Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things an employer, employee, recruiter or potential contact is going to see if they search for you online. The world’s largest business-to-business network is the number one platform for relationship management and networking – and is only growing in members and connections.
As recruiters’ first stop for professional ‘speed dating’, making your profile your professional wingman is well worth the effort. With LinkedIn recently relaunching the look of their site, even All Star members could do with spending some quality time with their profile. Here you’ll find our top tips for keeping your profile relevant, engaging, and actionable.
Getting to Know You
Think of your LinkedIn as an interactive CV. Unlike a traditional résumé, your LinkedIn profile is live and can be found by anyone with an Internet connection. That means a lot of opportunities for growing your network. To encourage those connections, make the most of the range of profile sections LinkedIn offers:
- Your Summary is often the first thing people read, and should always be in the first person. Use bullet points to break up your writing into more manageable chunks, but take advantage of all 2000 spaces LinkedIn gives you. The first two lines – the ones visible while the full Summary is closed – should make clear what you do, who you do it for, and why it’s beneficial
- Headlines are crucial. Many people come to LinkedIn profiles through Google. Including key words people might search for – such as your industry, company, and job title – can push your name towards the top
- Your Current Experience is just as important! Make sure you put in all of your most relevant, recent, and transferrable positions. Again, use all of the space available to shout about your success
- For your Challenges’ placement, your job title was ‘Business Support Associate (Voluntary)’, or ‘Business Support Associate Team Leader (Voluntary)’. Make sure you are accurate, as all employers ask us to confirm your dates and job title in any reference we provide
- Be approachable and friendly – but, above all, keep it professional. You should always have a recent photograph of yourself in your profile, but no selfies, group shots, or unprofessional contexts
- Flesh out your profile. Your ‘Skills’ section should be full; your Education and Qualifications detailed; and any awards, publications, or linguistic talents advertised
- Make sure people know how to contact you! Be wary of providing too much personal data, but at least an active email address should be easily available
Spring Clean Your LinkedIn Profile
Keeping this information up to date is vital. You should regularly schedule a ‘spring clean’ of your profile. This is particularly crucial if you have just started a job, are looking for new one, or have taken on more responsibility in your present role. Somebody reading your profile should have a good sense of what you’re up to professionally at that moment.
This may sound like a chore, but ensuring your profile – particularly the Summary and Current Experience sections – are kept accurate can be the difference between making a connection and missing an opportunity. Try:
- Scheduling time to update your profile into your diary. Just 30 minutes a month could be all you need! Why not take a moment during your next lunch break?
- Taking inspiration from your colleagues or friends who do similar work. Don’t be afraid to borrow bits that make sense for you
- Directly linking to any media you may produce for an even easier way to publicise your work. Written a blog for the Challenges Worldwide website, for example? Share a link to it in your Publications section!
There is little point to putting in all of this effort if you then fail to follow through on the connections you make! Ultimately, who you know – in this case, who is in your network – matters. Make sure you:
- Connect with your colleagues, friends and extended network! You never know who might get up to something interesting. Get started by becoming a member of our Alumni LinkedIn group
- Ask for recommendations from your employers. This is the best way for somebody to trust that you are as good as you say you are
- Engage with people’s profiles. Like their updates, read their articles, and keep on top of what’s going on in your network
- Make conversation with the people who add you. It’s perfectly acceptable on LinkedIn to connect with people you don’t know personally. Do accept these requests; it’s a great excuse to meet new people!
Want more content like this? Check out the ‘Maximising Your Skills’ tag for more!