Do you have a LinkedIn account?
Do you use it for business?
Whether you use LinkedIn for business or for personal use, you need to have a first-rate profile to entice people into your world. LinkedIn is a professional networking site, so share your knowledge, your experience, be approachable and don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.
Before we look at how to make your profile fabulous, let’s look at what LinkedIn is NOT!
- It’s not a CV – which tend to focus on career history and is factual.
- Although sometimes described as such, LinkedIn is not a social media platform. It’s a professional networking site, helping you to build your brand in a professional manner
- Don’t put posts about your cat, what you had for dinner last night, quotes…you get the picture!
OK, now that’s out of the way, what will make your profile stand out and convey the business professional that you are…
Photo – First of all, make sure you upload a good photo of yourself – preferably a professional one. Don’t just go with the grey Avatar.
Smile…this will be the first time many people get to see you.
Headline – Your profile has your name, then a space to write something else. It automatically defaults to your job title and the company you currently work for, but you can edit this… and make it more personal. For example, mine says ‘Singing Freelance Writer’. It’s different and hopefully will make people want to read more.
Contact Info – Make sure people know how to get in touch…give your email address, website address, Twitter account… and if it’s already in the public domain, your phone number and business address.
Experience – with LinkedIn, you can really expand on what you do – make this count. Include things like a success story, a case study, how you can help people and why. Show your potential customers how your services make you stand out from the crowd or why your products are so good – what problem do they solve.
Summary – don’t forget the summary. This is where you can really pitch about who you are, what you’re about, what makes you tick. And don’t forget to add a Call to Action at the end.
Network – join groups that are in your niche and make comments and join discussion threads. This is a great way to get to know people – answer questions as these groups are a great source of information. Someone always knows the answer to your problem and may even have experienced something similar that they can share.
Posts – If you’re a blogger or if you have an article you’ve written that will be of interest to other people on LinkedIn, you can share these posts on your profile page too. There is also space to add documents, portfolio items, photos … everything that can help your profile stand out, so take advantage of all you can.
Endorsements and recommendations – give endorsements and recommendations to those you know on LinkedIn. This will most likely result in you getting the same in return. If your customers are on LinkedIn, ask them to recommend your products or services.
As well as all of the above, there is also space for
- Volunteer experiences and causes, so if you have volunteered for charity, make sure this is completed.
- There’s also space to write about your standard of education and any certificates or qualifications you might have.
- Do you belong to any organisations? Add those too!
Finally, there are also boxes for you to complete detailing any Honours or Awards you have, any languages you speak, projects, publications, patents, and any interests you might have. It’s worth trying to add as much information as you can about everything you do or have done, especially if you’re looking for work.
Good luck – let me know how you get on with re-vamping your profile…and if you have any other fabulous ideas, please let me know!
Images courtesy of 1)Stuart Miles 2)tiniroma 3)Stuart Miles 4)David Castillo Domenici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net