Using social media / networking platforms for personal brand promotion can be both highly effective and cost-efficient. With more than 277 million members, LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking platform online. By following some straightforward tips while completing profile sections, professionals can present a LinkedIn profile that is compelling, supports networking goals, and promotes career development.
Upload a headshot that conveys professionalism. Make sure it is recent and reflects the professional tone of the platform.
This is one of the first profile elements that other users see. Best practice is to include more than just a job title. Make sure you use the 120 characters limit wisely to convey expertise and skills. If you have a business website, try to include its URL here too.
When a user signs up with LinkedIn, they are assigned a generic URL. As part of a personal branding campaign, use LinkedIn’s feature to customise this generic URL. These URLs can also be added to email signatures, business cards and additional social networking sites.
Use Rich Media
Videos, images, presentations and other documents in a LinkedIn profile add interest, compel users to view the profile, and, can look extremely professional. Using rich media can be used to instantly signal credibility.
Ensure the experience section is filled out completely. An incomplete experience section looks unprofessional and wastes the opportunities available to showcase accomplishments, experience and skills.
Another section that demonstrates a user’s experience and skills, the project field provides an area to link up with other team members on the project – further promoting networking opportunities.
Skills & Experience
Users can add up to 50 skills to their LinkedIn profile. While those with endorsements will be listed first, try to add as many as possible to provide a well-rounded and impressive profile.
Because many volunteer roles require a well-developed skill-set, this section is important from both a job hunting and networking perspective.
An underutilised element of many LinkedIn profiles, recommendations should be sourced from others. Recommendations must also be strategic. Asking for recommendations is fine, but only request these from credible users and ask them to highlight a particular skill in the recommendation.
LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site online. By presenting a complete profile, by thinking strategically about each section, and by taking the time to develop it, users will be well on their way to presenting a professional, credible and positive image that supports personal and career goals.