Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Stand out from the crowd - How to write a great LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a powerful tool allowing you to have a professional presence in the world.  It provides the opportunity for you to tell other professionals what you can do and what you can offer.

Do you have a LinkedIn profile and does it represent you in the best way?

Having a LinkedIn profile is fast becoming an essential professional requirement.  You now have to assume prospective employers will look at your online presence before approaching or hiring you and if your LinkedIn profile is out of date or poorly written, it could potentially close doors.  Who would want to employ someone who does not spell correctly in their shop window?  

It is therefore really important that you spend time completing your profile.  To assist, I have provided some hints and tips to help you write a great LinkedIn profile.

Some initial thoughts:

·         Make sure your CV and online profile match (consistency around dates is particularly important).

·         Think about your brand.  Does your profile match the kind of jobs you are applying for?

·         Complete every section of your profile.

 
Your profile

Headline

The headline appears directly under your name and will be the first thing people read about you.  It will also appear when people search for you and decide whether to click onto your profile.  To make it more compelling, include a short description of your role as well as your job title.

For example, my headline reads:

‘Tessa Armstrong. Career and Performance Coach, helping solicitors and other professionals succeed in their careers.’

You should also upload a professional photo of yourself.


Summary

Make life easy for a potential employer by using this section to tell them about what you can do, including your achievements.  This is your chance to sell yourself in 2,000 characters.  To give potential employers an even better chance of finding you include keywords which you know your industry uses.  The more you use these keywords within your profile, the higher you will rank for that term in the search results

Perhaps include your contact information in this section (otherwise your contact details do not appear until the end of your profile). 


Experience, Skills, Publications and Education

Include all relevant employment and education in these sections as well as your skills and publications.   If your CV is up to date, simply copy and paste the information. 

 
Additional Sections

There are many additional sections to choose from, the most important being the ‘Volunteer Experience and Causes’ section.  If you do any relevant voluntary work, add this section to your profile using the ‘Add Sections’ link.  Relevant voluntary work will make your profile stand out even more.

 
Additional Information

This section gives you the opportunity to link to your website, blog,  twitter account and any other sites providing professional information about you.  Do not provide links to social networking sites used on a personal basis.

 
Recommendations

This is your chance to request recommendations from people who have worked with you.  Make sure you personalise your requests rather than using the standard LinkedIn wording. 

 
My final tip is to make your profile public to ensure people can find you - market yourself and show potential recruiters what you can do!

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tessaarmstrong