LinkedIn is an excellent tool to present your professional experience, expertise and personal brand, but many of us don’t know how to utilise it effectively. Your profile is your virtual business card, so you want to make sure it presents you in best possible light.
1. Profile photo: choose a head and shoulders photo, which is in colour and has you smiling!
2. Professional headline: this is the line under your name, don’t use this for your job title, it’s a great spot to showcase the expertise you want to be known for, e.g. ‘highly experienced social entrepreneur’
3. Personal summary: write a short summary about your expertise, it’s best if this is in first person. It may be the only thing someone reads about you, so what do you want them to know about you? Test it on someone who doesn’t know what you do – what impression do they get?
4. Skills & expertise selection: select 10 skills and expertise tags that your connections can endorse you for, and remember to thank them when they do.
5. Experience examples: add some value to your experience section by including examples of your work. You can upload photos, PDFs and links to examples of your work (or the company you worked for) to paint a more detailed picture of your experience.
6. Recommendations: reach out to colleagues for some recommendations for each role you’ve had in the last five years or so, one or two will suffice. Who’s saying it matters as much as what they say and it’s fine if they’re kept short and sweet.
7. Refresh your profile: update your profile every three months to keep content fresh. Do this by adding some new achievements, skills or qualifications.
8. Check your public profile: check how your public profile (the one that comes up on a web search) looks compared to the one your connections see (hint -click on the link underneath your photo). You can customise this by selecting what information you want people who aren’t your connections see.