Are you using LinkedIn to its full advantage? Maybe you’re not using it at all right now? This article explains how to power up your LinkedIn profile – in 10 easy steps.
With 40 million people using LinkedIn to search for jobs each week and three people being hired through the site every minute, LinkedIn is a professional social media force to be reckoned with. How strong is your LinkedIn presence? Perhaps you’re on it every single day or you haven’t really invested much time in it. Whatever your situation, this article reveals how you can develop a great LinkedIn profile that supports your career and business development.
“caba offered me some career coaching and it was incredibly helpful. My coach was excellent. We started off working on using LinkedIn and social media for business, but overall it was about confidence building. My coach saw my value and how it could be applied.”
When you set up your profile, LinkedIn automatically populates your headline section (the line immediately underneath your profile picture) with your job role and company you work for. However, you can change the details to something that’s more descriptive. You can also add in symbols, such as stars, to make your headline stand out more.
Your LinkedIn profile is essentially an online CV with added flair and an opportunity to share a glimpse of your personality with others. How it comes across overall to people is important. How do you want to position yourself? How will people perceive you, just by looking at your profile? Establish your brand – e.g. your tone of voice, language, imagery and be consistent with it. More importantly, be genuine, be you.
You may know that your LinkedIn details are really impressive, but if they haven’t been written in a compelling way, they may not get read by many people. One of the quickest, and easiest, ways of making your details more compelling is to use action words, e.g. work, study, talk.’ Examples of non-action words include: believe, seem and am.
After your headline, this section is the first opportunity for you to tell people about yourself. And given the fact it’s just a couple of sentences long initially, it’s important you nail your proposition and encourage people to read more. This does make it the most difficult section to get right, but you don’t have to write reams about yourself, a paragraph is all you need. If you want to write more, you can also use this area to share your contact details or focus on your specialisms.
Your profile photo is the one thing people immediately look at, so it’s important that it portrays you in a professional light. Not uploading a photo at all is an immediate barrier to getting to know you. Meanwhile a non-work-related shot can make you instantly look unprofessional. All you need is a nice, clear head and shoulders work image, and no pets, holiday or socialising shots.
“One of the first things I did was to call caba. I explained my position and they gave me 3 sessions with a career coach to help improve my CV. They also offered me a LinkedIn course too. I think the sessions were useful on a practical level – I adjusted my CV and online presence. On a personal level, I had a connection with a friendly face who understood my industry and wanted to support me. I needed validation for the direction I was going in. Working with caba really rebuilt my confidence.”
Creating your profile is only half the LinkedIn equation. Once you’ve populated yours and are happy with it, it’s time to get it out there! This can be done in just a matter of minutes by joining relevant industry groups and inviting people you know to connect with you. (Tip: this is an on-going commitment that takes time, but it doesn’t have to take hours on end. Spending just 10 to 15 minutes on LinkedIn during your lunch break can make a positive impact).
When you first set up your profile, LinkedIn provides you with a generic profile link that’s not connected to you in any way. However, you can customise your URL, which will enable people to easily find you in search results. This guidance from LinkedIn shows you how: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/87/customize-your-public-profile-url?lang=en
LinkedIn recommendations are essentially online testimonials from people, who have worked with you and can endorse your skills and abilities. They’re a real-life indicator to potential employers and recruiters what you are like to work with. You can never have too many recommendations, which you request from people. To do this:
LinkedIn isn’t just a great place to establish online networks, get your profile out there and find jobs. It’s also an excellent source of insight and inspiration. As well as ‘connecting’ with people, you can also ‘follow’ them, which means their latest updates appear in your feed. Following people who inspire you, either within accounting or other industries, is highly informative and educational.
You’ve completed all the sections, uploaded a professional picture, sent connection invitations, joined groups, followed influencers and inspirational profiles, and hope that your profile will get noticed. Aside from doing all that, one way of checking how strong your profile is, is to run it past LinkedIn’s Profile Strength Meter, which is really quick and easy to do.
How do you feel about LinkedIn now? Do you need to spend more time improving your existing profile? Or perhaps you feel ready to create yourself a profile once and for all.
Whatever your circumstances, LinkedIn is there to work as hard for you as you like; the more effort you put into it, the more it repays you over time. We hope you find these tips useful and implement them over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, for more practical LinkedIn advice read, ‘Using LinkedIn to look for work & more.’
Our career coaches are here to help you develop a career plan that helps improve your confidence and networking skills, creates an effective job search strategy, builds a winning CV and transforms your interview skills. Get in touch with them today.
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