The Linkedin corporation is a professional social network that allows you to meet other professionals online where you can share interests based on your experience and skills. Not to mention, find your dream job, find new opportunities, build your personal brand, and some of the best job search tools online. Overall This professional network is one of the largest in the world and has almost half a billion users.
Most major companies, entrepreneurs, recruiters and hiring managers have accounts on the platform. Because they know it gives them a professional advantage for leveraging opportunities when they come up. This makes it a great place to find a job for the job seeker, to connect with recruiters, to meet your next prospect including clients or customers, to promote your business or just network on Linkedin groups.
Here is our mini guide to setting up a LinkedIn account and some savvy tips to making the most of your profile. To maximise your possibilities on the professional social networking platform.
Registering With Linkedin
The first step to getting started with online networking on LinkedIn is to register your basic information and create your account where your profile will live. It's straightforward, you will need the same necessary information that most sites ask for such as:
- Your name; You should make sure that you use the name that you are known as professionally. Nicknames and Aliases should not be used. However, it goes without saying that shortening your name from Jennifer to Jen if that is what the majority of people call you is acceptable. But the nickname J-Cutie should not be used even if that is the name you like to be called. This is especially important when finding a job on the platform is essential to you or where appearing professional is vital.
- Your email address; make sure your email address is professional. If your email is J-Cutie@emailprovider.com, you might want to find a new email address. Good news is they are free to set up using your name. In all cases, JenSmith@emailprovider.com will give a better impression and appear more professional. Although people may not see your email address on LinkedIn. It is best to start as you mean to go on instead of changing it later. At some point, you will provide your contact information to an employer, on your CV, job application or on a form of some kind, in response to a job alert or on any number of job sites. Having an email address that you use for work and/or Searching for jobs will keep everything in the same place and ensure you are not missing anything.
- A Password; This can be anything you want it to be but try to make it secure. Remember if your account gets hacked it could ruin your professional image. It’s worth trying to create a secure password. Include a mix of upper-case letters, lower case letters, a number and if possible a unique character.
- A Photo; A photo will personalise your profile and separate you from the millions of other users.
- Remember that you should dress to match the role that you are going for. Creative designers can be bright and creative, Office workers should dress smart/professional. Try to look like the right person for the job.
- Make the image a head and shoulder shot,
- Avoid bold jewellery or accessorises unless that is a large part of your personality.
- Smile genuinely
- Show your personality somehow
- Don’t be afraid of a close-up
- Make sure the resolution is no less than 400x400 pixels
While you are going through the set-up stages of your profile ‘skip’ the following:
- Don’t link any of your accounts to the profile
- Do not add contacts
- Do not connect your unfinished profile to anything or anywhere it might be seen before it is done.
- Don’t start looking for a job yet including job applications
- Do not visit the pages of entrepreneurs, professional recruiters, or other decision-makers as they might just look back at you. With an unfinished profile, it would make the wrong first impression.
What Is Needed To Complete Your Profile?
When you may only have 1 opportunity to impress someone who is visiting your profile. It is advisable not to promote the unfinished account in any way. This is because you do not want your profile to be located by potential employers, recruiters, prospects or customers until it is complete.
This ensures that you have all the time at your fingertips to develop an engaging and compelling profile that will attract the outcomes that you are hoping for.
To start on the path to a strong profile on LinkedIn, you must add the following:
- A headline or job title; the headline is there to help people see at a glance what it is that you do, be creative and precise, you have 120 characters. Make sure to use industry keywords that employers, customers or partners will be using in job search, job listings and looking for in independent searches.
- A LinkedIn summary; This is the area to show yourself in your best light. Keep this area updated, exciting and relevant to what your outcomes are. You can add links, pictures, videos and documents here.
- Your CV (Curriculum Vitale or Resume); This should be an updated version of your CV, It should show your relevant work experience and highlight your success outcomes in each role. You should also highlight what you have learned or where you went over and above in your position. Of course, any time where your previous employer recognised your hard work should also be noted.
- Your Personal Mission; What is it that you hope to achieve, what plans do you have and how would working in your next role or with your future customer take you on the journey.
- Highlight any volunteer work; Volunteer work is highly respected and should be noted. If you don’t have much work experience, volunteering for a while could help you gain some relevant skills and close gaps in your CV.
- Highlight Skills that you have that can define you from other people in your field. List all relevant skills and update your skills regularly. (Once your profile is complete you will ask people who know you to endorse your skills, which serves as a mini-reference).
Presentation Tips For Your Profile
To give yourself the best chance at making an excellent first impression and hopefully a lasting connection. Make sure that you:
- Are honest in your presentation of your experience
- Check for typos, spelling and mistakes
- Add certificates and other supporting documents
- Make sure your links work, and the contact information is correct
- Make the profile interesting so that someone would be interested in going through it
- Keep the information organised and presented in a way that makes sense. For example, keeping education together, show your most recent experience first and adding relevant documents in the correct place will make your profile more pleasurable to read.
- Print out your QR code or profile link and give it to people when you meet them in person. Including at interview, consulting meeting, recruiting meetings etc. to leverage your hard work.
Relevant Settings For A Great Linked In Profile
There are some extra settings that you should go through, some of which can LinkedIn account to make you easier to find.
Go to the upper right corner of your profile page (below the dark banner), click where it says ‘Edit Public Profile and URL’. Here you will be able to do a few essential things.
- Make your profile and profile picture visible to everyone, which makes you easier to find.
- Edit your URL to your name if possible and add an industry Keyword. This will work as your anytime anywhere, one click professional profile where anyone can find you online.
Advanced Tips To Improve Your Profile
- Add a high quality background image with a resolution of 1584x396, it should communicate something about your professional persona.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself and tell visitors about your best bits.
- Highlight extras such as other languages that you speak, courses you have completed outside of mainstream education, hobbies that you have that could add growth to your character.
- Highlights relevant awards, certificates or abilities that you have that can define you from other people.
- Read through and edit ‘Settings and Privacy’ – Go to the dark blue banner at the top of the profile. On the right side, you will see your image (or a circle if you didn’t add one yet) that says ‘me’ with a down arrow. Click it and see the setting and privacy option in the dropdown.
- If you are good at writing, adding posts to your profile or groups will help you to show off your knowledge and experience. It also serves to add to the findability of your profile while sharing useful content.
- Share your vision for the role or industry that you hope to be in. Share ideas you have for improvement or observations in general that could help productivity within the industry. This sets you apart as a leader which is very attractive for recruiters and customers alike. Because there is always room for change and improvement in all industries.
- Be honest, lying and bragging about who you are or what you can do is going to backfire if you can not live up to the expectations that you have created
Once you have set up your profile all you have to do is let friends and work colleagues know that you have an account and invite them to join your network. Don’t forget to ask them to endorse your skills and remember to do the same for them. Employers will see your profile when you search for a job or find jobs on Job boards and job listings, also when you apply for jobs or when they search for you. These optimized searches can lead you down the path to your new job, and all of that is linked to the power of a strong profile. Remember Linkedin job search can bring you great opportunities only if your profile is representative of a great candidate. Good Luck!