LinkedIn is one of the strongest professional social-networking websites and is currently still growing. According to their website, they have over 332 million members in over 200 countries and territories (LinkedIn Corporation). LinkedIn’s potential in fostering a budding career is far too hard to pass up as there are so many potential employers visiting the website each and every day.
A LinkedIn profile is the first thing a probable employer will see. The profile should be worked on like a fine piece of art. The main use of these profiles is to market yourself to these employers, and a sub-par profile can easily get your profile thrown out when compared to those who have finely tuned their profiles.
While creating a profile, only make it viewable once it is fully completed. Making an incomplete profile live will greatly discredit your image as you are not truly marketing yourself to full potential. Market yourself by utilizing the sections as much as possible. Be detailed about your job experience, volunteer work, internships, and similar experiences. These profiles are all about trying to set yourself apart from the others. Other than filling in the blanks LinkedIn provides, there are other ways to market yourself effectively.
Connections, groups, and skill endorsements can factor greatly on how others see you. It is best to have connections that associate with the field you’re in. Connections in different fields may endorse you for things they have no knowledge of, which can greatly discredit you. When connecting to others, never use the default message LinkedIn provides. State who you are, and be clear with your intentions.
Always use a professional headshot as a profile picture. Profiles with a picture tend to have eleven times more views than those without (Williams, 2014). This is a large amount of untapped traffic that could lead towards a professional opportunity. Though they are called headshots, they should not just be of your head. Use photos that are from the collarbone up, as this will display a more professional aura.
Groups on LinkedIn are a great way to connect and expand your network. These groups also relay information to a specific field, and can filter out unnecessary information. Professionals also tend to utilize these groups, and are a great way to ask for questions or advice. Always be active in groups, as professionals will take notice of the effort made, and thus will expand your network even more.
LinkedIn Corporation. (2014). About LinkedIn. LinkedIn Press Center. Retrieved from http://press.linkedin.com/about
Smith, C. (2014). By the Numbers: 100 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics. Digital Marketing Ramblings. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/
Williams, N. (2014). Professional Photos on LinkedIn Are Worth a Thousand Opportunities. LinkedIn Official Blog. Retrieved from http://blog.linkedin.com/2014/04/22/professional-photos-on-linkedin-are-worth-a-thousand-opportunities/