Creating your personal profile is explored in this second article of the LinkedIn series, the first, Too LinkedIn or Not to LinkedIn can be found here.
If you have decided that LinkedIn is for you, below you will find some tips to help you create or improve an already established profile.
Creating your Profile: LinkedIn have made creating a profile simple with easy to follow steps that you are guided through. You have choice and flexibility and can provide as much or as little information as you desire, but my question to you would be, why only do half the job? LinkedIn provides a platform to communicate the information you want to the people who are looking for it; have it there, so you can be found!
NOTE: LinkedIn is optimised for search engines and keywords are searchable, ensure you are using keywords and terminology that align to your experience and profession. Keep this in mind when writing your various descriptions.
What to include:
- Profile picture: professional (think of your audience)
- NOTE: Your profile is 11 times more likely to be seen if you have a profile picture
- Choose your location and Industry: (these are searchable therefore helping you to be found)
- Experience: this is your career history – provide an overview of each of your positions held to date. Include company names, their logo if they have it and dates of employment.
- Education: list educational history, dates attended and award received (i.e. Degree name)
- Certifications: ESSENTIAL for anyone where industry exams and accredited Certs are required.
TIP: Personalise your public profile contact link.
- Headline: this is a concise sentence describing what you do
- Courses: additional professional courses attended (company accreditations and courses)
- Organisations: memberships in professional organisations/bodies that are relevant to your profession
- Summary: you can choose to have this about you or your company. If it is about you, keep it as a concise overview of your experience to date and key skills. If you chose to have it about your company, think of it as an ‘About Us’ overview showcasing the products or services that may be of interest to perspective ‘clients’.
- Skills and Endorsements: tag your core skills (as you grow your network, connections can endorse you, acknowledging, in their opinion, that you do have this ability).
There are numerous other ‘extras’ you can choose to add to your profile: interests, personal details, how people can contact you, projects, publications, languages, awards, voluntary experience and causes etc. It is up to you how encompassing you wish your profile to be.
- Consider what details are relevant and those that may be less necessary; is it really important that your Professional Network know your birthday and if you are married etc.? These details do not influence your professional capabilities and in my opinion are needless for the site.