If you know anything about social media, you will know that there are a tonne of different social media platforms out there. There are some designed to showcase photographs, whilst others are focused on short videos and memes. When it comes to networking and connecting on a professional level, it’s all about LinkedIn. If you want to solidify yourself within an industry and connect with like minded people, you need a great LinkedIn profile.
Why is LinkedIn So Important as a Professional?
LinkedIn is a social network that is popular amongst professionals in a variety of industries. It helps you to connect with others in your industry, find new jobs and keep track of your professional development. This is why a LinkedIn profile is somewhat similar to a CV; it’s there to showcase your skills, experience and education. With a quick look at your LinkedIn profile, recruiters and potential employers can see how capable you are. Without a LinkedIn profile, there’s no knowing how many opportunities or connections you are missing out on.
There is a lot that goes into making a LinkedIn profile, and it’s not simply a case of writing a short bio and hoping for the best. Though the likes of Facebook and Twitter only require a little bit of information from users, a LinkedIn profile is there to be detailed and informative. It should be well rounded and professional, and it should include all of the relevant information about your professional life. It’s there to ‘sell’ you and your skills to other people. Even if you are not currently looking for a new job, LinkedIn can help you to solidify yourself as someone in the industry who’s worth watching and paying attention to.
With so much to think about, a lot of people assume that making a LinkedIn profile is complex and confusing. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. LinkedIn is a relatively simple platform to use, once you have got the hang of it, and a LinkedIn profile can be as detailed as you would like. However, a profile that’s lacking in any way is unlikely to stand out to other people in the industry. The more time and effort you put into your LinkedIn profile, the more successful it’s likely to be.
How to Create a Successful LinkedIn Profile?
- Choose a Suitable Photograph – Though it may sound obvious, you will be surprised at the number of people that upload an unsuitable photograph to their LinkedIn profile. You don’t need to spend money on having professional photographs taken, but you do need to choose a high quality and professional one. You should be able to see your face and it should showcase you as a friendly, approachable and pleasant person. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a LinkedIn profile photograph needs to be serious, as this isn’t the case. A friendly and welcoming photograph is much more effective, but a photograph of you socialising could work against you.
- Regularly Update Your Profile – A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that once they have created a LinkedIn profile, they can leave it alone to work its magic. Though having a LinkedIn profile is far better than not having one, you do need to keep it up to date. This doesn’t mean changing everything, it simply means making small changes here and there. For example, when you are given a new responsibility at work, add this to your profile. If you have a new professional photograph, consider changing your profile picture. By keeping your LinkedIn profile updated, you are showing how organised and ‘on top of things’ you are. Plus, it highlights that you are taking your professional life and career seriously, which is a huge selling point to recruiters.
- Don’t Waffle or Ramble – It’s important to add a lot of information to your LinkedIn profile, such as relevant work experience and special skills. However, avoid waffling or rambling as this can put people off and you run the risk of information not standing out. Instead, keep things concise and to the point. Describe your responsibilities and work experience in a way that highlights the key points and gives a small amount of vital information. Each section should be around two to three paragraphs long, anything longer could be glossed over.
- Engage With Others and Stay Active – Don’t forget that LinkedIn is a social media tool, and engaging with others is a big part of how it works. Though you wouldn’t use it in the same way as Facebook or Instagram, it can be used to connect with other people within your industry. There are forums and discussions that you can get involved with, and you can comment on posts and articles. By staying active on LinkedIn, you are giving yourself the best chance of expanding your network and meeting key players within your industry. Plus, it’s a good way to showcase a more personal side of yourself to recruiters.
- Share Your Thoughts and Opinions – With so many people working in the same field, it’s important to stand out from your competitors. Sharing your thoughts, opinions and insights in the form of an article is a good way to do this. Not only does it give you the chance to open up a discussion, but it shows potential employers that you can think for yourself. Instead of being a cog in the machine, you are someone with unique thoughts and insights. By taking the time to write an article, you are also showing how invested you are in the industry and your career.
As you can see, there is no denying the importance of having a LinkedIn profile. Whether you are searching for a job at the moment or you want career progression in the future, having a LinkedIn profile is undeniably beneficial. However, you certainly need to make the effort to create a great profile, otherwise you could get lost amongst the thousands of other users on the platform.