LinkedIn Profile Essentials
LinkedIn provides an excellent platform for getting your name out to prospective clients or employers. Whether you use the professional social networking site for your home business or to look for a job, your LinkedIn profile is key.
Once you've established a LinkedIn Profile (set up an account), and customised your URL, you'll want to ensure that the information you share with the millions of members is precise, professional, private (if you so choose) and accurate.
Whilst the process is relatively straight forward, there are some things you'll want to keep in mind, predominantly that this site is exclusively geared toward professionals so you'll want to give a great impression.
Your profile will be initially set up with some of the below mentioned areas. If not you can easily add (or remove) from the available list of features on the right hand side of the screen.
- They say your eyes are the window to your soul. Well your LinkedIn profile photo may not run that deep, but it needs to depict who you are, what you stand for and be professional.
- Elements such as its optimum size and shape are key plus a number of other features.
Your LinkedIn Title
- This appears directly under your name as a short sharp one or two sentence summary. Where possibly include an idea of who you are, what you do or who you are aspiring to be.
- This key phrase will stand out to people who are searching on LinkedIn. It is important that you consider the one or two most important phrases that describe your most important feature. Your key phrases might be skilled website developer or graphic designer or whatever applies to you or your business.
- As you build your profile will have an opportunity to use your key phrases in several important places.
- Consider using the “|” symbol to divide your text and create visual breaks. The second one is easier to read and comprehend because of the formatting. The vertical lines separate the data and enable the reader to comprehend better what you are telling them you do.
Example: Which do you prefer?
Website Developer Specialising In Wordpress Sites and Content Writer
Website Developer | Wordpress Specialist | Content Writer
Including Your Professional Experiences
- As mentioned in another of our essential LinkedIn guides, this social networking site can double as an online resume. This area is the home for your current and previous work experience.
- Be honest, be true to yourself and don't sell yourself short.
- Keep your descriptions short and easy to read. Use a bulleted list to maintain engagement.
Your LinkedIn Summary
- As an optional extra, you can add a summary to your profile. This is a free-form area where you can basically write anything you want to summarise who you are, your aspirations or your experience.
- Think of it as your personal ad. If you had to sum yourself up, what would you say.
- Watch your grammar and spelling.
- Keep it short, sharp and succinct.
- It is essential that you use keywords and phrases here.
Share Your Education
- Just like a standard resume, it is important to include your education, particularly where it is relevant to the career you are seeking.
- Completing this area will also serve as a means to allowing others who you studied with you connect with you.
- You don't need to include only completed school and university courses here. You can also include any education you are currently undertaking with an expected finish date, as well as any other short courses or programs that have increased your skills.
Skills and Expertise
- This is the area where you show the 'world' what you are good at.
- LinkedIn has a built-in prompt which will help you if you get stuck. For example if you are a website developer, just by entering web into the blank box (see image), you will be prompted with a number of suggestions which, if appropriate, you can select and press add.
- Once you are done and you have saved them, your connections will be able to endorse you for these exact skills. If any of your connections know for a fact that you are indeed skills at Web Design, and it is a skill you have assigned yourself, they can endorse you and it will display on your profile.
Including Links To Websites and Other Social Media
Twitter and Website Links
- Your profile can hold up to 3 website/blog/RSS Feed links plus a link to your Twitter profile.
- Take advantage of them. They become great quality backlinks for your website too.
- Once your profile is complete and you have started networking and making connections, the time comes for you to seek recommendations from those who are familiar with your professional skills.
- The right recommendations can help you and your profile stand out and if you are on the look out for work, these are an added bonus.
- One of the best ways to get recommendations is to first write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone. During that process, the person you recommend will be asked to write one for you.
- Select Profile from your main menu and then select Recommendations
- You will be able to see any recommendations that you have 'Received', 'Given' or 'Asked For'
- Here you can 'Ask For A Recommendation' or 'Make A Recommendation'
- Be aware that you cannot withdraw a request for a recommendation once you have sent it, nor can you request another recommendation from the same person if you already have one pending their response.
Public and Privacy
- You may not have realized your profile has privacy settings which can easily be adjusted to suit you. These settings determine what aspects of your profile are shown to the general public, via a google search. To view your current settings or make adjustments, read our guide on privacy controls.
- All your approved connections are free to view your profile in full.
- On the right of your screen are a number of other elements that you can add to your profile.
- Things such as Honors and Awards, Certifications, Publications and even Volunteering could all be aspects of 'you' that are valid and well worth including. Don't be shy. Include them.
- You want your profile to stand out.
- Just remember to keep your profile professional at all times.
Keep Your Profile Current
- It is key that you keep your profile current. This includes updating any additional training or skills you have acquired, changes to employment, new websites launched, changes to your interests, a recent photo or basic contact information.
- Remember that this profile is your window to the professional world, clients, potential contacts and even potential employers so relevant current information is essential.
- It needs to shine and be your sales pitch.
- One important thing to be aware of is that every single time you update your profile anyone connected to you will be notified.
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