Is your presence in the digital world limited to social networks?
Many of us are permanent residents on social networks such as Facebook, twitter and Instagram. However, when it comes to LinkedIn, the professional network, most freshers do not share the same enthusiasm.
If you aren’t familiar with LinkedIn until now, it’s time you acquaint yourself with this one-of-a-kind network used by professionals all over the world – to market themselves and make meaningful connec
tions. Everybody, from CEOs of multinational organizations to students and interns, are using the medium to their advantage.
Well, you can too. With an effective LinkedIn profile, you can make yourself visible to potential recruiters, build and maintain your network, and even establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry.
Listed below are a few essential pointers towards building a strong LinkedIn Profile.
- A complete profile
The more comprehensive your profile is, the more credible your professional identity will be. In addition, it also improves your search rankings within LinkedIn. Filling in your professional qualifications, experience and writing a to-the-point summary is only a start.Remember, this is an opportunity to showcase detailed professional information about yourself that you cannot fit on your resume. Add volunteering experiences, internships, online courses you have done, certifications, research work, and other relevant information.
Of course, you don’t have to complete every minute detail right at the moment you create your profile, but you should keep working towards a profile that’s as complete a representation of your professional identity as possible.
- A personalized profile URL
Your default profile URL consists of LinkedIn URL suffixed with is a random string. For example it may appear as, https://in.linkedin.com/in//3a64759b. You can, however, customize your profile URL. To do this, go to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Customize Your Public Profile URL. You should pick a name, which tells the most about you. For example you can set your profile URL as, https://in.linkedin.com/in/vipinQALead.
- A professional picture
Repeat it aloud. Three times. “NO MIRROR SELFIES”. The same goes for pictures of pets and sunsets. Save these for your Facebook, and go for professional quality headshots for LinkedIn. It’s all about presenting yourself at your best, in a way that appropriately describes your role in your industry.The cover photo is equally important. A good power photo captures attention immediately, sets the tone for the rest of your profile, and draws in the viewer.
- LinkedIn Badges
LinkedIn offers profile badges that can be used to promote your LinkedIn profile to the world, through your website, or your blog.To find these badges, go to ‘Settings’ and then click ‘Edit your public profile’. To the right, you will see ‘Profile Badges’. Click on ‘Create a profile badge’ will bring you to another page where you can choose from the many badges available.
- Be an active member of LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn provides the facility to create groups that can be leveraged by professionals having similar interests to share knowledge and experience. Several such Professional Groups have evolved on LinkedIn.You can join groups that are of interest to you. This will not only help you gain knowledge from experienced people in the group, but will also help in networking. As you gain experience you
can also share your knowledge and experience in the group thus enhancing your profile within the group.
- Personalized LinkedIn Invitations
When trying to make a connection with someone on LinkedIn, the invitation email always has the default text: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. – ”. But why not stand out, by personalizing your invitation to connect?For example, you can edit the connection request message to read, “Hi Mr. Ashish, I would like to discuss a job opening with you. Can you please accept this invite to connect? Thanks – Vipin.”
- Making a multimedia profile
LinkedIn recently has added several applications that let you post your presentations, blogs and videos on your profile. These can be used to greatly enhance your profile.For instance, you can add your WordPress blog if you are a blogger. Or you could use SlideShare to embed your presentations or videos in your profile.
- Letting people know that you have a LinkedIn profile
Email is the most preferred way of communication across the globe. A great way to tell others about your profile is to add your LinkedIn profile URL within your email signature. This indirectly increases the exposure to your LinkedIn profile, helping you to make connections.For example your email signature could look like this:Vipin Jain
Mobile: +91 XXXXXXXXXX
Twitter: vipin_QAYou can also refer to your LinkedIn profile in your resume.
- Recommendations and Endorsements
Recommendations mean a lot. Do not be shy to ask for recommendations from your co-workers, your boss, your customer, and even your college professors. It is best to ask via email or personally, to let them know how much their references would mean to you.In addition, others in your network can endorse you for certain skills. The skills you are endorsed for by others are also an important factor in your search visibility.
- Update your profile regularly and be active
Besides these, remember that constantly updating your LinkedIn profile with your latest projects, writing blogs, optimising your professional summary, having meaningful conversations on groups, will help increase your visibility, credibility and your professional network.
- Avoid spelling mistakes
Job hunters and other professionals who look at your profile may be put off if they find that your profile is full of grammatical and spelling errors. Make sure you do not have such errors. A good impression lasts long!
- Do not put in wrong information
It’s a professional world. You can’t boast about what you have not done. No one would appreciate if you put wrong information in your profile. Remember, it is very easy to check the correctness of the information you put in the profile. It may negatively impact your career if you are found to be non-ethical and untrustworthy.
If you’d like some inspiration, take a look at Jeff Hodgkinson who is the owner of what many consider the best profile on LinkedIn! When you’re done going through his intricately detailed yet interesting profile, you are sure to understand why an effective LinkedIn profile can make or break your career.