LinkedIn has transitioned from being “just” a recruitment platform to being a professional network where people educate and inform themselves and learn about other companies in their industry. It has become a valuable resource for professionals across industries and countries to connect and learn from each other.
Having an up-to-date and active LinkedIn profile can provide opportunities to expand into new networks and encounter new potential clients, customers, employers/employees or business partners.
Here are a few helpful tips to creating and maintaining a great LinkedIn Profile.
Profile Summary and Photo: Write a clear summary for your profile of between 3 to 5 paragraphs. Include your education and work experience and qualifications. Allow your personality to come through in your writing – people want a snapshot of who you are. Select a clear but authentic photo and avoid group pictures. You don’t have to pay for a professional photographer, but make sure you pay attention to lighting, background and the clothing you’re wearing – this is a big part of the first impression that others will have of you!
Recommendations: These are like mini testimonials from people who have worked with you. These give credibility to your profile and offer an insight to potential customers or employers who may wish to engage with you.
Endorsements: These are akin to Facebook ‘Likes’. Your connections can endorse skillsets that you have listed in your profile, adding further credibility to your name. Remember to return the favour when people give you recommendations or endorsements – social networking is a 2-way street! The more you engage, the more you’ll be engaged with!
Be SEO and keyword friendly: Make sure your profile makes use of relevant keywords. This will enable people to find you when they search for specific terms. The keywords you use should range from broad to very targeted. As you never know what someone is looking for, use as many keywords that relate to you and your business as possible.
Share your work and achievements: Build your profile up with content – images, video clips, articles. Whatever is relevant and that allows people to learn more about you. LinkedIn gives the option to add your projects, languages, publications, honours & awards, test scores, courses, patents, certifications, and volunteering & causes to your profile. In many cases, this will add a lot of value to your profile. If you have taken a business course that will put you ahead of your competition, add it here. If you’ve had articles or papers published, add it here. This is a great showcase for your skills and work, so make use of it!
Update and engage regularly: Once you have your shiny profile up and running, make sure to update and interact regularly. By doing this you will show up on news feeds frequently, which keeps you relevant and noticed. Update your status with news articles, company updates, blog posts, and updates about yourself. The key to a good social media engagement strategy is to be consistent and to consistently show up on news feeds. That could be once a day or once a week – you decide what works for you but be consistent!
Add and accept new contacts and start conversations: Social media engagement begins with conversations. Start them in groups, in your updates and on your company pages. Conversations are a crucial part of your success.