2013/06/05

4633798280 4cb624841e zLinkedIn is the largest professional social network online today with over 135 million users and a targeted audience of business professionals. Your profile often provides your first impression to employers and recruiters and therefore creating and maintaining your LinkedIn account is essential.

 

Your profile should provide employers and recruiters with a concise snapshot of your employment history, accomplishments, education and strengths. This guide will show you how to create a professional and effective LinkedIn profile to showcase you to your best potential. So whether you are completely new to LinkedIn or your just looking to improve your profile then please read on.

 
LinkedIn suggests that having a completed profile provides you with a 40% greater chance for networking success. So let’s go through it step by step:
 
Choose an appropriate and professional photo
Don’t leave this empty - people don't like to engage with people they can't see! This is also your best opportunity to make a great first impression, but remember that LinkedIn is not Facebook. Select a professional, high-quality headshot of you alone.
 
Create a compelling and an informative profile headline
Your profile headline gives people a short, memorable way to understand who you are in a professional context. Think of the headline as the slogan for your professional brand. Use brief, descriptive, compelling keywords so the right professionals on LinkedIn can discover you.
 
Show off your education
Be sure to include information about all institutions you’ve attended, including your university, course and grade, as well as your high school or college.
 
Develop a professional summary statement
This is your chance to really describe who you are and what you do. Make it interesting and individual. People do business with people, so your profile needs individuality, not just a copy of the company website. Write about your goals, experiences, and qualifications. Present your summary statement in short blocks of text or bullet points for easy reading. Most people choose to write their summary in third person.
 
List your current position and at least two past positions
Think of your profile as an online CV. The Experience component should succinctly explain your responsibilities and achievements in all past and present positions. Be certain to include the start and end dates for each position, as failing to do this could appear suspicious to employers and recruiters. In addition, refrain from listing every single duty you performed in a given role. The objective is to keep the reader interested, so only post the most relevant information possible. Use descriptive keywords that you quoted in your headline if possible.
 
Add your most relevant "Skills and Expertise"
LinkedIn ranks your skills by the number of endorsements you’ve received from connections, meaning you skill with the most endorsements is at the top of the list. Most people will only look at the first few skills on the list, so you need to ensure that the skills on your list are the ones most relevant to your current situation. Getting lots of endorsements for skills you have but aren’t currently using won't help you attract the right jobs.
 
Fill out the additional sections
These sections are now much easier to access and definitely worth filling out if you have anything additional you wish to add to your profile such as additional courses, certifications or languages.
 
Add links to your website/Twitter/Blog/Portfolio
This gives your profile viewers more insight into your business, interests or talents.
 
Collect Recommendations
Earning recommendations is the best way to add credibility to your profile. Recommendations are a good way to promote yourself, because when someone recommends you it goes onto the feed off all your connections and all of their connections. But make sure your recommendations are from credible people, who are similar to the people you want to impress.
 
Claim your unique LinkedIn URL
To increase the professional results that appear when people type your name into a search engine, set your LinkedIn profile to “public” and claim a unique URL for your profile (for example: www.linkedin.com/in/yourname). This also makes it easier to include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature or resume, which is a great way to demonstrate your professionalism.
 
Join relevant LinkedIn groups
Find groups where other industry professionals have joined and look to participate in (or at least join) these groups. This adds value to your own profile and helps you to get found by other industry contacts.
 
Follow companies you are interested in
This allows anything they post to appear in your news feed including recent news and any job postings.
 
Now you’ve filled in all these sections you should have a complete profile which looks professional and can easily be found by employers.

 

 
 

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