I know what you’re thinking… “Not another article about how LinkedIn will help me.” But it’s true, LinkedIn really is very important! Having an up-to-date, informative and professional LinkedIn profile can genuinely help you in your pursuit to finding a new job or meeting a new customer. Essentially, think of your LinkedIn profile as your online CV.
Remember, LinkedIn isn’t just about being headhunted and looking for a new job. Even if you’re happy where you are and you’re not looking for a job it is still good practice to keep your profile up-to-date, as you may have potential clients looking at you to find out a bit more about you and to see if they want to work with you.
In this article we offer some tips to help you focus on the key areas and how it can help you…
Your profile photo
Just like when you meet someone for the first time, first impressions are important. Make your profile photo clear, professional and focussed on you. Our advice is to just use a headshot style photo, so just your head and shoulders. Remember the photo is quite small, so the less of you in the photo the smaller you will appear. With regards to what you should wear… just keep it simple and wear what you would wear at work.
Exactly the same as the opening summary on your CV, having a concise summary that can be easily and quickly read is a great way to explain who you are, what you do and how you do it. It is also a good idea to mention your key achievements, so maybe discuss a couple of successful projects that you worked on and how you helped, or was integral to the successful delivery of the project.
It’s simple, this is your chance to summarise your role within your business. Just like a CV, include your key responsibilities and achievements and be concise. Again, it’s important to think about the person reading your profile. You don’t want to make it too long, but you want to make sure they get a good understanding of what you do!
Depending on how long you have been in the industry and how many employers you have worked for, you should include all of your roles and ensure the dates (length of service) all work out with no gaps, similar to your CV.
If you are a freelancer then this is just as important. I know it may seem like a pain to do if you are working on short contracts, but it really can help with future contract opportunities. It may also be worth explaining why your contract ended, so for example, the project ended or they filled the role with a permanent employee… just a thought!
To a lot of people this can seem like a complete waste of time, but adding your key skills can genuinely help! You have the ability to add as many skills as you want and once they have been added to your profile your colleagues, customers and people you know within the industry can then endorse you for these skills. The more endorsements you can get the better, as it’s essentially people saying ‘yes you do possess that skill”.
Our advice for you on adding skills is to include skills that are key to your role and the industry. Don’t flood this section with wishy washy skills such as ‘Computer literacy’, it won’t add anything to your profile.
Just like your CV it’s beneficial to list your relevant education, so be that a degree or relevant industry specific certificates or qualifications. List them, add the dates you undertook the qualification or course and where you studied. It all adds value and tells the reader about how qualified you are.
Just like a company needing testimonials and reviews to help them drive trust and prove they are good at what they do, recommendations have the same impact for you. If you have people saying you are great at what you do then that will have a big impact on the people reading your profile.
Our advice is, ask your colleagues or clients to add a recommendation on your profile, you’re not being rude by asking. As they say “don’t ask, don’t get”.
LinkedIn is all about being connected. The more relevant connections you have the more you will come up in searches and the more known you will become. So we suggest you start connecting with people you work with, including clients, colleagues and suppliers.
We hope this article was helpful, and you feel you have picked up some useful tips. If you have done all of the above then great you’re winning, if not then get on it! It will only take you 30 minutes to do and then it’s just a case of staying on top of it.
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