When it comes to work and business, LinkedIn is the number one media for professional networking and growth. Being active on your LinkedIn account, regardless of where you are in your professional journey, is a way to connect with others in your field and even with prospective employers.
Building your connections helps you gain valuable knowledge and gets your name out there to potential employers. Many of us may already have a solid base of information in our LinkedIn profile, but here are 7 simple ways to be sure your profile is fresh, professional, and informative.
The first thing someone sees is your profile picture. First impressions are important, so you want to be sure it is a good one. Choose a photo with a more professional look that seems similar to a headshot without being over-posed and uninteresting. A great background is fun, however, we want at least over 50% of the photo to be taken up by you, not the scenery.
Directly under your name is your headline. This is the very next thing someone will notice on your profile and a great way to optimize your profile for recruiters. The majority of headlines are simply your current position and company, but try to make yours more engaging and instead use it to highlight your skills and experience. Whatever you excel at, that’s what you use to draw others in and make them want to view the rest of your profile.
If you have drawn enough attention to your profile then the next place others will look is the “about” section. This is where you give some detail about yourself professionally while keeping it concise (no one is looking to read a novella.) Showcase your professional history and add key detail about your core skills, accomplishments, and future aspirations.
Work experience flows next on your LinkedIn profile and gives a brief overview of what positions you have held in the past. It should start with your most recent and have either a few bullet points or a short paragraph referencing the key responsibilities and achievements you have in that position.
The next flow goes into the skills section, which gives you the place to emphasize your value and potential to prospective employers. Be sure to include both hard skills and soft skills. If you notice you don’t feel confident in your listed skills this is a great opportunity to seek continuing education for your own professional development and growth.
Tip: LinkedIn allows you to take skill quizzes that will display a badge on your profile once completed.
The possibility for growth and networking is a major draw to LinkedIn, and this is where connections become important. Regardless to where you are in your career, LinkedIn provides a quick and easy way to connect with current colleagues, others in your same field, academic acquaintances, staff of a prospective employer, and so much more. Don’t be shy to connect with someone you don’t know, this is a great way to introduce yourself and grow your network. LinkedIn makes it very user-friendly and even suggests potential connections for you based on your experience and location.
Every social media platform allows you to post, and LinkedIn is no different. Which direction you choose to lean with your profile will be up to you; strictly professional or a blend of personal and professional life and interests as well. Not only is it a great way to share your ideas and thoughts, but you can jump into other discussions and share more of yourself and your knowledge. Engagement through LinkedIn posts is another great way to grow your network.
Revamping your profile or starting from scratch, being strategic with these 7 simple components will certainly amp up your LinkedIn. Remember, you want to make the best impression possible on anyone that visits your profile. Show that you have not only respect for yourself, but pride as well.
Written By: Morgan Henry