I joined LinkedIn on 18th April 2007. Fast forward over a decade and it is one of the key places to be if you are looking to grow your reputation, find a new job, return to work or promote your business. It is more than an online CV. It is a place showing the world the skills that you have! Just having a profile isn’t enough; you want to get yourself noticed on LinkedIn.
It is worth the effort; your potential next employer or business client does exist on this platform. You just need to help them find you!
First things first, make sure you have a profile! It really only takes a few minutes to create a basic one. Now, don’t just leave it there. Follow these ten tips to start raising your profile!
Don’t be a stranger
Research has found you are 14-times more likely to be found on LinkedIn if you have a profile picture. Make sure it is professional; ideally head and shoulders and it only contains you. Not you with a wine glass or with your best friend!
If you can, make sure it is consistent across your whole professional social media platforms.
Bear in mind the image you are trying to portray. What do you want people to think about you when they see your picture?
Title – it’s more than a name
Include what you DO not just your job title. If you check our mine it mentions what I do and who I work with, rather than just “Owner”. What do you want to be known for?
Your profile is your “sales tool”.
This is where things get interesting! You have free range to put in what you want. What is your career or business story? How have you developed? What makes you special? What are your successes? What is your education?
You are more than your duties
Your experience is not just about where you worked. This is about what you did, how you made an impact on the business. Even more importantly, it is about sharing ALL of your relevant experience. Cover off everything in your Experience section: your volunteering, any relevant project work or secondments.
Fill the gaps
If you have had a career break, my advice is to make sure you include this. Don’t be ashamed! Detail the things you have done during this time such as any courses or volunteering if it is relevant. You can also include a little bit about what you are looking to do now.
Don’t just tell, show!
If you have any visual elements to your work, make sure you include this. LinkedIn has a great function to upload media including videos. Do you have reports, eBooks, videos or websites that can show how you will help other people?
Connect, connect and then connect some more. Find friends, family, colleagues and clients and link with them. That is the key to LinkedIn – online networking. If you want to you can include a personalised connection request; BUT you don’t have to! A well-crafted profile and title are often enough for someone to understand why you have connected. The key to building relationships is you never know who your connections know! Feel free to contact me to build your network.
Once you have these connections, ask for recommendations. This is about building the social credibility that you CAN do what you say you can do! Always reciprocate and be genuine with yours too! A false recommendation can be spotted a mile away! You can also get endorsed for skills, so make sure you add these to your profile. This is particularly useful when recruiters are looking for candidates.
This is when the fun begins. Start searching for groups to join in the sector you are interested in. Leave comments on articles and follow key people. Who do you admire in business or the sector your work in? I will put money on them having a presence on LinkedIn!
Do you have a blog? Do you write as part of your job? Do you generally have an opinion on the world of business? Then share it! ALL profiles have the option to write and publish articles. This is a great way to cement your position, share your skills and reach people wider than your immediate network.
The good news is that LinkedIn as a platform is very user-friendly! You can work on your profile as an ongoing process. Like a CV, don’t ever expect it to be “finished”. You will always be expanding your skills, experience, and education!
Clara Wilcox is a straight-talking, practical and experienced coach helping clients navigate the tricky waters of returning to work, career changes and professional development. The Balance Collective has a social mission focused on improving the lives of parents, by working together to build inner confidence and promote a healthy work/life balance.