The business-focused social network LinkedIn can be a great way of finding a job, or of attracting new clients if you are a freelancer. Even if you are already employed, LinkedIn can be useful for scouting out your next potential opportunity or career move. Many people have even received offers for job interviews seemingly out of the blue by employers on LinkedIn and gone on to have a successful career change!
Even if you are not currently looking for work, it can be useful to have a LinkedIn profile. However, it can be difficult to know how to create and maintain a profile that is effective, professional, and appealing to potential employers, clients, or customers. In this guide, we have listed five top tips for creating a great LinkedIn profile!
Keep things professional
Because LinkedIn is aimed at the professional world, the way you use it should most likely be different from the way you may use other social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The best way to use LinkedIn is to think of it as a virtual workplace or networking event and present yourself and communicate in that manner. Friendliness is encouraged, but overfamiliarity or edgy banter in posts or messages is probably not best for this platform. When uploading a profile picture, choose a shot where you look professional and approachable. Avoid snaps taken on a drunken night out or dressed in revealing clothes (unless you’re a swimsuit model, we guess).
Avoid controversial opinions
While you may post your hot takes on politics, religion, or any other potentially divisive or sensitive topic on your personal Facebook page or Twitter account., it is best to avoid doing so on LinkedIn. Most employers, clients, or customers don’t want to associate their brand with someone who may turn away customers.
Include links to relevant achievements
LinkedIn allows you to include links to other pages, such as your personal website. Whether you are a freelancer with an online portfolio or an online entrepreneur who owns a component search engine site, including a link to it can be a great idea. You should be careful with your links and avoid linking to your personal social media accounts. Many people even recommend setting your personal social media accounts to private to ensure that there is no possible link or way of potential business contacts finding your personal profile.
List your job title/s and skills
This tip is particularly important if you are a freelancer or working in sales, marketing, or consultancy. The description section underneath your name is a good place to list your occupation and skills, e.g. Digital Marketing Consultant / SEO / Copyeditor. LinkedIn also has a “skills” section that you should fill in.
LinkedIn has a handy feature that allows others to attach recommendations of you to your profile. These recommendations can be great for attracting new clients or employers. Recommending goes both ways – you should always be willing to leave recommendations of others as well as accepting them for yourself!
Once you have set up the perfect LinkedIn profile, it is best to frequently log in, post updates, and communicate with other users. If you do this, you are likely to reap the rewards!