LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It’s a place for you to network with other professionals, friends and colleague (But most of us know this right? If not you need to get yourself a profile set up before you go any further).
I would like to come to you and state I am the cat’s pyjamas when it comes to LinkedIn. But in reality I’ve not totally embraced it. Yes I use LinkedIn, I have a profile with a semi smart looking photo of my face showing both enthusiasm and confidence (to me anyway), but my own connections are lacking and I need some improvements to my summary.
So I’m going to take some of my own following advice and improve my own LinkedIn account whilst giving you tips to also improve yours.
‘Your name here’
I have an obsession with Google, the way we search and the ability of Google to match our query with the correct results. Have you ever tried to Google your own name? If it’s unusual enough then you’re in luck, you should appear on the first page if not no.1! Those of us with more common names or if you are like myself and share a name with a common object, in my case ‘Light’ then you’re going to find it a little trickier to appear as high on the ranking results. ‘ThomasLighting’ seems to be the bane of my life at the moment.
In any case try and optimise the web for your name. If you are looking for a job you must use the name on the top of your CV for your LinkedIn profile. If you want to be found you have to be seen. You can even go a step further a optimise your name for your job sector as well.
Look your best
A profile picture along with your name and job title is the first things we see. Our eyes are drawn to the imagery on the page. Unlike Facebook, a profile picture should be aimed at those who don’t know you. How would you want others to perceive you? Does your picture send out the right message? In many cases having a nice clean close up shot of your face should be sufficient; if people can recognise you from your profile picture then you’re doing a good job. Below is a guide on taking a good profile photo.
Quick Guide: How to take a good LinkedIn photo
Utilise the summary
This is where I’m going to put my hands up, I am an offender. Currently my LinkedIn summary has a total of 28 words used out of 2000. If we put that into a percentage I have utilised less than 2% of the total space. The summary gives a great insight into you as a person/ professional and lets people see what you’re passionate about. Many people who know you already will not take time to read through your summary so don’t worry if it looks like you’re ‘bigging yourself up’, think about it from an outsider’s perspective and show off your ability in your own unique way.
From the list below you will be able to see that the LinkedIn summaries all show individuality and the ability to create great content which engages with the reader. It is not just a list of achievements or a general overview of their experience, but it is a story that captures the attention. I will be taking some of the creative flare from those summaries when writing my own.
Example: 3 great LinkedIn Summaries
Too Few Connections
I may be a put under this category as well, as I like to know the people I connect with. Having more connections allows your profile to be found more easily and will appear in more search results. I think you should take some control when it comes to connection, add people who will add value to your network whether they are in the same industry or just have similar interests.
Sending out the right message
It is difficult to know what to post to your LinkedIn profile, but as a general rule of thumb try and keep it professional. If you read an interesting blog (hint hint), news article or have something industry related then it is probably ok for LinkedIn. Try not to make angry posts about your current working position, your night out and how bad a hangover you may have, or the latest internet viral cat video.
It’s important to be consistent with the network, make a post on a weekly basis to show you are still active.
Keep up to date
Your profile should be up to date and reflect your present position. Just because you may have secured a new job, does not mean you should slack when it comes to your LinkedIn profile. Keep on top of your profile and continue to grow your network.
Take a look at your LinkedIn profile and see if it really shows of the best of you and is not just another social network. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be improving my own and taking my own advice. If you have any more tips to share leave a comment below.