LinkedIn is such an important social network and so different in that it is a professional network and should be treated as such. Often people just set up a profile and just leave it for ages, not realising that anyone could read it! Read on to see if you are making the most of your profile.
Have a decent profile picture
Your profile picture should preferably be on a plain background and of very good quality (no pixelation). Not holiday pictures or pictures of you at a wedding (an image that I do see a lot, as often it’s the only time we look smart!). Buffer has a good guide to profile and header sizes. Admittedly I haven’t tried the LinkedIn dimensions but have for Facebook and it is accurate.
Your background image
I am unsure why LinkedIn include this, I think it looks rubbish and serves no purpose. I would keep it as plain as possible ( I have included a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background on mine) and not pixalated.
Fill out your profile correctly
This means listing all of your relevant qualifications and work experience. Treat it as a job application. Attach any documents or images within your work profile that adds value.
Is literally just that. The way I would write the summary is set out what you are currently are (In my case a Marketing and Communications Assistant) and where your passion lies professionally (so for me it is social media). This tells readers straight away your strengths and what you will like to acheive professionally.
Skills and endorsements
I personally love this section as it really simple and infographicy in appearance. Fill it out as much as you can.
This isn’t the place to admit you love shopping or watching TV. This is a great opportunity to show off your outside interests that are related to what you eventually want a career in. It is particularly important for jobs where you don’t have any relevant qualifications. This is where I push social media and blogging as I do not hold any marketing qualifications.
I have included the time I was part of BBC Generation2015 in my project. By adding team members, if applicable, to the project again it reinforces the project.
Personally I am not a fan of putting in your birthday or marital status as it should not affect whether you are capable of doing a job or not so it’s up to you.
Make yourself contactable
Make sure you write down all your contact details. I include a email address, Twitter handle and Facebook. I do not include my phone number for safety.
Advice for making connections
I have gotten quite hot at making connections very quickly with people once I have met with them. If you leave it too long after a networking event, you may have been forgotten about (and I think it makes it more awkward to ask).
I personally try to send as many personal emails asking to connect if possible. I think it is polite and shows you really value their connection and the time you spent with them. In regards to accepting connections I go by:
- If I know them.
- Where do they work (I.E if I don’t know the place of if the place of work doesn’t seem to exist or has nothing to do with what I do it is unlikely I would accept them).
- How strong their profile is (for the same reason as above).
Join groups you are interested in or have a connection too
LinkedIn is all about being seen. I have joined a few marketing groups and where I went to university.
The following section
Fill this out with companies, schools, news and influencers. Again it shows people where your interests lie.
Hopefully the above has been helpful in showing what you should already be doing on LinkedIn. I have known people who have got jobs through LinkedIn and it has been helpful for me when networking.