Growing your network is a key to success and upward mobility in the professional environment. All relationships start with a first impression and one of the easiest and most popular ways to control that first impression to others is with a well-crafted LinkedIn profile.
Did you know that use of LinkedIn as the primary professional network are on the rise? This means that more and more of your clients, prospects, and professional peers are taking the time to find out more about you and your background on LinkedIn. Almost all of us have a LinkedIn account, but what have you chosen to have it say about you? Does your current profile portray the best you and show off all that you have to offer?
Many users are not aware of the vast areas of information that you are now able use to promote yourself on LinkedIn. There are specific sections where you can highlight areas such as:
- Volunteer positions
- Published articles
- Speaking engagements
- Special projects
- Prior work experience
- Advanced education and completed courses
- Membership in affiliations or clubs
By adding (and keeping updated) this valuable information, you can help to highlight your experience and the areas of expertise you have worked hard to cultivate. Below are some tips to consider when updating your profile.
- Review and refresh your profile with any needed changes at least every six months.
- Choose the right profile picture. The image should be up to date and portray the professional side of your personality.
- Don’t skimp on the details. Fill out your profile as complete as possible. Include all pertinent employment, internships and volunteer jobs. You never know how you might find a connection to an outsider looking you up.
- Write like a professional. Use full sentences, proper grammar and appropriate punctuation.
- Be Personable: A professional presentation is important on LinkedIn, but don’t leave your personality behind. Remember, LinkedIn is still a social network; creating personal connections is the goal, and it’s easier when you help people get to know you.
- Ask For Recommendations: Recommendations add instant credibility. Ask colleagues, clients, college professors and past employers to recommend you through the LinkedIn. A good goal is three or more recommendations, each highlighting a different skill. Provide recommendations to people that you work with.
- Connect with your clients and other professionals.
- Engage with your college classmates (they may be CFO’s someday).