Whether you are looking for a new job or advancing within your company, it is absolutely vital that you continue to improve your social media presence through LinkedIn account. With more than 400 million members, LinkedIn has become one of the fastest growing social media platforms for professional and career networking. The potential of this site allows young professionals and seasoned veterans to network and connect with some of the top-level companies and talented individuals all around the world. This in turn makes LinkedIn that much more important when shaping your personal and professional background.
Let’s start off by understanding LinkedIn. LinkedIn is considered a Web 2.0 social media network that allows its daily users to professionally brand and market themselves in the most efficient and effective way. Think of this site like various popular social media profiles such as Facebook or Twitter. The only difference is that this site is tailored primarily for networking and professional content. With millions of users and countless daily visitors, one question always comes to mind: Are we as professionals utilizing this resource to the best of our abilities?
As much as many people can say they are utilizing LinkedIn in the most efficient and effective way, the sad reality is that thousands of users are unaware of how to best optimize their professional profiles. To help with this, we need to start thinking of our LinkedIn accounts as our resumes. For any like-minded professional, they know that when it comes to their resume or curriculum vitae, they want to put the best information possible that can bolster their professional background. For your resume, you want to bring that same mentality into your LinkedIn profile account.
To help aid with this process, I have provided seven vital tips to help improve your LinkedIn account today. This will allow you to improve your social professional presence online and continue your networking for new visitors and potential employers.
1. Create a Strong and Informative Bio
Unlike your resume, your LinkedIn account allows you to present your personal and professional background through its ‘Summary’ section. This is usually the first thing future employers and visitors see when they visit your profile. To fully optimize this, create an 800 to 1500-worded informative biography about your academic background and professional work experience. Go into detail about your professional accomplishments as well as your future professional goals. Last but not least, give your biography a strong assertive voice. Try not to dive too deep on any personal information. If anything, have a one to two-sentence description that sums up your personal interest. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform, not a personal one.
2. Expand on your Work Experience
One of the biggest mistakes many professionals make on their LinkedIn account is that they will list rather than describe. While it is great to have a number of companies and organizations listed in your profile, the biggest bang for your buck will be how well you are able to describe your positions in each of these sections. One huge tip you should implement into these descriptions is to highlight various accomplishments. Try and also quantify the information as much as possible. The more detailed you are, the better. For example, instead of saying “we amassed a large amount of sales for the end of the third quarter,” add in the actual profit amount. Lastly, try and highlight any leadership skills you have attained in any of these work experiences. This will help represent you as a stronger candidate for future employers and visitors.
3. Ask for References / Include Work Samples
Just like when you are applying to jobs, you want to provide have professional references to showcase on your LinkedIn profile. To do this, ask previous employers to write you a professional “positive” reference on your LinkedIn account. To enhance this, provide various work samples. This can be writing content, multimedia presentations, power point presentations, etc.
4. Create a Skills Section and Get Endorsed
In the early 2012s, LinkedIn launched a feature called endorsements where users are able to endorse various professional skills through their social connections. To do this in the best possible way, expand on your skills section. Provide any adjectives or work phrases that represent and highlight your previous positions. Then try and engage with other LinkedIn accounts by endorsing their specific skill-sets.
5. Customize your LinkedIn URL
When creating a LinkedIn account, the URL associated with your profile will end with a combination of numbers and letters. To change this to your name, go to the settings page and change the URL ending to your name or your company’s name. To learn more, please follow the directions here.
6. Increase your Network
Many people do not realize that the stronger connections you have, the stronger your profile will be. Start off by connecting with various colleagues and college friends. Then expand your network by connecting with any groups, organizations, or former companies that you are associated with.
7. Add Websites Sites or Social Media Properties to your Profile Page
To provide stronger credibility and authority to your LinkedIn account, try adding your sites or your social media properties to your profile page. To do this, go to the ‘Contact Info’ tab on your Home page. Then begin filling out the information. This can be your Twitter handle, your WeChat account, or your personal website.