LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career.
A complete LinkedIn profile can help you connect with opportunities by showcasing your unique professional story through experience, skills, and education.
LinkedIn allows you to have an online personal brand which makes you visible to key decision makers and recruiters. This means when your name is put into a search engine such as google, you have an online personal brand and you are appearing in search results. It’s for this reason you need to make sure you treat your LinkedIn profile in a similar way to your CV and you ensure what is on the profile is selling you in the best way possible.
Having a LinkedIn profile helps build trust with employers and recruiters as they can see your recommendations and connections and evidence of where you have added value.
Let’s look at some ways in which you can set up your LinkedIn profile for success.
Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn
Your profile picture is your calling card on LinkedIn – it’s how people are introduced to you and (visual beings that we are) it governs their impressions from the start.
Make your headline more than just a job title
There’s no rule that says the description at the top of your profile page has to be just a job title. Use the headline field to say a bit more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick.
Turn your summary into your story
The first thing to say about your LinkedIn summary is – make sure you have one! It’s amazing how many people still leave this field blank when creating their LinkedIn profile. Your summary is your chance to tell your own story – so don’t just use it to list your skills or the job titles you’ve had.
Grow your network
One of the easiest and yet most relevant ways to grow your LinkedIn network is to synch your profile with your email address book. This enables LinkedIn to suggest people you could connect with. It’s amazing how effective this can be at surfacing relevant people for you to reach out to – and no connection requests are sent without your permission, so you can vet all of the potential connections.
List your relevant skills
It’s one of the quickest of quick wins on LinkedIn – scroll through the list of skills and identify those that are relevant to you. Doing so helps to substantiate the description in your Headline and Summary, and provides a platform for others to endorse you. However, the key here is staying relevant.
Spotlight the services you offer
Services is a new LinkedIn feature that helps consultants, freelancers and those working for smaller businesses to showcase the range of services that they offer. Filling out the Services section of your profile can boost your visibility in search results.
Take a skills assessment
A skills assessment is an online test that enables you to demonstrate the level of your skills, and display a Verified Skills badge on your profile.
Endorsements give people viewing your profile a quick, visual sense of what you’re valued for. Recommendations take things a step further. They are personal testimonials written to illustrate the experience of working with you. There’s a handy drop-down menu in the Recommendations section of your profile that makes it easy to reach out to specific contacts and request recommendations.
Showcase your passion for learning
When you complete a course on LinkedIn Learning, you’ll have the opportunity to add a course certificate to your LinkedIn profile. You can add courses from other sources with images to verify them.
Share relevant content from your LinkedIn feed
It’s one thing to have a network of connections on LinkedIn – it’s far better to have an active role in that network, appearing in your connections’ LinkedIn feeds in a way that adds value for them. Sharing relevant content with your network is one of the most accessible ways of doing this.
Follow relevant influencers for your industry
Following relevant influencers on LinkedIn helps to put a range of interesting content in your feed, which you can then share with others when you think it adds value. It also helps to give context to your LinkedIn profile, demonstrating your passion for what you do.
Getting your LinkedIn profile working harder for you doesn’t have to take up hours of your time. Try working through these ideas, building from one to the other – and you’ll find that you can make progress quickly, even if you’re just able to set aside a few minutes over a lunch break or in the evenings.