LinkedIn allows professional networking on a global scale. Once set up, you have the ability to instantly connect with professionals of all ages and backgrounds and become visible to all other users. LinkedIn can be used for a wide variety of reasons including job searches, recruitment, and industry collaboration. Your LinkedIn profile becomes an online version of your CV and the high number of worldwide users have the potential to become your employer, your colleague, or your guru. Digital Networking has become the best way for professionals to connect and communicate in real-time and getting yourself out there is vital in order to be seen and heard in your industry. Before you get started, consider the following tips to ensure your profile will stand out.
Use A Professional Profile Image
LinkedIn is a professional space, different from other social networks. If you want people to take you seriously in your profession, it is important to portray yourself accordingly. Your profile image doesn’t need to be professionally taken but you should be able to clearly see your face. You should avoid using filters and props to enhance your image as you want users to be able to instantly identify you. You should be easily recognisable to people who know you and a clear image also increases your chances of being remembered by the people you want to know. To ensure you appear professional and approachable, look directly into the camera and smile. This friendly, yet confident posture will increase the chances of others wanting to connect with you.
Create A Custom URL
LinkedIn will automatically generate a URL for you when you create a profile, but this can be changed to a more unique one. This is especially important if you have a fairly common name, the same as other users. Customising your URL link will move you up in the search list and can be made to look more professional for sharing with potential employers or clients.
To create your custom URL link, use the following steps:
- View your profile
- Click ‘Edit public profile & URL’
- Click ‘Edit’ under the ‘Edit your custom URL’ section
- Create your URL
- Save your changes
Select Your Headline Wisely
This is likely to be one of the first things people see about you on LinkedIn (aside from your name and photo). It is also one of the things that will help you to be found on a search function.
Use this as an opportunity to sell yourself. With a 120 character limit, you will need to summarize key details such as your role, skills, or business and highlight significant certifications or achievements. You can also use the ‘|’ character to break up your headline e.g. “Qualified Electrician | Director of Sparky’s Co. | NICEIC Approved Contractors”.
Complete Each Section And Keep Your Information Up To Date
Each section should be filled in with relevant information about yourself. You should aim to fill in as much as you can in order to have a complete and searchable profile. You should include your past and present employment, relevant education, achievements, and skills. To help fill out each section, think about what other users would want to know about you. What would you want to know about others? And why are you using the platform? If you are looking for new job opportunities, think about what your potential employer would want to know about you.
Equally as important as completing your profile is keeping it up to date. Appearing online with an out-of-date profile is selling yourself short. If you have recently achieved a qualification, accepted a new role, or have developed a new skill, be sure to add this to your profile. You never know who is looking and what small detail they may be looking for, so it’s worth adding all of your achievements, big or small.
Have A Company Page And Keep It Updated
If you run a business, you can create a company page on LinkedIn. This allows you to stand out and appear more professional. Like with a personal profile, fill in all sections and remember to keep it updated. Potential clients and contracts may use this to get a feel for your work and decide whether or not to contact you. You can use your company logo to increase brand awareness and consistency and include a URL link to your website.
Stay Active On LinkedIn
Once you have set up your profile, remember to use it. Post regularly with useful information about your industry, insights, tips, etc., and remember to engage with content from others. Liking, commenting on, and sharing content from others helps you stand out in the community. Sharing your expertise and interests will boost your credibility and increase the likelihood of others interacting with your content too, which helps it reach more people.
So, whether you are looking for new opportunities, trying to recruit the perfect candidate, or just want to connect with link-minded people, LinkedIn is the place for you. To optimize your experience make sure you are completing your profile fully, keeping it up to date, and using your platform to interact with others and your interests.