Creating your LinkedIn self

As with any online resource, what you put into your LinkedIn profile will determine what you get out.  As a first touch point between you and potential recruiters or employers, it is essential your professional brand is shown in its best light.

So, what top tips will ensure a successful LinkedIn profile? Funny you should ask…

Make sure your profile serves you well

LinkedIn recently released its top 10 buzzwords found on user profiles and it turns out that writing that you are skilled, passionate or motivated make not make you stand out from the crowd and it doesn’t make a memorable impression on potential employers.

So be creative. Offer more than carefully worded statements and bullet points about your skills. Your profile must serve you to its fullest potential and that means approaching things a bit differently to that of a CV.

Remember, you LinkedIn profile isn’t your CV. You can do so much more – you can tell your story.  So, begin with your headline. Think about how to represent your professional self in the best possible way – but keep it succinct and to the point.

Your summary is your opportunity to share insight into what drives you and makes you different from others.  Write it in the first person so you come across approachable and open.

Your profile should tell your story.  Include a solid summary of where you have been and where you want to go. This can explain any gaps or direction changes – recruiters appreciate the blanks being filled in for them.

Don’t start your summary with common buzzwords. A ‘results-orientated leader’ features on half a million profiles! Stand out from your competitors by offering the recruiters something a bit different.  Make sure your first couple of lines include your critical information.  LinkedIn’s layout only shows the first 3 lines of your summary so you need to entice them to press the ‘read more’ option.

Add to your experiences

Your LinkedIn profile should showcase your academic and professional passions. Write broadly about past experiences and add details and context that you can’t normally fit into a two-page CV.  Include everything you feel best describes you, your skills and any value you can add to a workplace.

If you don’t have much significant work experience, you can build and add detail to your academic endeavours.

The profile tool allows you to upload media files so consider showcasing skills in a direct manner. You can communicate so much more, more effectively through this medium.

Upload any pertinent articles, assignments or presentations as actual examples of your work. This puts all your basic CV information into context and helps add value to your expertise and knowledge.

Start Talking

Once you have determined your professional brand and set down your expertise and areas of interest, start talking. LinkedIn isn’t a bulletin board, it is social media.  So, post regularly. Interact, comment and share. Follow companies and industry leaders that interest you and repost their updates with your own, well thought out comments to add value.

This shows employers and colleagues you are passionate and know your stuff. And just like social media, the more you interact, the higher your profile becomes.  Keep things constantly refreshed and up to date through sharing new skills or completed assignments and including any new achievements.

Ensure your profile picture represents your professional self. That means avoid pictures in a social environment, with others around you. Think passport photo with a little more personality.  And finally, be truthful (you will get found out easily) and check for any spelling or grammatical errors!

 

To get started with LinkedIn, visit www.linkedin.com

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