Why not you?
Why not you now? ……LinkedIn Profile
Should you have one? Do you have one? How accurate and detailed is yours?
LinkedIn was founded nearly 20 years ago, in 2002 and is used as a professional networking tool to millions of users/members. LinkedIn is an American employment-oriented service that operates via a website and mobile app. Since 2016 it’s a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft and as of June 2019 has over 630 Million registered members in 200 countries. Technical professionals around the world use their LinkedIn profile, as a sort of summarised on-line CV. If you haven’t got one, I suggest you join the FREE membership and start setting out your professional profile for the world to see.
Here are some top tips, starting from the top, section by section;
Photo - Always include a photo of yourself. A headshot is ideal, that provides a good likeness and ideally in a professional work/type situation. Although it isn’t imperative that it is taken by a professional photographer, you can certainly tell the ones that have been. Their clarity and expressions are so much more appropriate and as is always the case, ‘a picture tells a thousand words’. If you care about your professional persona and want to make a great first impression. Take the time to capture the best image to make the right first impression. Some no no’s – no sunglasses, if you wear a tie wear it with your top button done up and the right size collar, keep it professional so pictures in a social setting are also not the best.
Rectangular image - Use the opportunity to add a free image of interest behind you on your profile. An eye catching, relevant image can be added to your profile across the top which can attract and help engage the reader with you, your personality and your interests.
Profile Headline under your name - Include a profile headline that has impact and is clear, concise and direct to the reader about who you are/what your technically/professionally known for/as.
About - Demonstrate your passions and personality here. Think about what you hoping to achieve with your LinkedIn profile? Whatever it is, it should be described/summed up here. After all your overview of your professional life experience can be up to 2,000 characters Max. You may also add website/media links here and upload and presentations/documents/awards/certificates which may enhance your offering. Put your career in context here and highlight your biggest achievements.
Your dashboard – Shows tracking information/stats provided by LinkedIn about your profile.
Choose whether you wish to switch Career advice and Career Interests on or off – we recommend “on” if you are in the market for your next career step and / or want to help others in your industry.
Articles & activity - Shows a record of what you have posted to your network (other colleagues/ professionals in your group) and what other articles you have liked that others in your network have shared/posted. You can also write your own articles and post them here, doing so shows your expertise and experience as an authority on a subject or initiative.
Experience - Your experience section on your profile, should be laid out in accurate date order, along with the full names/website links and Logos of the companies you have worked with. Include a few words describing each company and don’t assume everyone knows, what the companies you have worked for do. Provide some relevant details about what you did at/for each company, what you achieved/learned/accomplished.
This is the real nuts and bolts of your profile, so make sure this is all correct as potential employers/recruiters will ask if there are any gaps or dates which don’t add up. Take your time and get this detail absolutely correct, with no room for ambiguity. Stand out from the crowd and make sure this section shows off your unique skills/experiences, accomplishments and strengths. Your LinkedIn profile career record should match your cv identically in order to avoid confusing or alarming a future employer.
Education – Self-explanatory really. Explain here where/when and what school/college and/or university you studied. Which educational certificates you passed and to what level you achieved. Below there is also a section for specialist Licenses and Certifications you hold.
Skills & Endorsements – This section is where your network of current and former colleagues/professionals who have had worked/partnered with you during your career are able to add their endorsements about your skills.
Recommendations – These are shown on your profile with your agreement/acceptance once given by the individual. You may ask your trusted network/colleagues directly through LinkedIn messaging for their recommendations about working with/alongside you.
Accomplishments – Languages spoken, written and proficiency.
Interests – This section shows all influencers that are important to you and the companies that you like and follow, in order to receive their news/updates and posts. You are also able to follow your schools/colleges and universities here so their Logo’s will show up on your profile. Last but not least, LinkedIn Interest Groups. There are over 1M such groups worth searching, whose membership can vary from 1 to 1.5M members covering all sorts of topics. Here you can find interesting discussions from your professional circle and like-minded members. You are able to read and post articles once you have joined these groups and may join up 100 groups. Find groups specialist to your chosen passions/professional interests.
To all professionals reading this…. ensure your personal on-line brochure or LinkedIn profile is up to date, at all times. Keep it relevant and polished, re-visit it from time to time to double check you are happy with how it represents you in your career, right now, today. As we all know there are sometimes in our careers where our professional data is more relied upon than others. In this permanent on-line world, we live in, I would highly recommend we all take note of these points as our LinkedIn profiles could always do with some extra input, in order to get noticed and stand out.
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