You’ve joined LinkedIn and you’ve added some basic details to populate your profile, but what do you do from there?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with more than 433 million members in 200 countries and territories. If you’re able to make the most of your profile, you can tap into the strength of this network, which could help to land you a job, or at least connect with the right people.
In order to do this, you’re going to want to take advantage of some of the features available on the platform, and to make use of other assets and recommendations that you can access online.
Here are some easy ways to get started:
Pick the right profile picture
The LinkedIn Profile Photo help page says that "members with a profile photo on LinkedIn can get up to 14 times more profile views than members without." Saying that, there are some guidelines and conditions that you’ll need to follow when it comes to choosing one. Essentially, you shouldn’t use a company logo, landscape, animal, words or phrases. The best option is to upload a friendly but professional photo of yourself (try and make it fairly recent), although you might want to get feedback on which of your photos best matches this description.
You could ask your friends and family, but you could get a more unbiased response by using a tool like PhotoFeeler, where you can test various photos with a wide user-base. Users will rank whether your photo makes you appear competent, likable, and influential.
When it comes to the experience you include on your profile, remember that it doesn’t need to be a like-for-like copy of your CV. It can include the information that you believe to be the most relevant, so you don’t have to add your GCSE results if you would prefer to share your success with your degree and A Levels results.
Personalise your profile
LinkedIn will allow you to customise your profile with a background header, different sections that may be relevant to you, as well as the all-important profile picture that I mentioned above. Make sure to use these features to distinguish your profile from others that will be competing for the same jobs as you.
Whilst imagery might be a softer sell to potential employers, a recommendation on your professional or educational abilities will likely instil a bit more trust. Try and connect with your previous employer, someone who coordinated your voluntary work, or a university lecturer that you dealt with regularly.
Once you’re connected on the network, you can send a request for them to provide you with a recommendation which you can then display on your profile.
Share your slides, images and links
If you’ve created anything you’re particularly proud of, you can share it on your LinkedIn profile. Do you have a blog that you’ve created or that you’ve contributed to? You can include this as a link or as a publication. Have you uploaded a presentation to SlideShare that would be relevant? You can embed that too.
Keep it fresh
Whatever you choose to add, just make sure to keep your profile fresh. You can do this by using features such as LinkedIn Posts where you can write an article, or just by updating the content that you’ve included in your profile; it can be changed as frequently as you like.
Bianca Miller is a brand ambassador for the .uk domain names, and managing director and founder of The Be Group and Bianca Miller London. Passionate about helping others improve their personal brand, she frequently shares her expertise with students at events and forums around the country. For students wanting to boost their online brand with their own website, Bianca recommends visiting Eco Hosting; packages will be on offer to those who would like to create a .uk domain name.