While LinkedIn is one of the most popular social network platforms for professionals and many people use it, being on it is a personal decision.
Saying that, if your career is important to you and you want to develop and grow your career, then you do need to consider what the benefits might be to you by being on it.
If you are going to create an account, you will need to populate different text boxes with information about your career. In effect you are creating an online version of your historical CV but with the opportunity of bringing in additional information.
IMPORTANT – Before you start
- You may want to ensure that you have turned off update alerts before making changes as if you are making a number; each time you save one update, an alert will go out to your connections telling them you have just made an update. This is especially important if you are connected to people from your current organisation, as it may get people asking questions that you do not need.
- Do you want your connections to see each other? This is very much a personal decision as there are pros and cons of each. However, we believe that you should restrict this otherwise it devalues you to that network.
Tips for creating a LinkedIn Profile
- Professional Headline
Try and capture the essence of the benefit of what you do in your current role that is going to be relevant to the audience you are looking to attract.
- Your Photograph
While it doesn’t have to be taken by a professional photographer, it does need to be of a professional nature. If you want to be taken seriously, lose the alcohol and go for a head and shoulders shot, smile and do not look directly into the camera. Imagine you are saying hello to someone you know well professionally but have not seen for a while.
- Short Summary
Use your profile from your CV here. It shouldn’t be a cut and paste, but the ordering of the themes that you are looking to get across needs to be there. See earlier information on Biography
Look to have a company or role overview for each position if you feel it will enhance your profile, particularly in relation to size, sector etc. Take information from your CV to populate but the information may need to be generic for confidentially; so, focus on the skills and how they were utilised. It is about getting your profile noticed by people searching based on keywords – not pure outcomes.
If you are looking to get endorsements, be selective and directive – ask the right people and tell them what you want them to endorse. This is a credibility issue not a popularity contest.
- Personal Details
Think carefully about what you put here, if anything at all. Does the information support your Career Search Objective (CSO) or make it easier for someone to find you?
- Advice for Contacting
Think carefully about what you put here. Does the information support your CSO and/or make it easier for someone to find you?
Lead with relevant interests which support your CSO first before going into any personal ones. Think carefully about why you are putting personal ones there and try and keep them as neutral as possible.
- Activities and Societies
Upload ones that are relevant to your CSO and/or support the information in your interests. Again, relevancy is the filter. Check to see if there are any groups that you should/could join that will give extra credibility.