Folks often ask me about whether to be on LinkedIn, and if so , what to put in their LinkedIn user profile, who to connect with, or what the point of groups is. In this article, we will look at how to build a good LinkedIn profile – in contrast to many single profiles on LinkedIn whose quality can be poor and therefore give a bad impression of the profile owner.
I think it is fair to say that LinkedIn is among the most so-called “go-to” site for finding out about people’s professional profile. Insofar as you are a professional and LinkedIn is the leading social media site for employers plus recruiters, my personal view is that it has ceased to be possible NOT to have a presence on LinkedIn. Even if you are not very active on LinkedIn, let me recommend you at least be there and can be found on LinkedIn. Like keeping your CV current, becoming on LinkedIn is good professional house cleaning. But if you decide to be present, then it is important that your profile be of good quality, lest it backfire and negatively influence your professional image.
Recent analysis reveals what elements are important to headhunters and employers reviewing LinkedIn profiles: first comes experience (65%) – that is your track record plus work achievements which showcase whatever you are capable of; then comes education (37%); third are recommendations (31%) — which lend you credibility; and finally, last but not least, the fact that your profile is being kept updated (30%).
Tip #1 – work towards a complete profile
By now, I hope to have given you enough reasons to make the effort and invest in building up your own LinkedIn profile. As you set out to achieve this, you will see that LinkedIn guides you and, as you progress, keeps track of the degree of completeness of your profile. Though the site instructions you, it may at times feel complicated so take your time. What is often complicated is that there is a lot of redundancy in LinkedIn: that is to say that there are more than one way to do something – this is useful too however. If you get lost, scroll down the page and use the help centre. A few of the FAQs will sort you away straightaway but if not, ping an email with your query: my experience is that you simply will get a detailed, often step-by-step answer within a few days.
Tip #2 : ensure your profile looks great
Looking at some of the profiles on LinkedIn, I cannot help but be appalled I must confess:
– Numerous typos have me imagining the person must not care about the image they project;
– The profile is too sparsely inhabited making me wonder if that person is even real; and
– The roles they’ve had are not clear so I am unable to figure what they are capable of.
To my mind, it is like handing out to someone a business cards which is all crumpled up since you carried it for too long in your wallet. Would you do that? If not, then precisely why take such little care of your LinkedIn profile? Why does your shop window display dirty laundry instead of your gems? I have some to consider LinkedIn as a public database associated with CVs: I don’t think the creators of LinkedIn would agree with myself but I maintain that LinkedIn is a vast, global, directory of publicly-available resumes. I have yet to fulfill someone who does not want for their CV to look good so do the same with regards to your profile on LinkedIn.
Considering back to the issues I listed previously:
– Write your text within Word or an equivalent programme, spell-check it there and then copy-paste it in LinkedIn when it looks all polished. LinkedIn has no mean check functionality;
– Showcase your achievements at work and your professional expertise and come across as a three-dimensional person with a rich track record; and
— Ensure that the information you share is accurate and verifiable. Resist beefing up your profile because the short-term gain more than likely will lead to long-term discomfort…
Tip #3 – pay special attention to those key sections
– Always add a photo. It makes you a lot more tangibly real and creates a great impression. Make sure it is a good quality chance: some folks use a professionally-taken photo which usually need not cost an arm and a leg. At the least, do not use a photo of you inside a social setting (save that for the Facebook profile) and make sure all your face is visible. Lastly, remember to smile: do not show all your teeth somebody that a smile is an universally-recognised indication of welcome and warmth.
: Come up with an eye-catching tag line. That is the sentence fragment which appears just below your name. It will default to your latest role but I actually find this too restrictive and possibly confusing. Restrictive because you are NOT SIMPLY your latest role title. And confusing because many role titles will not make sense to third events. Your tag line is the very first thing people see when they land on your own profile so it will be fundamental towards the first impression they form of you. When I was still in financing, I did not have there “Managing Director at XYZ Firm” but rather “Highly experienced risk management professional” because I felt this was an appropriate summary associated with my risk track record. Looking back, it was not very snazzy. I hope You will find done better now…
– It is vital that you populate the Skills and Experience section. Not only will LinkedIn think about your profile incomplete if you do not yet those are the words within your profile which will be picked up by the search engines. LinkedIn has said that folks with their specialties filled receive 40% more visitors than those who do not – which is why these people made the section mandatory in relation to their notion of a complete profile. Highlight those skills which distinguish you. While having many skills great, what is even better is to be endorsed for the skills. Being endorsed lends a person credibility around your competencies. In case, after a while, some of your skills are left unendorsed, consider removing those people but you don’t have to. In my profile, I have a few unendorsed skills. All are genuine and verifiable (e. g. MBTI). Some bear witness to past expertise (e. g. Basel II) which, while less relevant today, remain a part of my career surroundings.
– Ask for recommendations.
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LinkedIn requires at least three in order for your user profile to be complete. I think five is a nice number. I actually do not want more than 10 as there seems to be a law of diminishing returns. Suggestions – just like endorsement for your abilities and expertise – give you legitimacy around your work accomplishments and career track record. While LinkedIn is seriously trawled by head hunters, employers and customers and while it has not really had the security issues some other social media sites have struggled with, there are phantom profiles on LinkedIn and there is spam floating around which the site tries to police. Risk not becoming viewed as a ghost or a spammer. Endorsements and recommendations make you true.
Tip #4 – be contactable
You might be surprised to read that LinkedIn does not provide you with a section where you can get into your email address. That is because the site wants you to use their InMail features in order to connect with others. You will nevertheless find a section marked ‘Other’ in the part around your contact details so use that for your current email address.
Tip #5 – think about who else should see what
In LinkedIn, you can have several profiles. You may have users in different languages. But your profile furthermore displays differently depending on how you take care of your privacy settings. Most individuals show more to their connections in order to everyone on LinkedIn. There is no correct or wrong here: you may want to end up being transparent and show your profile to anyone member of LinkedIn. However , keep in mind what others in your current firm can see and what message they might remove, especially if you can be seen to be encouraging substitute employment offers.
There you have it: five simple tips to put together a definite, honest and memorable profile upon LinkedIn whereby you showcase your own achievements and enhance both your own visibility and employability.
Author from the “5 Gear Shifts to Accelerate your Career! ” report, Alexandra assists ambitious and high-performing professionals deal with their frustration at work so that they resolve a complex problem, find a way away from a difficult situation or achieve a personally-meaningful objective.
As a Career Accelerator, Alexandra works with gifted individuals to obtain the promotion they deserve, orchestrate an in-house move to a different group, succeed quick in a new role as well as obtain clear about their next work and how to find it.