Top 6 Practices for your LinkedIn Profile
By Donna O’Toole
LinkedIn is a well-established social media platform for professionals, however, we don’t always use it to our greatest advantage or understand how much of an asset it can be. Creating a LinkedIn profile immediately helps you take control of your personal brand, manage your identity and image, connect with other professionals in your field, and share content with your connections to generate discussions and express points of view.
Here are 6 ways to improve your LinkedIn profile, and your personal brand:
Your profile picture is the first thing people see; they’ll read your name and then they’ll find the face to match it. Your picture should show your face clearly, there’s no need to include a long distance image featuring your whole body. And definitely no sunglasses! Make it a recent picture; ladies, ensure you have a picture with your most recent hair style and colour; gentlemen, use a picture showing you with your usual amount of facial hair. You don’t want people to connect with you only to not recognise you in person because your profile shows you with a beard and now you’re clean shaven. And, above all, don’t forget to smile! This is the first impression you will make on your audience; make it a good one.
Many people leave their summary blank – don’t be one of them! Your summary is a chance to inject your personality into your profile, use it to tell your story and create your personal brand. Tell people what skills you have, why they matter and how they can add value to your roles and relationships. Keep it true to yourself and write in the first person, after all, it is your story.
- Skills & Endorsements
Listing your skills is a quick and easy way to reinforce your summary. You can choose your skills from the extensive list provided by LinkedIn but keep them relevant to who you are. By highlighting your skills you will open up the ability to be ‘endorsed’ by others. By endorsing you, your connections are confirming that you do have those skills. Take the time to go through your connections and endorse people who you genuinely believe deserve it and they may return the favour.
LinkedIn is an effective platform for sharing content, whether you would like to share your blog or perhaps you have read a particularly interesting article and you would like to express your opinion or seek the thoughts of others. When you post content you will appear in your connections’ feeds, so post content that benefits and is of value to them. Always keep your connections front of mind, what impression are you giving through the content you choose to share? You wouldn’t want to post something that doesn’t reflect your true personality or point of view.
We all know networking is an important aspect of business, you can find new customers, partners or even stumble upon a support group for like-minded people. LinkedIn allows you to connect to professionals from the comfort of your computer or mobile phone. But how do you choose who to connect with? Firstly, connect to everyone you know within your business, as potential connections may search for someone you have a relationship with and your name is more likely to appear as a suggestion. Next, when you attend networking events link up with people afterwards, but remember, there is an unspoken etiquette when connecting with someone you’ve either just met or never met before, to send a short message, just to explain who you are, where you met them or why you’re adding them. This can be a great start to a dialogue between the two of you which could lead to a number of opportunities – don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and to welcome new connections.
Sharing content is a great way to get your opinions across, however, commenting and liking other users’ posts is arguably more important. These interactions create and enhance relationships and show your interest in others’ opinions, feelings and work. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to network virtually, any interaction could potentially lead to a new professional opportunity so make your name known and bring in those profile views.
Now you have the tools to create your professional personal profile it’s now time to turn your attention to your business page.
Read here on how best to set up your business page and how to link up with your personal profile.
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