In today’s competitive job market it’s important to stand out. LinkedIn is a great tool to build your personal brand and develop a professional online presence. The platform’s features enable you to position yourself as a thought leader and increase your exposure to future employers. With all the bells and whistles the platform now offers, it can be difficult to identify what you should be doing to improve your profile.
We asked Social Media Manager and industry expert Stephanie Bellassai to share her insider tips so you can take your LinkedIn profile to the next level.
You’ve made a LinkedIn profile and included all the basics like your employment history, current job title and a headshot. Now what? LinkedIn gives you the ability to add a summary about yourself. It’s one of the first things visible on your profile and offers an opportunity for you to introduce yourself.
Include your experiences, skills or qualifications in this section and ensure sentences are short and concise, making it easy for people to read and digest. You have a maximum of 2000 characters to work with and don’t be afraid to use them all if what you have to say is valuable and engaging. Keep it authentic but tell stories and share your accomplishments – you want to grab people’s attention. You should also load up the summary with keywords that people might be searching for to gain maximum exposure.
Tip: Write your summary in the first person and in active voice to keep it personal and engaging.
Recommendations are probably the most important thing to have included on your LinkedIn profile. They back up all the information and experience on your page and make you more credible. LinkedIn allows you to display recommendations from colleagues, clients, friends, teachers, and anyone you think could add significant value to your profile.
So how do you get recommended? Don’t be afraid to ask current and past colleagues for a recommendation. This can be achieved easily by selecting ‘Ask to be recommended’ on your profile. Another effective way to get recommendations is to give them. Taking the time to write thoughtful and honest recommendations for your connections often results in them returning the favour.
Tip: Try to keep recommendations short and punchy as they are more likely to be read. Think quality over quantity.
'Recommendations are probably the most important thing to have included on your LinkedIn profile. They back up all the information and experience on your page and make you more credible.'
Social Media Manager, Deakin University
Posting on LinkedIn’s publishing platform Pulse, allows you to write long-form posts and gives you a great opportunity to develop your personal brand. It establishes you as a thought leader in your network and increases visibility and exposure of your profile. To create a post on Pulse (which will also appear on your profile), go to your LinkedIn homepage and select ‘Publish a post’. This is the place for you to share your knowledge around topics relevant to your profession and interests. Long-form posts also allow you to enhance a reader’s experience with media such as video, images, links and more.
Tip: Maximise engagement from other users by publishing timely and relevant content.
Endorsements are a good way to validate the skills and strengths of your colleagues. Much like recommendations, endorsing connections on LinkedIn usually leads to them endorsing you for your listed skills. LinkedIn has almost 6000 different skills you can add to your profile as a way of enhancing it. Members who list their skills on LinkedIn receive a much higher amount of profile views than those who don’t. Accumulating a large number of endorsements also adds credibility to your profile. The more endorsements you have, the more likely it is you’ll be discovered for opportunities related to those skills.
Tip: Don’t accept endorsements from people you don’t know as it reduces your profile’s credibility.
Stephanie Bellassai works as Deakin University’s Social Media Manager and you can connect with her on LinkedIn.
Interested in learning the fine art of building a social media following? Check out Deakin’s Bachelor of Communications (Digital Media).
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