Developing your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn tips

If you are thinking about creating a LinkedIn profile or have one but have not looked at it recently, the following tips may be useful.

  1. Go to the privacy settings and options
    Make your profile private during the time you are completing the different sections. Why? Because whilst it is public, whatever point you leave it at can be viewed by others. Should someone search for your name your LinkedIn profile will rank highly and chances are will be looked at. Be sure that it is how you want it to be seen.
  2. Add a photo to your profile
    Research has found that people are more trusting of profiles if a photo is included. It is considered preferable to an avatar or company logo and most certainly the default image.
  3. Complete your whole profile
    Providing just the minimum of information is not going to give others a true reflection of your professional expertise. If you are going to have a profile it is in your interests to share the most relevant information about yourself AND update this as things change.
  4. Include relevant keywords
    It is very important to consider the kinds of words people may use if they were looking for expertise in your field. In 2012 5.7 billion people searches were undertaken within LinkedIn alone. Be sure these keywords are included throughout your profile.
  5. Edit your headline
    When you set up your profile, your headline that appears to the right of your photo will default to your current job title. However you can edit this and add further relevant key information.
  6. Customise your public profile URL
    This appears underneath your photo and unless edited includes additional numbers and letters. In edit mode you can customise this to remove them. Add this URL to your email signature, business cards and bios on other social sites as a quick link for others to  visit your profile.
  7. Add skills and expertise
    Within this section you can select the skills you wish to others to see. The added value is that your connections can now endorse these skills, which validates your expertise.
  8. Ask for recommendations
    Reach out to people you have worked with and ask them to give you a recommendation. LinkedIn suggests you seek a minimum of three to complete your profile.
  9. Make connections beyond your immediate work colleagues
    Take a look at who your connections are connected to. There is great value in expanding your network and this can be done by connecting with 2nd or 3rd degree connections. You can do this by asking your connections for an introduction.
  10. Join relevant groups
    There are now in excess of 1.5 million groups to choose from. The excellent search facility within LinkedIn can help you find groups that match your interests. You can also create your own group and invite others to join it. Within a group you can engage in discussions and share expertise.

The Slideshare below is a summary of these ten tips to help you develop your LinkedIn profile. Remember though that to get the most value it is in your interests to review it, adding new skills, accomplishments along with any changes to your role. As already mentioned people regularly use Google or other search engines to find information and this also includes information about individuals. When they do this and see your LinkedIn profile, be sure it represents to the image you wish to portray. It is better to not have a profile at all then present a poorly or half hearted completed profile!

About Sue Beckingham

A National Teaching Fellow, Educational Developer and Principal Lecturer in Computing with a research interest in the use of social media in higher education.
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