Creating a LinkedIn Profile

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What is Linkedin?

LinkedIn is a platform used for professional networking, and allows job seekers to post their CV or Profile and employers to post jobs. Although it has been around since 2003 It has recently become more popularly used in expressing views and communicating with networks, due to the lack of physical events throughout 2020- 2021.

 

Your  Linkedin profile is a professional landing page, it should display your personal brand and tell potential employers and those in your network what you do, what your good at and what you stand for. It is your online CV, but has more detail and needs to be managed a little differently.

 

A Linkedin profile is fully visible to all other Linkedin members, although you can have control over what you put on it, and the notifications people might receive. The types of people that will be looking at your profile are professionals and will be connecting in professional manner for a number of reasons; they could be offering you a role, asking for mentee or mentorship, sharing interests and knowledge, partnering in business and more. For this reason it is important that your Linkedin profile is representative of you.

Why should you have a linked in profile?

  1. It helps you to manage or create your professional brand

You are in charge of what and how other professionals see you. This is open to refinement and development as you grow in your field of expertise, whether it be in Professional experience or qualifications. You can customise your profile to show your personality and ensure it fits your needs, adding interests and skills as you see fit. This is how customers, employers and other professionals will perceive you.

 

  1. It can create opportunities for you

Linkedin is used globally by individuals and organisations, a LinkedIn profile will help you get noticed. Keeping an updated profile means you can be found by right people at the right time. It’s a great way to find job opportunities you can connect with recruiters and follow companies that you are interested in working for in order to see their latest vacancies. You can also search for jobs by title and area and see if you are matched as a good fit for the job before you even apply. LinkedIn will also inform you when someone views your profile so this will give an indication of the types of searches you appear in.

 

  1. You can build your network

This doesn’t always mean for job opportunities, it may be for some guidance. Building your network with those with similar interests to you or that have careers that you aspire to, could lead you into finding a mentor or being able to ask a few questions. This is a great way to help you gain some personal knowledge or reflect on the direction you are going, we often look to others that have achieved high levels of success but they are out of reach, not anymore.

 

  1. It is a great way to track your professional milestones

Your profile is laid out similar to a CV so you can see all of your professional achievements and important dates. There is also extra features that can help you like notifications about your work anniversary or people endorsing you for skills ( showing others that they believe you have the stated skill too). The more complete your profile is the more chance you will have of being ‘discovered’.

 

Tips for creating a great LinkedIn profile:

  • Your Profile Picture – A good picture will be professional and approachable much like you would be at a networking event. It will increase the credibility of your profile ensuring there is a person behind the page. According to LinkedIn having a good photo on your profile can get you 21x more views than those without a picture. It should be a high resolution image of your face, should take up more than 60% of the frame and not be heavily filtered. Try to avoid pictures in a social environment like on a night out or drinking and make sure that if there is another person in your picture it is easy to distinguish who you are.

 

  • A Background Picture– Many choose an inspiring image or quote. You could put your current jobs logo or you in action at work, but whatever you do make sure it represents you. This doesn’t have to be work related but it should let people know about your personality, mindset or views. You might even just choose your favourite colour. It is up to you to think about what will give others a bit more insight into your profession or interests. What ever you do make sure its not too busy or distracting, keep it simple.
  • Headline – A headline is created when you start adding your positions to your profile, so it will be your Job title, but you can add to it or change it. So if you if have a particular area of expertise or interest make sure you add it. Keep it interesting and make sure it stands out.

 

  • Summary Section – This is the first section people will read, It should describe your motivation, express your mission and feature some key skills. Your summary should be concise, no more than 2 paragraphs but a short paragraph should be sufficient if you feel like you’re not sure what to say. Much like your CV if you feel you aren’t comfortable at writing a paragraph in this way you could write 3 bullet points or so. Kate Reilly, a writer on Linked in has posted some of their favourite summaries for guidance here: 14 LinkedIn Profile Summaries That We Love (And How to Boost Your Own)

 

  • Work Experience – Like your CV this section is about your relevant jobs and work experience over your career. This is the best bit to keep up to date and the explanation and descriptions should be written to align with your goals. By this we mean, pick out your key skills and examples of the thing you have done that will be in the requirements of future roles you apply for. You can also add ‘Media Sample’ of things you have worked on or done, which will act as a work portfolio.

 

  • Education – Add in any qualification you have had from school all the way to the extra courses you have done after work. Everyone will gain qualifications at school, some will not be as good as others but adding more will show that you are willing to keep your knowledge up to date and try to better yourself. If you are able to, show you have kept learning well into your career.

 

  • Skills – You are able to add a list of all the skills you believe you possess that are relevant. These showcase your talent and will bring you more accurately matching jobs later on. These skills will help others understand your strengths and, your connections can endorse you to show people that what you say is true. You can now also take assessments on linked in which will be shown on your profile to show you are proficient in said skills. This will all add to your visibility to potential employers.

Additional Points:

 

  • Request recommendations – There is a feature on Linkedin that allows people to give you feedback or recommendations, this is a little bit like having your references on full display. You can request a recommendation and connections can write as little or as much as they like. It is a good way for people to get to know you through another person’s eyes and not just from what you have written.

 

  • Profile strength Meter – Once you have completed your profile the strength meter will give you a score on how good your profile is. This will be in relation to the sections you have filled out and the detail within them. this is a reflection on how visible you will be to others.

Once you have completed your profile and made any updates or changes, you can then begin to use it. Share it with your network and add people you know.  Your public profile will show up as a simplified version of your main profile and you can change your personal URL to make it easier to find through search engines.

Linked in also have this great video to help you learn more about creating your own Linked in Profile.  LinkedIn Learning

Good luck networking and job hunting 😊

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