Whether you’re in or out of employment, it’s important to have a LinkedIn profile that will always do you justice. Here, career expert Giles O’Halloran talks us through making the most of this all-important online showcase.
Linkedin is effectively an online shop window for your CV. It will be seen by recruiters, companies and potential contacts who will then consider connecting with, or approaching, you. It is essential that your profile has your current and up to date CV visible, which you can keep updated as you progress. It is effectively a live document that helps profile what you are doing, wherever you are, to an audience that is genuinely interested.
Your Personal Profile
It is best to have a professional picture and summary to headline your page. You need to stand out and show that there is a person behind the profile. Take time to write something succinct but punchy that helps the reviewer get a grasp of who you are.
Consider writing around four to five lines, covering your professional background, interpersonal skills and career aspirations. You then arm the reader with a brief insight into you as a person.
Once you have your CV, picture and summary added, start to develop your connections. Be bold but polite when contacting individuals. Take time to personalise messages and build a genuine connection, rather than just collecting names. You can also join relevant groups and start to develop connections more quickly as a result.
The more connections you develop, the more opportunities you will create for jobs, work and further contacts. Remember to keep your network alive through regular updates, messages and comments. These are the life blood of success and help to build effective and productive relationships.
When you develop your profile, you will have the opportunity to highlight key skills through a section titled ‘Skills & Expertise.’ List your key skills, knowledge, experience and any specialist capabilities that your connections can then endorse. It is actually worth taking time to review your contacts and connections so that you can note down expertise to add to your profile.
Then, take the time to endorse others appropriately (providing they have the capability you are endorsing) and people will then return the favour. Through doing so, you improve your reputation and credibility as a professional. You become more than just another CV online as the crowd is confirming your capability.
As with endorsements, recommendations can be a powerful tool to enhance your reputation and profile to the Linkedin audience. You can invite your connections to recommend you but you can start the ball rolling by recommending others.
These recommendations act like online references and can actually impact whether you are able to apply for certain job via Linkedin’s job section. Do not be scared to invite people to recommend you as it will only enhance your profile.
Finally, to ensure your profile becomes recognised, you need to maintain the activity on your profile. Invest some time into commenting on groups, preparing a job search profile, sharing articles or updates and helping people connect to one another.
The more you can help others, the more others are likely to help you. So, spend the time to build your image and profile through interactivity – this will keep your profile very much alive.