LinkedIn is the most popular professional social networking site and is increasingly becoming a directory for employers, customers, competitors, friends, (and maybe even foes) to look you up.
Your LinkedIn profile is a snapshot of the brand you are sharing with the entire world, whether that brand is you, or your company. With that in mind, it’s vital that you make sure you optimize your visibility, and give yourself the best possible chance to be next up for a promotion, pay hike, securing a new business client or even a new job altogether!
WHAT IS LINKEDIN?
If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance that you already have a LinkedIn profile and you have a good idea of what LinkedIn is, so you don’t need me to go through this with you, but just in case you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, and you’ve wondered what all the fuss is about, here’s a great video which sums it all up nicely.
The best way to maximise your LinkedIn profile is to fill in all of the information!
That sounds so obvious, right? Yet, you’d be surprised by the amount of people who don’t do it! One of the main reasons people don’t get round to filling out the information is because it can be time consuming, but remember that you are filling this out to showcase your skills, your experience and your expertise, so the only person who will be losing out if these aren’t maximised is… Yep, you guessed it, you!
Let’s look at some of the main fields in a LinkedIn Profile and how to complete these fields to maximise your profile:
PHOTO – People network with people, and if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile photo, you are invisible. Not having a photograph means people could have a suspicious view of your profile. Having a photograph shows that you are for real and puts a face to the name, and the profile. Besides, what’s the point of being on a social networking website and not displaying who you are?
WORD OF ADVICE: Please make sure your photograph is appropriate. Remember that this is a professional social networking site where you are attracting people with whom you want to do business with. If your profile picture is from a fancy dress party you went to, where you were dressed and could barely stand at the end of the night, think about the impression you are giving people of who you are. Remember, first impressions are everything and a lot of the time, a first impression can be a visual one, so make it count and make sure it’s appropriate.
SUMMARY – The profile summary is very important for search engine visibility. It’s also your chance to give people a concise look at you. Write your profile summary in the first person and be sure to include your skills, experience and anything that you think helps you stand out from the crowd. Make sure to add in any keywords in the ‘Specialties’ section of the summary, which will also score bonus points with search engines. You can use up to 2,000 words here, but don’t use every last one, it’s called a summary after all!
EXPERIENCE – Include as many details as possible about your previous and current work experience. More and more recruiters (and people in Human Resources) are using LinkedIn for candidate searching and they do this by searching for key words, so make your profile is filled with the relevant buzz words that are associated with your role. The location is very important as well, as recruiters usually look for potential candidates close to the client’s location first.
SKILLS – Be sure to locate the Skills section on LinkedIn. If this is not already on your profile page, you can add it from the ‘Add Section’ link. (To make life easier, click here). This allows you to add skills to your profile from LinkedIn’s pre-loaded list and show off your abilities, but make sure you only add the skills that are relevant to your goals.
RECOMMENDATIONS – Earning recommendations is the best way to add credibility to your profile. To have a 100% complete profile, you’ll need at least 3 recommendations. Be sure to maximise this section by getting recommendations from the right people. If you are looking to generate new business, it’s vital for you to get recommendations from clients that you have worked with in the past, who endorse you and your quality of work. If you are looking for career opportunities, it is vital for you to get recommendations from managers that you have previously worked with who can endorse your skills, experience and the positive impact you had whilst working for them.
FINAL TIP: GOOGLE YOURSELF! – Google loves LinkedIn, and this means that it is great with Search Engine Optimisation. Don’t just take my word for it: If you’re already on LinkedIn, I want you to Google yourself and see what comes up. Unless you have an extremely common name like John Smith, there’s a very high chance that one of the top links is to YOUR LinkedIn profile! Now, with that in mind, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’re selling yourself as effectively as you could be when you’re being Googled?
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
These tips are a great way to kick-start maximising your profile, however there is a lot more to LinkedIn, including Groups, News, Company Pages and so much more that can help to boost your profile!
If you’d like to learn more tips and tricks that are specifically suited to your area of business, please do not hesitate to contact us to see how we could help deliver a bespoke training session on effectively maximising LinkedIn for you, whether you’re an individual looking to use LinkedIn to find a new job, or a company looking to maximise LinkedIn for a range of business purposes.