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LinkedIn: Are you Linked In Properly?

Posted by: Mark Burslem

LinkedIn. The space on the Internet that gets called the Professional Facebook. The place that every professional and every business has created an account for – some have done so merely to be at the party: to show their face. But faces can be hard to read. And a profile that is outdated, or empty, can be even harder to parse for useful information on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn exists primarily as a social Internet space for professionals. By connecting with other professionals, and following the most widely-followed accounts of extremely successful professionals, entrepreneurs, companies, organisations, and so forth, you can utilise LinkedIn to search for new opportunities to develop your career. If your former colleagues have LinkedIn, you can search for them; you can break down your CV into your profile’s bio, delineating experiences, grades, and the skills acquired and results created; and you can share content: videos, photographs, written blogs. 

Sounds like a professional version of Facebook, right? 

The difference is that having a state of the art LinkedIn account could help you to present yourself as a strong prospective candidate to recruiters and employers. There are millions of people on LinkedIn. There are millions of opportunities on LinkedIn. New job opportunities. Opportunities to collaborate with like-minded individuals. Chances to communicate with organisations and NFP communities. 

With a willingness to network and a great profile you could be giving yourself an advantage both over your competitors, and over the indolent version of yourself that does everything tomorrow rather than today. 

So, here are a few brief pointers for enhancing your LinkedIn profile. 

What’s the Headline? When editing your LinkedIn profile, you will see that after your First Name and Last Name, your Headline is the next box that requires information. 

What are you? A recruiter? A divisional manager? A 2nd engineer? Whatever job titles or roles you have, get them in your Headline. If you’re currently unemployed and searching for work, that’s a Headline too. Use the Headline to highlight a key area of expertise and ensure that your location is included. Expand upon your skills and history in your Summary.

Commit time and energy. It can seem like a tedious task, writing out your career history, your education, skills acquired, results achieved. You’ve already done this at least once for your CV and it feels like you do it as part of many cover letters that you write, right? But a profile that looks carefully composed, that reads well, and articulates all of your core competencies… is going to entice far more opportunity bites than an empty profile ever will. Put the work in. 

Photo. No wild selfies needed. Just a smart-looking photo. Graduation photos are fine for a while. Perhaps a change once every six-to-twelve months. If you’re using your profile picture to advertise a brand, then you need to keep the photo state of the art. 

Personal touches. When you send somebody you haven’t met or only know partially a connection request, write them a personalised invitation. A brief introduction, and why you want to connect. Make a list of your work colleagues that you collaborated with on some level, and offer to write them a LinkedIn recommendation. Hopefully, they’ll return the favour. If you are recognised for hard work in the office, or for success with a particular project, ask for a recommendation from that person. Be sure to request that they highlight your key skills! 

Get involved. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to write professional, work-related statuses and to post links to salient articles in whatever industry you’re operating within. If you have your own blog, or are an endorser of somebody else’s, you could use your status feed to create and curate conversations that are being had about particular topics. You could also join groups on LinkedIn, and think about developing your connections network through these groups. 

There’s great reward in discovering people who want to collaborate on projects, or who have an opportunity that would fit your skills. The first step is to be proactive and linked in to LinkedIn. 


Tell us about your experiences with LinkedIn. What have you learned during your time as a user? Comment below! 

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