Like most social platforms, LinkedIn appears to be pretty intuitive when you first sign up. But if you’re serious about using the professional networking site to meaningfully develop your career, it requires a bit more thought than maintaining your regular social profiles.
While some of the recommended improvements are cosmetic and some are about building deeper relationships, what they all have in common is the intent to make you look professional, engaged, and unique.
Here’s eleven steps you can take elevate yourself to the level of LinkedIn power user!
1. Choose your own URL
A thirty-second exercise that will immediately make your public profile look more professional is to get rid of the random web address that LinkedIn has given you, and switch it up for www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
Just head to www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings and look for ‘Edit public profile URL’ on the right-hand side – it’s easier than you would imagine.
2. Improve your profile picture
Your photo is the first truly personal touch that your profile viewers will see, so it’s worth asking a friend to take a purpose-made headshot for you.
It doesn’t have to be too cold or serious, but it’s important to convey the right balance of approachability and professionalism. Dress smart, find a pleasant background, and don’t forget to smile!
3. Add your location
Around one-third of recruiters use the location field to hone in on potential applicants. It’s a big time-saver for HR people who don’t want to waste hours contacting bright prospects who turn out to be situated in another city or country. So get to the top of the search results by going to your profile page, clicking the Edit icon, and adding your country and postcode.
4. Spruce up your headline
Your headline should say not just what you do, but how you do it – and where you want to go. Think about how you would like to introduce yourself to your dream boss if you met them in person, and try to get that initial energy into your headline.
5. Get the key information into your summary
This is a chance to get across the major milestones of your education and career to date, with a couple of anecdotes or details that show why you’re special. Don’t forget to break it into paragraphs and get it proofread to ensure you keep the readers’ attention.
6. Sign up to groups
Groups are where you start building relationships that are more meaningful than simple Connections. Head to the Work menu, then Groups, then Discover Groups, to start finding interesting forums in your field. It’s better than leaving the networking process to chance.
7. Click ‘Accept’ on incoming requests
Connections are more important on LinkedIn than on Facebook. Build your network from people you know and from other professionals who show an interest, and you never know from where the next opportunity will arise.
8. Add your skills
It’s great to connect with people on LinkedIn, but it’s a big place – and sometimes folk need a bit more to go on before reaching out to you. Add at least five skills to your profile so recruiters can see what you’re capable of at a glance.
9. Get recommended
On the internet, nobody knows you’re not a dog – so it’s worth getting a stamp of approval from those you’ve worked with, to show your resume isn’t all just bluster! Just head to the profile of someone you think you’ve impressed, click More, and ask for a recommendation.
10. Add keywords
Keywords are the SEO of LinkedIn. Don’t beat about the bush: be direct and precise about your skills and experience, and make sure to integrate words that describe each aspect of your skill-set into your profile.
11. Get heard
There are millions of profiles out there, but a small proportion of professionals are actively promoting themselves by sharing their knowledge and ideas. Publish short, well-written posts about what you do, and readers that find your thoughts valuable will share them with their networks and get your name out there, way beyond your original reach.
This content was first published on www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com
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