Getting Going With LinkedIn: 1. Building Your Profile
LinkedIn is one of the leading Social Networks for business. As would be expected for what is practically the digital equivalent of a corporate networking event, some of us approach building a profile with a degree of nervousness - and many people aren’t exactly sure what to do once they’ve created one. By following a few simple steps you will be able to ensure you are on your way to a winning profile.
For those unsure of what LinkedIn has to offer, here are a few interesting facts that could definitely sway you. Since its launch on May 5 2003, LinkedIn has grown exponentially as a Social Network. A study in 2014 uncovered that 1 out of every 3 professionals on the planet have a profile and that 1 in 20 profiles belong to recruiters; as the average age demographic is older than other networks, there is a significant likelihood that your profile will be viewed by someone in a high position when you apply for a job.
Whatever your position with the network; whether you are a beginner with little knowledge, or if you are looking to boost your profile, have a read through below to see how to get the most out of LinkedIn.
How to set up a great LinkedIn profile
Unlike other Social Networks where ‘about me’ sections add little value to personal profiles, your LinkedIn page is all about your content. If you invest time and energy into getting this bit right then building your network should be a doddle. You want it to appear as visually appealing as possible and be optimised for discovery by other users and reflect your stance within your industry.
- Your profile picture: You want to aim to have a headshot that looks as professional as possible. Studies have shown that attaching a photo to a name increases your chances of a profile view by up to 11x - a figure that certainly isn’t worth overlooking.
- Your professional headline: This little 120 character slot underneath your name needs to define you. Give it a creative hook that is readable, understandable and uses keywords from your industry. Remember you are defining yourself as a professional so a degree of individuality could be really useful.
- Your summary and experiences: These sections are similar to your CV - but far more in depth. LinkedIn is a perfect opportunity to say everything about yourself that you couldn’t fit on an application form. Utilise these as a chance to go in depth about your experiences, any particular contracts, how long these lasted for, examples of how you handled briefs etc. Remember to link or take advantage of the upload tools to showcase your work such as YouTube videos, PDFs, other docs etc. The more you provide, especially if it is useful to other members, the more you will reap the benefits.
- Additional sections: Be sure to search through all of the available section, such as courses, certifications and volunteering so that you are exhibiting your most valuable skills. The projects and publications section is great way to showcase your work.
They key to building and maintaining a great LinkedIn network is keeping your profile updated. If you are saying things or posting great content that is relevant and useful to your industry, people will want to connect with you. Building your network is the next step that will be covered in part two of our Getting Going with LinkedIn series - check back soon!