No matter what your profession, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools you will use. Whether you own your own business, work in a small or large company or are in search of a new job, having trusted professional connections are a must. Having a complete profile on LinkedIn will make a big difference in your appearance there. Here are some things that you should take the time to fill in or update.
1. Your profile summary – Located on your personal profile, this section gives you the chance to explain not only what you do but why. As Simon Sinek has stated in his talks, most people know what you do, but what they really want to connect with is your WHY. Why do you do what you do, and why is it important to you? Your why will showcase your passion for your work and create a connection with the person reading your profile.
2. Your Headline – When you first created your profile and added your work experience, LinkedIn auto-filled your headline with your title and name of the company you work for. As an example: Vice President of XZY Corp. When someone comes across your profile, this type of headline doesn’t give them any idea as to what you actually do. You should go into the edit function of your profile and change your headline to explain what you actually do. Use key words that people would search for in order to find someone who does exactly what you do.
3. Your Work History – Be sure to enter all your work experience in that section. You don’t have to go as far back as your babysitting or newspaper route days but go back far enough to giving a person looking at your profile a good flavor of where you came from and how you got to be where you are today. Also, don’t forget to fill in the description or summary of work you did while you were there.
You should also make sure that you add your skills, organizations you belong to, as well as published articles or books and volunteer opportunities. All this information will give a person who is reading your profile many ways to connect with you on a deeper level. Whether it’s that they attended the same school or support the same non-profit as you.
On a final note, every time you work with someone and they are pleased with what you have done, ask them to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Having a constant stream of recommendations on your LinkedIn profile will also validate your expertise and sway someone who is looking for someone who does what you do to hire you!
Having a well-developed LinkedIn profile will gain you the recognition you deserve as well as potential new clients!