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Why do you need a LinkedIn profile?
- Because the point of LinkedIn is to act as a place where people can do business with each other.
- You can write loads more on your LinkedIn profile than you can on your CV and you get to show exactly how you’re good at what you do and why someone might want to work with you.
- LinkedIn groups not only provide a ton of information but are full of people who would hire you, collaborate with you or recommend you.
- LinkedIn’s SEO is so good that if someone Googles you, your LinkedIn profile will come up at the top of page one and before your own website (if you have one).
- If you’re a freelancer then people will Google you.
Step #1: Decide Who This Profile Is For
With your LinkedIn profile, what do you want your reader to know about you? Imagine your profile as your career window display. It should showcase all the great experience that has shaped your career and you professionally and given you the skills that you’re most proud of.
Mention the types of clients you worked with, the size of budgets you managed, the people you worked with and the level of return you provided so people can see the scope of your experience and how good you are at what you do.
Imagine arranging that window display in your mind – what does it look like?
What would make shoppers stop and take a look?
This is not an easy thing to do but it’s all about selling yourself. If you don’t, nobody else will.
Step #2: Build a Multimedia Profile
Step #3: Go For The Detail
Step #4: Organise The Information
Step #5: Don’t leave Any Sections Blank!
Step #6: Write an outstanding summary and headline
Make sure your headline is engaging and accurately reflects your professional identity. Typically, you’ll only have 5-10 seconds to impress, so be concise and accurate.
[ctt template=”8″ link=”vkdbn” via=”no” ]First impressions count![/ctt]
Step #7: Act naturally
Be authentic and inject some of your personality in the language you use. You can do this even if English is not your first language.
Step #8: Connect, connect, connect
Try to establish at least 50 trusted connections on LinkedIn. These will maximise your networking opportunities.
When I first started out with my profile, I’d search for former colleagues on LinkedIn and invite them to connect with me. I did it a little every day and soon built a good network of connections.
Your connections do make a difference – you never know who could help you in the future or who you could help.
When you do invite people to connect, don’t send the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”.
Make it personal. Use their name and if you know them, add a personal note (“It was a pleasure to meet you at the conference last week. I’d love to add you to my professional network here on LinkedIn. I hope to hear from you. Kind Regards, Shanthi”).
We’re more likely to connect with people who took the time to personalise their invitation, aren’t we?
Step #9: Get and give recommendations/ endorsements
People who receive a lot of recommendations or testimonials are people who have given a lot so it’s worth spending time writing recommendations to help your fellow professionals or clients. Giving recommendations also establishes you as an authority.
Receiving recommendations makes a huge impact on your LinkedIn profile. If you know people would recommend you, ask them if they’d do it on LinkedIn. However, don’t use the LinkedIn feature. Ask in person or in writing.
When asking, ask your contact if they can specifically mention a skill or outline how you work as it’s better for a testimonial to say that you are efficient, reliable and cost-effective than that you were friendly or nice to work with.
Endorsements are the skills that LinkedIn suggests you have to your connections. These might not be things you actually want to be endorsed for.
Joanne Munro says: “It’s best to have a select skill set rather than a load of random ones as you might end up getting endorsed for things you don’t want to do any more and it can dilute your image. So make sure the skills are key things you want to be known for rather than that you’re good with Excel for example.” (Source: Joanne Munro )
Step #10: Network in LinkedIn Groups
Groups show up in your profile and demonstrate your interests. But apart from that, LinkedIn groups are a great way to meet people in your industry and have a meaningful conversation.
These groups are a valuable resource, so use them!
When you run into a problem you don’t know how to solve, find a group of similar professionals who’ve likely had a similar problem. Ask for help. And help others in return — they’ll remember the favour! Helping others through groups and discussion threads will also establish you as an authority in your field.
More to come: I will be writing more about how to write an outstanding summary and captivating headline in a future post. This will include using keywords so your profile and name show up top in a LinkedIn search. So stay tuned.
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