LinkedIn is an excellent social media platform for networking with professional contacts, but if you want to get the most out of it, you need to use it appropriately. How can you ensure the best results from your LinkedIn profile? Here are a few important guidelines to follow.
1. Use a professional photo
A picture is worth a thousand words. What does your profile picture say? Does it say you were willing to invest in yourself with a professional photo shoot or that you cheaped out with an unremarkable selfie? Does your profile picture flatter you? Does it show you in a setting that tells the viewer something important about you? Is it eye-catching?
Your profile picture is the first thing a prospective contact or employer will see on LinkedIn. You don’t necessarily have to mimic the traditional headshot, but you do need to say something about yourself that is relevant to a business contact. It’s your opportunity to make a good first impression when you can’t do so in person. Make it count!
2. Spice up your headline
It’s important that your headline advertise your job title and current employer, but if you want to grab attention, you need to say something more about what you do. If you’re a photographer, for example, your headline might read “Professional Photographer, 123 Studios – Bringing Your Vision to Life”, for example. This is certain to be more memorable than a simple listing of your title and employer.
3. Include all relevant information
The modern norm for resumes is one page, tops. You want to make it skimmable to highlight the most important information, after which the hope is that prospective employers will want to learn more through an interview. This rule does not apply to your LinkedIn profile.
Is everyone going to read your entire summary, job history, and skills list? Probably not, but you want to provide the information so they have the option to learn as much about you as possible. When you format it correctly, breaking it up into bite-size chunks, you can avoid the visual clutter of blocks of text that might turn some viewers off.
4. Make your profile public
This isn’t Facebook, where you need separate accounts for your personal and professional spheres. LinkedIn is a professional platform dedicated to helping you grow and maintain your professional network. Everything you post should be professional in nature and you should always be open to new potential contacts and opportunities. Keeping your profile private and hidden is counterintuitive to the whole concept of LinkedIn.
Post by Sarah Harris
Photography Credit: #WOCinTech Chat