LinkedIn is the primary networking site for professionals. Your LinkedIn profile is your way of staying in touch with colleagues new and old and of finding new contacts. Unlike other social networking sites like Instagram or Facebook, LinkedIn is primarily for professional news and updates on people and organizations. We wrote this guide to help you make the most of your own LinkedIn profile.
Your LinkedIn profile is more important than even your resume these days.
Add a background photo that reinforces your personality and/or aligns with your current role and industry. This photo will fill the space at the top of your profile behind the box that has your headshot, name and title. Whatever you do, NEVER leave the photo space blank.
Add contact information, make it visible and completed in full so people can reach you.
Your Title: This could be your job title, or whatever you want to be known for or that aligns with your professional “Brand” (i.e. ‘expert in remote sky divind’ rather than your job title). This is at the top of the page where you don’t have to scroll and what will appear when someone finds your profile.
Update the ‘Summary’ section to your profile.The summary section highlights your strongest skills, primary responsibilities and select accomplishments. This is your extended “elevator pitch”. It should tell your story and use the first person, “I”. If someone is looking you up on LinkedIn to get to know you, this is the easiest way to tell your story. Read the article Three Steps To Writing The Perfect LinkedIn Summary for some important points and ideas to consider.
Experience:In this section, add descriptions of your responsibilities and achievements for each role that you’ve had professionally. Be sure to underscore the scope and metrics of your responsibilities and accomplishments. You can still use first person here.
Education:of course this includes your secondary, collegiate and post-graduate degrees, but also certifications that are meaningful to you.
Be sure to include Volunteer Experience, if you have them.Add a short description about your role and impact you had on the organization.
Make sure your top skills are what you prefer to be known and endorsed for (take out any extra that aren’t as important for your role and field and add any that are missing!).
Skills and Endorsements: You will need to click on this area and choose 4-6 skills so that people are asked to endorse you.
Recommendations Take time to build this out. Ask for recommendations from people you trust: former bosses, colleagues, clients or customers. Be sure to reach out to each individual by phone or email to ask if they would provide a recommendation and you would send the link to them via LinkedIn to make doing it easy. Once they have written their recommendation, you will have a chance to review it to make sure you want ot post it on your profile.
Add any additional Certifications or Awardsto your profile if applicable.
Add any additional professional organizations and associations that you belong to.
Finetune the companies, associations and individuals that you follow. Review your list to see if you’re missing anything. You can build this list by looking at other people’s profiles that you admire to see who they are following.
Connect to others: As you continue to expand your network, make it a habit to follow-up with a LinkedIn invitation to stay connected.
ADDITIONAL TIPS –
Stay active on LinkedIn - Comment on colleagues’ notices and milestones. Like and share interesting articles. Post original content and news to share with your network. You don’t have to do these things daily, but check in often, no less than weekly.
Personalize when connecting – Don’t send the generic LinkedIn invite, which will happen if you just click on the “connect” button (or if you use the app). Personalize the message! This means that you will first need to go to the person’s profile and only then click “connect.”
Search for colleagues, coworkers and fellow alumni – You can locate people you went to school with (undergrad or grad school), as well as filter them based on where they live, what they do and where they work.
When to accept connections – The only time you should accept invitations from people you don’t know is when they wrote about why they are interested in connecting.
Stay up-to-date on industry news – LinkedIn is often the first place people get their industry news. Beyond following companies to get the most recent news on your LinkedIn feed, you should also join groups.
Be a thought leader on LinkedIn – Another excellent way to build your name and credibility is to blog on LinkedIn. Blogs can be short and sweet, but having a recurring posting calendar on LinkedIn is a sure way to build your influence, brand and visibility.