Build a Great LinkedIn Profile in Four Steps



LinkedIn Profile

It’s predicted by some that it won’t be long until the written CV becomes obsolete. So what is it that’s going to take over for good? LinkedIn, of course. We’ve all been there, you log in to LinkedIn, have a quick scroll through your friend’s profiles and there they are; the perfect page with a tonne of recommendations, a professional photo and all the experience in the world. Don’t panic, building a profile as good as these is easily done. With the right tips and tricks that we’ll describe in this post, you’ll be well on your way to building a perfect profile page. Here’s how to enhance your LinkedIn profile

1. Visuals
Before we dive into some of the more difficult profile developments, let’s start with the basics; having a pretty profile page. There’s two pieces of imagery you’ll need. Firstly, a nice profile photo, which can easily be done without a professional photographer, just using your smartphone camera. Try to find a lightly coloured wall in your house with a good degree of lighting. Ask a friend or family member to snap the pic, a selfie is sometimes considered unprofessional. If you have image editing software, the optimal profile picture size is 500×500 px, but LinkedIn will automatically re-size the photo if necessary. Next, is to find a great cover image. You could use a banner image from your current company’s website, or alternatively you can create your own. Head to pixabay.com or another stock photography site and use search terms like ‘business’ ‘creativity’ ‘office’ etc to find a nice high quality background image.  To add a background image, hover over ‘profile’ on your homepage, select ‘edit profile’, click the camera icon above the top section of your profile and follow instructions from there.

2. Endorsements
The Skills section of LinkedIn allows your connections to endorse you for your top skills. The more endorsements, the better validation your skills have to people viewing your profile. To start boosting your profile credibility, list the skills you believe are your best. This may be specific technical skills like programming languages or software you are a competent user of, or interpersonal skills like leadership and team working. Head to your connection’s pages and endorse your friends and colleagues, you’ll find that they probably return the favour as it’s so easy to do; just click the plus icon next to the skill listed.

skills

Above is Marketer Gary Vaynerchuk’s skills section. Don’t worry, this is just an example, not many people can claim this many endorsements!

3. Connections
If you’re hoping to be found on LinkedIn, the more first degree connections you have, the more likely the LinkedIn search algorithm will place you near the top of search results. So how do you grow your connections list?

#1 Groups
Search for some topics that interest you and are relevant to your field. Groups are a great way to engage with people of similar interests, and keep on top of industry news and trends. After joining a group of interest, get involved by asking questions and participating in group disucssions. You’ll find that if you engage enough people, they’ll likely want to connect with you.

#2 Engage!
Building a great profile on any social network is all about participation, and LinkedIn is no different. Have a read through your feed regularly, like posts and blogs and comment with your views and opinions. The more you interact, the better your visibility. As well as engaging with others, be sure to post your own updates. The key here is to add value. Talk about current events, share interest blogs and videos and try to encourage others to engage with you.

#3 Contacts
A really easy way to grow your connections, is to add the people you know! Using LinkedIn’s easy Email contact importing tool. Move your cursor over ‘My Network’ and select ‘Add Contacts’. On the right of the screen, click on your email provider (Gmail, Outlook etc), enter your information and click continue. This tool will display all your email contacts who are on LinkedIn, and will make it easy to add them as connections.

4. Your Profile
Just like a written CV, the description you provide of yourself in your ‘Summary’ is crucial in giving a great first impression. Firstly, make it clear to someone reading your profile your goals. For example, if you’re seeking new career opportunities in sales, make this stand out. Think about your biggest achievements, your core skills or what’s most important to you. Try to avoid standard CV clichés that give a reader little information about what makes you unique; ‘Results-driven thought leader’ is one to avoid! If you work in a creative industry, you could consider embedding a video or some artwork you’ve created to help build a better profile.

Last, but not least, get feedback! Ask your current connections, your colleagues and your friends to proofread your profile and see what they think.

Now, you should be ready to build a LinkedIn profile you can be proud of. You’ll find a wealth of information on LinkedIn’s help pages, where you can search keywords to find questions and solutions that other users have posted, as well as post your own questions. Who knows if the written CV will be around forever, at least now you can be confident that your professional online profile promotes you, your skills and experience as best possible.

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