In fact, being on LinkedIn has become just as important as having a resume for professionals. It can expose you to opportunities that haven’t been advertised and convey your unique professional brand and career story in a way that your resume cannot.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile consider creating one today, keeping the following tips in mind:
Always include a profile photo
Make sure you use a photo and update it regularly to gain more views. “LinkedIn profiles with a picture are 14 times more likely to be viewed,” says Catherine Fisher, LinkedIn’s career expert. Use a current headshot of yourself smiling and choose an image that conveys professionalism. If you’re not sure which photo is best you can try out photofeeler.com, where you can upload photos and people rate their likeability.
Create search-optimised descriptions that communicate your brand
When creating your profile it’s important to fill out all of the description areas, showing off your accomplishments and using examples of achievements rather than an empty sales pitch. Add as many attachments and links as possible and include keywords so people can find you when entering a relevant search.
Remember to fill out the summary. “LinkedIn users who have at least 40 words in their Summary section can drive more page views,” says Fisher. Be as search friendly as possible so people can find you, repeating your key strengths and expressing your personality.
Another fantastic tip from William Arruda at Forbes: “Include all known misspellings, previous names, nicknames and aliases in your summary. I include this: AKA/Common misspellings: Bill Arruda, Will Arruda, William Aruda, Will Aruda.” Check out his article 22 LinkedIn secrets LinkedIn won’t tell you for more.
Use regular status updates to highlight your accomplishments
This is a great way to accrue followers and build your network. Write articles, share interesting posts, update people about your successes and achievements and post your blogs in your activity updates. Reuse content and don’t be afraid to repeat key messages and descriptions to promote your professional brand. Stay as active as possible!
Connect with relevant professionals in your industry
Unlike social sites, you want to make valuable industry connections on LinkedIn rather than just getting as many followers as possible. Use personalised, tailored requests if you want a response and explain why you’d like to connect. Similarly if someone you don’t know invites you to connect, take some time to check out their profile. Even if there doesn’t seem to be a direct link to a job opportunity. They may have connections in the industry that could lead to work.
You don’t have to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium to connect to people who aren’t in your contacts. If you join a group you can connect with relevant professionals and send them invite messages. Join as many groups as possible that relate to your industry and personal brand and stay active in those groups.
Here are some more helpful resources to get you on your way:
To learn how to combine your CV an LinkedIn profile to strengthen your job applications and enhance your career prospects, contact Roisin Duffy today to book a 1-2 hour Skype session.