LinkedIn is fast becoming one of our most prominent social networks, with a reported 150 million members. It’s aimed predominantly at those interested in networking, and discovering business and job opportunities, making it the largest professional network in the world.
So it’s a great tool for anyone who wants to expand their business connections, or look for work.
But to make the most of it you need to ensure you have a great personal profile. As well as having a professional-looking photo and recommendations and endorsements from former colleagues and bosses, the other thing that will make you stand out and help win over potential employers, is a well-written summary.
Take a look at these tops for creating a winning LinkedIn profile:
1. Use an eye-catching professional headline
This is important, as it is what potential employers will use to get a quick overview of you. It should include your specific job roles, which can be separated with the “|” symbol on your keyboard. For example Marketing Consultant | Social Media Specialist | Project Manager. You have up to 120 characters to make use of, so utilise this space wisely. Google ranks LinkedIn very highly, so use keywords in your headline to ensure that you come up easily in searches.
2. Write a winning summary
The summary section is where you can tell your contacts more about yourself. Think of it as your elevator pitch. It should cover who you are and what areas you are interested in, your top career achievements, your ambitions, what roles you are currently looking for, why you’d make a great employee, and how people can get in touch with you. You have got up to 2000 characters at your disposal, but don’t use the whole space just for the sake of it. Many LinkedIn experts suggest keeping your summary to around 150 words. If your summary does end up being longer, try to break it up with headlines and sub-heads. It’s generally recommended that you write in the first person, but do whatever comes naturally. You want people to feel they are getting to know you, so feel free to add in something that shows what your passions are and what you love to do.
3. Tell people about your experience
The Experience section is the ‘CV’ part of your profile, and should include bullet points showing all of your relevant experience.
4. Shout about your skills & expertise
Don’t forget to fill out the ‘skills and expertise’ section with all your relevant skill sets. Try LinkedIn’s skills search facility to look up the most popular search terms, then use the keywords that potential employers or customers are likely to use when searching for candidates.
5. Link to your website or blog
Make sure you include links to your website or blog, but be sure to go into options and select “other”, as this allows you to manually type in the name of the website you are promoting.While you’re at it, make sure your LinkedIn URL is personalised with a ‘vanity URL’ (e.g. http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname). You can do this in the settings section.
6. Add applications
This is not essential, but adding the Reading List By Amazon application, for example, can be a good way of letting potential employers know a little bit more about yourself, by showing them the books you are currently reading. You can also add your blog feed to your profile with the Blog Link app, so that any new posts are shared with your connections. Other ways to show off relevant work are by using the Slideshare application or by adding the Creative Portfolio Display. Of course, make sure anything you add is completely relevant and shows you off in a good light.
Would you like to have your LinkedIn profile written by a professional? Get in touch with me to discuss how I can write you a great LinkedIn profile. Do you have tips for writing a perfect profile? Leave a comment below and let me know.