With LinkedIn, size matters. The social media platform has around 875 million users worldwide, making it today’s most powerful tool for professional networking.
But have you unlocked its full potential? Is it helping you to connect with recruiters and hiring managers, showcase your expertise, stay in touch with existing customers and clients, and generate leads? Here are six do’s and don’ts for crafting the perfect LinkedIn profile.
1. do use a professional profile picture
If you’re using a holiday snapshot or a cute pic of you and your dog for your LinkedIn profile, it’s time for a makeover. In this new age of hybrid and home working, you don’t need to wear formal business attire but aim for smartly turned out, a friendly smile, plenty of natural light and a neutral background. Don’t feel you need to commission a professional headshot, but do try to present yourself in a way that inspires confidence.
2. don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
LinkedIn is your place to shine. Try to overcome any feelings of imposter syndrome or the notion that you’re somehow showing off by highlighting your achievements. Recruiters and potential employers want to see what you’re made of professionally, and your peers will be keen to learn from your expertise and hear your thoughts on industry trends. Showcase the skills and achievements that make you stand out in your field, and be sure to include any awards or accolades you have earned.
3. do adopt the 5-3-2 rule
This useful rule can help you build your personal brand through social sharing. It works like this. Out of every 10 LinkedIn posts, five should be to engage with others. Three should be relevant to your career and audience but not too salesy. Two should be lighter, more personal posts that show there’s a well-rounded person in there who’s nailed their work/life balance.
4. don’t forget your keywords and hashtags
Keywords are king on LinkedIn, and using them can raise your visibility. Use plain English to match common search queries — if you have leadership skills, describe it in those terms rather than some creative variation on the theme. Include keywords in your headline, about section and any other places where they make sense. Add hashtags to the end of your posts, but make sure they’re relevant and don’t use more than three.
5. do ask for recommendations
Most people on LinkedIn are happy to help others succeed. Reach out to past employers, professors, clients and colleagues who can vouch for your skills, experience and character. Aim to get 10 reliable sources and ask them to be specific about what you bring to the table. And when the opportunity arises, don’t hesitate to return the favor.
6. don’t be afraid to show your personality
There’s more to you than your day job. Are you an avid mountain climber, for example, or a regular volunteer for a local charity? Do you love to cook, learn languages or run marathons? Your LinkedIn network doesn’t need to hear your life story (that’s what Facebook is for), but sharing a little of what makes you, you can pay dividends when someone is assessing how you might fit into a team.
Staying engaged with your professional network on LinkedIn will only become more important as the workplace evolves. And while you’re refreshing your marketing materials, why not update your resume with the help of Randstad’s free resume-builder?