Rated by Fortune 500 companies as the most-used social media platform by their businesses, LinkedIn currently hosts over 57 million companies who recruit and connect with professionals across the globe. It therefore makes perfect sense to search for a job, network with professionals or build professional rapport with like-minded industry people on this popular business social network.
This article will guide you through each step of registering your own LinkedIn profile. We’ll provide you with tips on how to create a profile on LinkedIn that’s optimised for greater discoverability by companies looking for your skills and how your profile page can become a core part of your new digital brand.
The Benefits of a LinkedIn Account
Many people rush to get their profile pages up and running as quickly as possible, but as time goes by, they realise just how important that page is in creating a professional snapshot of themselves in the business world. We want to make sure you are completely on-board, so here are some of the great benefits LinkedIn has on offer.
- You can network with professionals, reconnect with old colleagues and meet business connections online
- Use it to build a digital brand that suits your career ambitions
- Add your skills, experience and resume and share it with LinkedIn users and companies
- Find industry-related content and articles
- Join LinkedIn groups to mingle with people who has the same professional interests as you
- Search and apply for great jobs directly on LinkedIn
- Stay in touch with international developments and discoveries in the business world
- Upskill and improve yourself with LinkedIn Learning
Are you ready to set yourself up for success by creating a good LinkedIn profile page?
Registering Your New Linkedin Account
The process to register your own personal profile is quite intuitive and easy once you click on the ‘join now’ icon of their website. The website will take you through easy steps of filling in the following personal details:
- The name you use professionally – Networking online is all about trust and the more transparent and natural you appear the better it will be in building real relationships. Use a name that's appropriate and relevant to how you want to be seen, but steer clear of casual names and if you are unsure just use your name and surname.
- Your email address – Every piece of information added to your profile will contribute to the impression you create of yourself. An email address like Hottie45@yahoo will position you in the ‘wrong’ industry, so keep your email relevant to your professional image and create a new one if you have to.
- A password – Like most social networks and digital platforms your password will allow exclusive access to your profile. Make it safe by mixing upper- and lower-case letters and add a couple of unique characters as well for enhanced security.
- A profile picture – What will you wear if you had to go to an interview? You have to ‘look the part’ in your profile pic and ensure you add an ‘image’ that matches the industry you work in. Stick to a head and shoulder picture and even though it’s work-related it needs to remain authentic, showing your smile and openness.
Don’t be tempted to search jobs, find work connections or click on a business page, professional recruiters or other decision-makers at this stage. They’ll be able to see that you checked them out and an incomplete profile might not create the best first impression or marketing you’d like.
Completing Your Profile
To create a powerful LinkedIn profile, you have to speak the language that’s associated with your industry. Make sure your LinkedIn profile stands out by weaving your professional identity and industry keywords into the following section on your LinkedIn account.
- Personal Headline or Job Title: The most obvious positioning people go for is their current job title, but you are competing with thousands of others with the same headline, so consider whether you can change this to bring a part of your unique identity into that role. Instead of just saying ‘Writer’ your headline can be something like ‘Copy Crafter & Writer’. Use your imagination, but whatever you put in the 120 available characters should remain appealing to recruiters and industry people.
- LinkedIn Summary (About): This is a bit of an executive summary or your profile where people can quickly get an idea or who you are and what your professional ambitions are.
- Experience (CV): LinkedIn allows recruiters and companies to view your past experience online. Similar to a CV you’ll have to fill in all your experience including your job title, company and your general duties there. You can also complete where you finished high-school and whether you went to university, college etc.
- Licences and Certification: These are for any professional licenses or experience you gain through online or part-time studies.
- Skills and Endorsements: What skills have you gained, even in your studies if you graduated recently, that can be useful. A graphics designers' skills, as example, will be graphic design, logo design, corporate identity or possibly photography, if you are skilled in these areas. You’ll also have the chance to ask for endorsements once you’ve completed this section, inviting people you know to ‘endorse’ your skills and vouch for you. We recommend you complete your profile and build a list of connections before starting the skill endorsements sections.
- Volunteer work: Volunteer work and any aspects who will give a company or business an idea of your character are great to add. Volunteering is also useful if you don’t have experience and can build your resume while you are still searching for a job.
Building a Positive, Professional Identity
Building a brand takes years or consistent actions and work and it is not different when working on a personal online brand. A personal brand is the ‘persona’ or image that you create for yourself in an online environment. What will people think of you when they first see your name or picture on social media and what associations will they keep?
Most professionals build rapport through how they behave in their professional capacity and the quality of their work. You can give your personal brand a bit of a boost by using social media, because you select what people in your network get to know about you when they digitally connect with you.
Smart professionals consider how their LinkedIn profile can contribute to creating a favourable image to match their personal career ambitions. Honesty, integrity and likability are all important factors to consider, and above and beyond your personal values you’ll have to be mindful that a stranger will only see the information your profile holds. Using LinkedIn effectively means considering how you apply the following tips to your profile:
- Be authentic and honest about who you are in your profile
- Ensure your spelling and grammar is correct
- Check and make sure all the links in your profile are active and works
- Ensure it’s not just facts about you, but also also add parts of your identity and personality (like profile wording, your headline or images)
- Keep your profile neat, organised and cluster information and relevant documentation together
- Include your LinkedIn profile handle whenever you meet someone to get more leverage and marekting from your profile
Settings to Improve Your Profile Discoverability
Discoverability is how easy it will be for someone, who search directly your name or use keywords related to your profile, to find you. It is thus ideal that your profile is optimised to get clicked on if a recruiter is looking for someone with your skills.
There are a couple of settings that will ensure you are discoverable and more visible to recruiters or previous work colleagues. The core settings can be found on your profile page, are under ‘Edit Public Profile and URL’ where you’d be able to change the following:
- Make your profile picture and profile ‘public’ or restrict sections of your profile for public viewing
- Edit your url to include your name and potentially an industry keyword
You can also click on your Account Settings & Privacy, at the top right where your picture appears. Navigating your way towards the ‘Visibility’ tab on the left-hand side will open your settings around who can view what. This is useful if you want to restrict certain elements to a specific audience, like hiding your email address to contacts. You can also change ‘who’ sees your profile and whether your profile can be discovered using your phone number.
Lastly, if you are seeking a job, you can open your profile to recruiters by navigating to your personal profile page and clicking on the ‘Open To’ tab directly under your name details. This will allow you to advertise your services or inform people that you are seeking to hire someone.
Improving and Maximising Your Profile
Once you’ve completed all those steps your profile page should appear with an ‘All Star’ status on the dashboard, meaning it’s fully complete and active. If you are not yet there, LinkedIn will show you which elements you need to include to get your profile to that status, which is easy and intuitive.
You still need to maximise your profile by creating professional connections and if you want to you can start to search for jobs and apply on the LinkedIn job board.
Contact a Superprof IT expert to set-up a consultation if you continue to struggle as they are experienced in programming and almost anything related to computers. We also list experienced writers on Superprof who can help you with professional writing skills, your personal profile summary or crafting the keywords into your profile text.
May your new LinkedIn profile provide you with empowerment, opportunity and success. Use it to build your digital brand and to search for your dream job, but remember to have fun while doing that as those positive vibes will shine through.
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