’t be the only one working for it. Your headline plays a critical role in driving visits to your profile. Hint: Along with your photo and name, it’s one of the first things people search for on LinkedIn. It should be used as a summary of your skills/what you do.

Additional things you can do to build your profile are:
Join groups: How else will you find like-minded peers? Yes, you can so long legwork and head to conferences, etc. but you could also build meaningful relationships online. Of course, you already know this since you’ve created a LinkedIn account.

Include previous jobs: This is practically a given, but some people will forget. Although it’s important to know where you are today, companies/recruiters want to see where you’ve been and the skills you’ve acquired over the years. Be proud to boast a bit.

Ask for recommendations/Endorse others: It’s one thing if you’re saying you’re good, but when someone else can vouch for your, it’s even better. Give recommendations to/endorse those you’ve worked with in the past, they’ll return the favor.