When creating your LinkedIn profile you need to keep in mind how the professional networking site will work best for you. Will you use it to create new business connections and opportunities? To help promote your business and services? To network with your colleagues with the hope of progressing through the company? You may use it for multiple purposes, but it’s wise to establish what these are before you build your profile. Here are some useful tips to get you started.
If it’s obvious by your LinkedIn profile that you’re going in for the hard sell, people are going to be reluctant to connect with you. Including sales pitch terms or calls to action in your bio, for example: ‘If you’re looking to save money get in touch with me today’ are very off-putting and best avoided. Instead, write about your role in a matter-of-fact way, such as: ‘I currently work with a range of clients, helping them to reduce their spend’. This sounds a lot more professional and less forward.
Your LinkedIn profile should be harmonious with the company you currently work for and the role you hold. For instance, you should include key phrases that your company uses to describe its message, products or services. This will help establish you as an expert in your field and cast a good impression on anyone who is scouting staff in this particular industry.
Realistically, no one is likely to sit there and read your entire profile – especially if it’s very long. If you want people to take an interest in you, write short and well-worded descriptions of what your main tasks are, what you are currently focusing on and what your contribution to the company is. This can all be done in one medium sized paragraph. It’s better to capture people’s interest with bite-sized chunks of information rather than putting them off with endless waffle.
There’s no need to include every role you’ve ever done in your work history. It’s perfectly acceptable to select the most important ones and those you are most proud of. However, be careful of leaving significant gaps as this can create doubt in employers’ minds as to what you
were doing. It’s wise to fill in your history up to the point where you started on your career path – i.e. there’s no need to include your early jobs that weren’t very relevant to how you ended up in your current role.
Complete Your Profile
Conversely to the previous point, a profile mostly left blank looks pretty bad. It casts the reflection that you were either too lazy to fill it out or don’t have much to offer. Show that you’re dedicated to your career progression by taking the time to complete most of the fields. After all, people will not be interested in your profile unless they can actually find out more about you from it. Finally, make sure you add a professional profile photo as this helps potential employers put a face to a name and connect with your profile.
From Issue 16 of Career Savvy – subscribe for free at www.careersavvy.co.uk