Whether you’re an avid LinkedIn user or you’re just learning the ropes, you really should be thinking about how you can maximise your LinkedIn profile, especially if you’re using it for professional gain. You should effectively think of it as your very own online CV, therefore being an extremely valuable tool for your career development.
If you want to start getting recognised more, then having a LinkedIn profile can increase your reputation in your particular field. Building relationships is a vital aspect in business, and LinkedIn is a fantastic way to start making these connections. It is worth remembering that if you have been called for an interview, chances are they would have already checked you out on LinkedIn and gained a first impression before they have even met you. This is why it is vital your profile is always looking the best it possibly can, so you are putting across the right message. Here are a few handy tips that will ensure your LinkedIn profile is going to show you off as an excellent employee.
When employers or other users have searched your name into LinkedIn, the first thing that is going to get their attention is the picture of you. This is why you should make sure your picture depicts you as a professional. It is safe to say that no Instagram selfies are welcome here, but instead a recognisable and recent photo will do the trick. It will sometimes help to get a couple of head-shots done to portray yourself professionally. Because of the nature of LinkedIn, you don’t have the advantage of meeting face-to-face, so this picture will tell a lot about you within the first few seconds of looking at it, so make it worthwhile.
Again, you can make an impression in the first few seconds, but this time it is with the headline. These 120 characters should include your most important attributes to make sure you’re selling yourself in the right way. Many people forget that you can edit your headline whenever you want, but it is specific to you so utilise it how you wish. The headline is where you can promote your brand statement, expertise and marketing message, so it may only be a few sentences, but make it memorable. The key to an effective headline is to use search-friendly key words, be specific, but most importantly be creative. What is it that is going to set you aside from your competitors and ultimately make you more hireable?
As mentioned before, this is effectively an online CV, so career history is obviously important and something that employers will want to read when looking at your profile. You must be aware that the older the job, the less relevant it will be, therefore you must ensure that minimal is written about older positions. Likewise, it is not imperative that you include every single job you have had, but make it selective to ensure that the ones you do write about are suitable for your target market, and where you can demonstrate the skills you’ve acquired to your best advantage.
Lastly, another important tip for your LinkedIn profile, is displaying links to LinkedIn groups that you are apart of. By doing so, you will demonstrate your existing interests and career inspirations when your profile is searched. This will really benefit you when employers who post jobs are looking for specific candidates. Being associated with these groups will make you more recognisable to employers, which in turn can speed up the hiring process. Again, don’t be afraid to link up your profile with other social networking sites such as Twitter, or an online blog that illustrates your work. This is a great way of gaining more recognition, and a little extra information that employers can learn about you when they see your profile. Just make sure when you do link up another profile, that the content is of course entirely suitable.
By Content Assistant – India Minns – @IndiaMinns