Whether you are looking for work or wanting to improve your online presence, LinkedIn has always been the go-to when it comes to connecting, networking, and of course, finding work. The one thing that people tend to forget about LinkedIn is that since it is a professional platform, there needs to be a thought process in the way that you use it.
Think of your profile as going to a networking event for the first time, and people are seeing you from a professional standpoint. You would not have pictures of your kids or family, what you got up to on the weekend, and your photos of friends out for drinks on a platform where recruiters will review your profile from head to toe. LinkedIn is like a resume – but in another way, it is the way that you use that also matters.
Portray yourself on LinkedIn as you would for an interview – be real, authentic, transparent, but not too much where things begin to slip through the cracks.
The one important part of your LinkedIn Profile is the description section. This is where you truly need to sell yourself and your abilities. Falling short can lead to recruiters passing your profile, and it also means an opportunity you have missed. Examples that you can include are what you have achieved, greatest accomplishments that are relevant to your client and/or the job you want to attract.
If possible, avoid jargon terms – your profile description is like that of a cover letter – keep it concise and clear, and do not shy away from selling how great you are.
Selfies have a time and place, and so do group photos with yourself and friends. Things to consider when creating/picking a profile photo is that it should include your face and/or shoulders – extreme close ups can be a little too much. Revert from using any sunglasses or accessories and ensure that your photo is crystal clear and not pixelated. Be smart about your clothing options and consider what you would wear to an interview. There’s no harm in a bit of colour as this can show your personality, but you don’t want to go overboard!
A wonderful way of standing out is using a cover photo that demonstrates the industry that you work in. If you’re currently working, consider adding in your company’s logo. The dimensions for a LinkedIn Cover Photo are 1884×396.
If there is news or a topic in the industry that you’d like to discuss with your fellow connections, then writing an article is a terrific way to open your mind. It’s not entirely a blog, but an opportunity to speak from a professional perspective about your work, your industry, or items in the news that relate back to what you do.
Adding In Skills
Every LinkedIn Profile can add up to 50 skills.
Think strategically about this, and you should choose skills that are relevant to your industry. Once you begin adding in skills, you’ll find that 50 is not as many as you think.
Have Your Profile On Public
No matter the reason you’re using LinkedIn, always have your account on public. If you want to be seen by others, then there’s no point hiding in the dark and not showing the world your true talents and experience.
The reason that you may consider having it on private is to check on other people’s profiles (this can be for recruitment reasons, or for something else)
Mindful of Accepting Requests
It’s true that you can receive a lot of connections daily from people who work in the same or similar industry as you. As much as it’s a good thing to accept, have a look at whether they’ve written a personalised note to introduce themselves in why the want to connect. Having lots of connections is great but think about the types of people and how will they value you in your job search, if not expanding your network.
Engage With Your Audience
Someone might post something on LinkedIn that you have a genuine interest in, and then others might comment with negativity. Engage meaningfully with people in your feed – this can be through sharing, liking, and commenting. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to building relationships overtime, and sometimes those relationships can land job opportunities.
So, the next time you’re using LinkedIn, think about the way you use it, and how you can refresh it to attract the right types of people. This all builds on creating your personal brand and showing your knowledge and experience.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to follow and check out S&You Australia’s LinkedIn Page.