A LinkedIn profile is a great online tool for professionals. If you’re just starting out with LinkedIn you can use it to interact with other professionals in order to grow your business or enhance your career. Knowing how to set up a LinkedIn profile can help you reach your professional goals sooner.
As the largest professional network, LinkedIn is an opportunity to build your business reputation, broaden your professional network and help others know exactly who you are and what you do.
To maximise the potential of your profile we’ve got a few tips on how to set a LinkedIn profile up, as well as some things you can do to make sure others are looking at it.
Think of LinkedIn as an easy and more targeted way to network, engage with your contacts and share your skills with the right people. And that includes possible future employers.
Creating a profile on LinkedIn
Creating a profile on LinkedIn may seem a little overwhelming if you’ve never used the platform before. But it doesn’t have to be hard. You can start simply and add more information over time.
You can dabble in connecting with people you already know. And then move on to making other relevant connections as you get more comfortable with LinkedIn.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “I’m not professional enough yet” or “I haven’t had enough experience yet”. LinkedIn is a great way to let others know you’re ready to take on a new challenge or enter a new field of work.
Setting up a LinkedIn profile step by step
LinkedIn offers a free as well as a premium option which has more features. Usually, the free option is fine to get you started. You can consider upgrading at a later time depending on how you use it and what you want to achieve.
Step 1 – Upload a profile photo
The biggest tip here is to use the best professional looking photo of yourself that you can. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and pay for a photo shoot (although that’s OK too), but it does need to look professional.
- Make sure the photo is clear
- Include just your face and shoulders
- You should be professionally dressed
- Don’t use a selfie
Step 2 – Add your headline
Take some time to think about how you want to come across. It can be as simple as your job title. But it’s also fine to get a little creative if you think it might help you stand out. Remember though your headline needs to be simple enough so that others understand it.
Your headline is created when you add your positions to your profile. But you can edit and rewrite it to focus on an area of expertise or if you want to get creative.
Step 3 – Write your About section
The About or Summary section is your chance to let others know who you are, what motivates you, what you want to achieve and what your skills are.
The trick is to keep it to one or two paragraphs. It also needs to be relevant, so don’t include every single thing you’ve ever done or dreamed of doing. If your goal is to get a job in a different industry, talk about any courses you’ve done and the transferable skills you have that will make you a good candidate.
Step 4 – Add your work and education experience
Having some education or completed training to add to your profile will add credibility to your LinkedIn profile. Short courses are a great way to demonstrate you’ve committed to learning new skills so you’re job ready.
List your previous work experience too. But try to keep it as relevant as possible to your goals.
Step 5 – Relevant skills
Listing relevant skills on your profile helps others know your abilities and understand your strengths.
Once added, your connections can endorse your skills to increase the chances of you being found for job opportunities that relate to your skills.
Step 6 – Upload your resume (optional)
You can upload your resume to LinkedIn. You can choose to either upload it to a specific job application or you can display it on your profile. If you do display it on your profile, make sure you keep it updated and relevant.
Step 7 – Proofread
Make sure you proofread everything. Even better get a friend or colleague to read over your profile for you. You don’t want any little typos spoiling your chance of the next great opportunity.
What next with your LinkedIn profile
Like most social media platforms you get the best results when you give your profile or account a bit of attention and care.
LinkedIn is not a set and forget situation. If you want LinkedIn to work for you, you’ll need to put in a little time. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time but if you have a consistent approach to your activity, then you’re more likely to see benefits.
To increase your chances of finding your dream job there are a few things you can do:
The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more visible your profile is. People with more connections are more likely to appear in search results
Connect with people who work in similar roles or who might work in a company you admire or in your industry. You can start by connecting with people you know as well as old contacts like school friends or ex-colleagues.
Plus you can request connections with people you may have started following or whose content you like.
Including keywords in your headline, summary, and job titles is a good idea. They can help recruiters who search to find you more easily. Look at job descriptions or position vacant ads for the industry you’re interested in and list relevant keywords in your profile.
Commenting, sharing articles, interacting with groups, or even liking a post keeps you engaged and shows that you’re an active user. People will then be more likely to want to connect with you.
Once you get more comfortable with LinkedIn it’s a good idea to post content too. It’s a great way to boost your personal brand and give others more insight into your skills.
Qualifications help your brand on LinkedIn
You can get more recognition on LinkedIn if you have qualifications. Check out our online courses here and get in touch to chat about your future.
Your first step is to take a look at the courses we offer and see which ones spark interest. Then get in touch with one of our Course Consultants who can help you with the best options for your goals.