An emphasis on having a LinkedIn profile has become a big part of professional networking as well as job hunting. A lot of people understand that it’s important but don’t seem to know how to go about building a good LinkedIn profile. It’s not enough to set up a rudimentary profile page with some basic information that you copied and pasted from your Facebook profile.
A good way to view LinkedIn is that it can function like a resume of sorts and so much more. Think of LinkedIn as a Facebook profile, but with just the positive information about you presented in the best possible manner. Having human foibles and being whimsical can be okay in Facebook status updates. Funny and whimsical won’t play well on your LinkedIn profile.
Avoid the Obvious Mistakes
It can be really surprising to look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who want to market a product for your company. Many of these folks can’t even market themselves effectively and it begs the obvious question. If they can’t or won’t take the time to market themselves well, how can they be trusted to do a better job for someone else? A good first step in creating or retooling your LinkedIn profile involves a skillset in which you should have become an expert by fourth grade.
Proofread your work. Nothing shrieks of unprofessionalism as loudly as glaring grammatical errors.
Market Yourself Effectively
Don’t force people to infer things from your profile that you can easily flesh out. Don’t appear arrogant about your abilities, accomplishments or education obviously. But deliberate understatement doesn’t work for you either. Being coy does nothing for you.
You need to represent yourself accurately and in the best light possible. If you excelled in college and received academic recognition, make sure to list this by year like you would in an academic resume. If you’ve received any online education or are pursuing a graduate degree, make sure to list those accomplishments. An online education, as well as any other online learning should be noted.
These are skills that you worked hard on and should be proud as well as realistic about. It will only be to your advantage to be honest and clear on your achievements and skills.
Update Your Profile
Make sure that your profile evolves along with you. As you experience changes and new work or school experiences be sure to integrate them into your profile. A static profile is a boring profile. A constantly updated and dynamic profile is a great indicator of your ability to stay on top of things and master nuance and detail.
While crafting your LinkedIn profile be thinking about what you want to achieve with it and make sure the information you’re providing is appropriate for that goal. An effective way to weed out inappropriate content is to examine your profile from the perspective of an overly stern boss.
Make sure the style of writing is appropriate for the network or job that you’re interested in. Don’t fall into the trap of advertising yourself like a badly written and over-hyped real estate advertisement. If you need help putting your profile together and making it more highly polished, you likely already have a friend or co-worker who would be happy to help you.
Once you’ve got a great profile that you can be proud of, start asking for recommendations and begin building those connections.