Do you only think of LinkedIn as a place for you to dump your CV? Think again. Whether you are looking for work or just wanting to maintain your professional brand, LinkedIn is one of the most important social networking tools for professionals.
Have you loaded your profile on LinkedIn ‘half heartedly’ or have not yet created one at all? Don’t worry, I got your back, here is how to up your LinkedIn game now.
A LinkedIn picture is worth a thousand words
First impressions last, and your profile picture is that. You want to project an image on LinkedIn of someone who is open, reliable and trustworthy. Even LinkedIn gives the following advice: no party animal pictures, no baby and mommy pics, no pics showing us how much you love your cat.
Tip: Have a professional profile picture taken. If your work is more informal, still have a professional picture taken but in a more relaxed environment.
Write a comprehensive and captivating summary
Your experience summary is critical, this is where you provide an overview of the value you bring, and it entices people to want to know more about you. Include your most notable achievements, a summary of your superpowers, and close with what makes you unique. Consider how many profiles a recruiter will read in a day, make your summary is ‘scannable.’
Tip: This entails writing copy that is light, not text heavy, and uses subheadings and bullet points where appropriate.
Think of LinkedIn as a mini Google, and so you need to be ‘searchable’. Use key words in your profile that is related to your job and skill set so that the right people may find you and so that LinkedIn can make suggestions personalised to you. Be descriptive (don’t make stuff up) and as succinct as possible using key words.
Tip: Use your key word e.g. Visual Design, in your title, and throughout your experience summary and through every element of your profile.
Claim your custom LinkedIn URL
Grab your custom link URL, here with the steps from LinkedIn. Go to profile, edit profile, and edit profile URL. The standard allocated URL from LinkedIn is https://www.linkedin.com/in/name-surname-893a6954/. When you claim your URL you can drop the hyphen and numbers at the end. It just adds a nice finishing touch to your profile. Also it looks neat when you put it on your business card or email signature.
Tip: Claim your name as your URL it just makes your life so much easier
Network, network, network
Aim to have at least 100 professional connection on LinkedIn. These need to be meaningful connections, of colleagues, business partners, and clients. Also, you may also search for groups which are relevant to your job, industry, and passion and join these. Joining groups will allow you to further build your professional network.
Tip: Join the Alumni network from your university or college, this is good way to build an authentic network on LinkedIn.
Endorsements and Recommendations
Endorsements are ‘virtual’ likes that any people can tick for your listed skill sets. However, a recommendation is a personal reference from one LinkedIn user to another. You may request a LinkedIn recommendation from LinkedIn itself, and these are the steps. A LinkedIn recommendation is a powerful way to add value to your professional brand.
Tip: Reach out to coworkers, bosses, clients whom you delivered excellent quality work for and request a recommendation.
Today, having a LinkedIn profile is not optional – it is pretty much expected that every professional will have an up to date LinkedIn profile. It is really dodgy if you don’t have one!
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