Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Anatomy of a LinkedIn Profile

I’ve been meaning to update my LinkedIn profile. I’ve started working with some international colleagues and it’s helpful for them to get as much info as they can about who I am, and vice-versa.

Also – it’s a good idea to update your profile every 12 months or so. It can even help with your current role as opportunities may open up that are aligned with, and can build on, your previous experience. Businesses might also approach you with products that are better aligned to your needs. 

I’ve also been a bit overwhelmed when I look at optimising my profile – so I thought it would be helpful to break it down into smaller pieces. 

In fact, 14 smaller pieces . . . I present to you my ‘Anatomy of a LinkedIn Profile’:

1.    Photo – self explanatory.

2.    Headline – Describes you, not nessecarily your position. 

3.    Contact info – include as many channels as possible so that people you’re available through their preferred channel. 

4.    Activity – This is where your LinkedIn posts are listed. It’s a way to remind your connections that you are there, and to position you as an expert (or at the very least – a professional who is passionate about their chosen field of work!). 

5.    Summary – Here’s a chance for people to get a sense of your ‘voice’ from the way you talk about yourself. Include lots of keywords. Include contact details here too so that people who are not in your network can still contact you regarding the business you’re currently in. This can also be helpful to potential new clients who want to reach you but don’t nessecarily want to share all their info by becoming a connection. Be sure to include media: examples of your work. Even better if they have some images as it will help break up the page. 

6.    Experience - A chronological listing of your work history. Don’t be afraid to include a lot of detail, so long as it is relevant and you include keywords, sub headings and lists.

7.    Projects – here’s where you can go into detail about specific projects. This helps highlight your capabilities and that of your employers (past and present). 

8.    Skills and Expertise - This is where others can endorse you for skills and experience. It only works if you have lots of people who endorse you – which usually happens when you endorse others. The ‘endorse’ function on Linkedin is very ease to use. 

9.    Education - Here’s where you list all your education including short courses

10.    Recommendations - A text-based testimonial from someone who has worked with you, and a richer endorsement of you as a professional. Again – works best if you recommend others and others recommend you. 

11.    Test results – I don’t have any of these on my profile at the moment – but here’s where you can list IQ or personality tests that might help future employers get a sense of the person you are as a team member or manager. Some of the best profiles I’ve seen have included lots of test results. 

12.    Connections - Connect. Connect. Connect. The more you have, the higher your klout rating and the harder you make Linkedin work for you. If we’re all just 6 connections from Kevin Bacon, you want to make sure you have as many feelers out there as possible. I connect with people I meet at BBQs, friends of friends, colleagues, classmates, past colleagues, the list goes on, as it should. If you never know where a connection will lead, you want to be sure to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. 

13.    Groups - A good way to demonstrate your commitment to your craft – but don’t join groups you have no intention of interacting with. 

14.    Following - The groups you follow indicate your personal and professional interests. 

In the coming weeks I will be updating my profile, and compiling a blog post about how to optimise each section of a LinkedIn profile.

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