What does your online presence say about you? Are you actively building a personal brand for yourself, or are you relatively low key when it comes to social media? Or perhaps you use social media, but pay little attention to how it may impact your career when you do so?

Well you’d be surprised how much your behaviour online could have an effect on future job opportunities and business prospects. The information that you share online is open for anyone to see, so for the sake of your career, you want to provide them with a positive and professional impression of yourself.

Having a completed and detailed LinkedIn profile increases your chances of getting noticed by a recruiter or business prospect significantly, as it means that you will appear in searches and they can learn what they want to know about you with a quick glance over your profile. So it’s really worth investing a bit of time into polishing your profile off and making sure it sells your best qualities.

Here’s a quick guide created by Spring Professional to give your LinkedIn profile a bit of a fine tune.

1) Pick the right photo

Profiles with photos are 11 times more likely to be viewed than those without, so it’s important that you do include an image of yourself. Make sure that it represents the professional you, so photos of you on a night out or on the beach are probably best kept for other platforms. A simple head and shoulders photograph that clearly shows your face, or a photo taken of you in a professional setting are the best options.

2) Use your real name

As I said before, LinkedIn is a professional network, so avoid using nicknames on your profile. The same goes for adding your job title or company into your name, as these can be placed in your headline instead. Provide your real full name and avoid using initials.

3) An attention grabbing headline

Your headline is the first thing that appears in search results, so make sure that it provides a clear representation of who you are and what you do. If you are currently in a job, your job title and company name, or the industry that you work in will suffice; alternatively you can use your headline to let people know that you are looking for new opportunities. Adding a bit of a creative twist can work effectively for catching people’s attention, but don’t get too carried away!

4) Customise your URL

Creating a custom URL will tidy up your LinkedIn profile and make it easier for people to find you, so make sure you change it so that it includes your full name, rather than the default string of random letters and numbers.

5) Highlight your best qualities in your summary

Your summary should be your career in a nutshell. Keeping it short and sweet, showcase your top accomplishments, core skills, previous experiences and your future ambitions and goals. Try to reveal a bit of your personality and steer clear of cliches to avoid blending into the crowd.

6) Use examples in your experiences

Don’t merely include a job title, company and work dates in the experience section; go into a bit more detail and explain what your responsibilities were for each role and details of any notable projects you were involved in.

7) Share any certifications or courses you have completed

Be sure to add all of the qualifications and courses you have undertaken, as they will help to give an indication of the level of skills you have in certain areas.

8) Add Honours and Awards

The same goes for any honours or awards you have received, as they give you a bit more credibility and help you to stand out from other professionals.

9) Outline your education

This is your opportunity to show off your shiny degree that you spent years working towards! Provide details such as which University you went to, what course you completed and what grade you were rewarded.

10) Showcase your skills

Adding skills to your profile is a great way to make yourself more visible in search results and they will work as keywords when people are searching for the particular qualities. List as many skills as you feel fit, that relate to skills you have picked up over your career, education and other experiences. Other users can then endorse you based on these skills

11) Get recommendations

To give your profile an extra boost of credibility, get a colleague,client, business contact, etc. of yours to write you a recommendation,  providing a good word about your abilities, work ethic, customer manner etc. Hearing it from somebody else is much more influential than in your own words.

12) Join groups

Joining groups and getting involved in conversation will get you noticed on LinkedIn and also enables other users who are not in your network to contact you directly. Join and contribute to groups that are related to your industry and interests in order to get noticed by other professionals and expand your network.



About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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