LinkedIn allows employers, colleagues, and peers to learn about who you are as a professional. In turn, it can help you expand your circle and network with others—if executed properly. With LinkedIn becoming a more prominent tool in the professional world, it’s important to know how to utilize the platform as a way to further bolster your personal online brand.
Here are some basic tips to help you perfect your profile:
- Don’t include experiences from High School: Employers do not care about high school projects and activities. The majority of high school experiences are irrelevant to employers. You’re simply expected to have grown academically and professionally post high school graduation. With the exception of very prestigious accomplishments such as an Eagle Scout Leader or Class President, your college achievements and those that follow showcase your skills and capabilities.
- Profile picture: This is the first impression your page viewers will have of you, so pick your picture carefully. The photo you choose to represent yourself can show your personality, but should still be appropriate for your field, high quality (preferably a professional headshot), and not a selfie! It is recommended for this photo to be in color, as black and white images do not stand out.
- Connections: One of the best reasons to have a LinkedIn account is to build your professional network. It can be used to strengthen relationships, meet others and it can even lead to new opportunities. There is nothing more harmful to your professional brand than having an inactive account. If you’re a college student, you should have at least 100 connections to demonstrate that you have professional contacts who can validate your experiences and vouch for your work. It is recommended that professionals at any level, connect with all individuals right after meeting them. This will help you expand your professional network and this connection could result in potential hires and/or collaborations down the road.
- Bullet information: Think of your profile as an enhancement to your resume—make it easy to scan. Don’t include large paragraphs under each work experience as it is not conducive for the others viewing your page. People are extremely busy and they need to be able to move through your LinkedIn and pick out the most important information quickly.
These simple tips will help you upgrade your LinkedIn profile. You’ll be sure to generate more interest and receive more page views, separating yourself from others online.