Linkedin is the equivalent of Facebook but for professionals. The social networking platform is a great way to showcase yourself as it’s your online CV.
Like other social media platforms, you have a profile and ideally, you want to complete this as much as possible so that you have a profile picture, cover photo, name, headline, summary, current workplace, education and connections as you are your own personal brand.
Choosing a Profile Picture
With Linkedin being a professional environment it’s really important that your profile picture meets the set tone, you don’t want to be using a photo from a night out or a picture that was taken far away as it’s the first impression people get of you.
The best profile picture is a recent headshot that looks like you with your face taking up 60% of the picture with you looking happy and approachable. It’s thought that colour pictures are better if you’re wanting to stand out as in a recent survey 80% of the people taking part had colour profile pictures as it helps people to see who you truly are.
An important element to any photos being used online is to make sure the dimensions of the image are suitable in order to prevent them from looking pixelated.
Add a Cover Photo
As your whole profile is about telling a story of who for are it’s really important to make use of your cover photo it’s a great way making a statement to get people’s attention all while showing them a bit more information about you, e.g if you’re a nutritionist you could have an image of vegetables or a different approach to take is a workplace having a specific cover photo they encourage you to use.
When I worked at Hallam we were encouraged to use the companies cover photo and because of the bold colour and little text, I think it makes you as an individual standout but also it added another aspect to your identity.
The headline section is where you can add in your job title but it’s another opportunity to display your personality so you could instead add in how you perceive your role E.g Talent Aquisition Geek.
Even in you are currently unemployed you can use the headline section to let people know you are seeking a new opportunity.
The best way to write any kind of content is to tell a story in plain language so that it’s easy to understand however with over 500 million users on Linkedin there are some common buzzwords to avoid including on your profile:
It might take several attempts to create a summary that shows personality all while demonstrating a selection of your skills.
It’s thought that having 500+ connections are meant to be very good to achieve this you could request to connect with everyone at your current and previous workplace, people you meet at networking events and conferences.
You don’t need to request or accept everyone though try and keep it relevant for example if you’re in SEO there’s not much point in being connected with a Primary school teacher.
When sending connection requests by adding in a note it’s a great way for you to stand out for example if you met them at a conference you could say ‘Hi I hope you’re well it was great to chat with you the other day at Brighton SEO’.
With Linkedin being a professional social network it isn’t the place to be pitching to people you don’t know, it will only irritate them. The more you grow your following and online presence the more you’ll gain inbound leads.
Linked in is used as a virtual CV which is why it’s essential to include your current workplace and any previous experience. This can be done in a number of ways such as adding your job title and the dates you worked for that company however by doing this you aren’t allowing people to know what your role included.
The best way to let people know your experience is by adding in your job titles and the dates you worked for them as well as including a small overview of what that job entails, it means when people look at your profile they have a great understanding of your capabilities.
This is a great way to achieve easy wins but ideally, you want this section to compliment your summary so list all relevant skills however you should keep this to around 10-12 skills so be selective to prevent it from being too long.
Once you’ve added in your skills you are able to change the order giving you the chance to pick which ones are displayed first.
It’s also a great way for people to endorse you as they are able to say if they’ve worked with you on a project where you displayed a good use of that specific skill. You are also able to request endorsements.
Like endorsement, you can also add recommendations to your Linkedin profile while are essentially reviews of you and your work. Over time you’ll want to collate around 10, this can be done by getting 2-3 from previous and current workplaces but think carefully about who you want them from. The more senior the person leaving the review is the better it looks on your profile.
Something to bear in mind it’s much easier to get recommendations while you work for that place as people are more willing to give them compared to when you’ve already left.
By regularly posting, liking and sharing on Linkedin it gives you the opportunity to be a thought leader all by showing off your work which could be done by writing articles, guest blogs and long forms of content which is a great way to update your audience with sector news, but the content should be shareable, engaging and educational. If it meets none of these think twice before posting it.
Despite Linkedin being used by a professional audience, you can still use hashtags and emojis. Just don’t go crazy with them try and keep your hashtags to a maximum of 10 and that any emoji’s used must be relevant.