The other day I Skyped my dad and he told me he’d deleted his LinkedIn profile.
This is how the conversation went down.
“What’d you do that for dad?!”
“Because they were sending me so many notifications it was getting annoying. So I decided I didn’t want to have a profile anymore.”
“You do realise you can turn off the notifications, don’t you?”
“But LinkedIn is invaluable for climbing the career ladder.”
The company I worked for in London only ever advertised their jobs on LinkedIn or on their website. They also searched for new recruits through LinkedIn. In fact, I know recruitment agencies actively use LinkedIn to headhunt people and so by deleting his profile, my dad potentially shut the door on new job opportunities.
There are more than 238 million LinkedIn profiles and more than three million companies are on the social network. So, to be blunt, if you’re not on it yet… you should be.
4 benefits of being on LinkedIn
Here are four quick reasons why you should create your LinkedIn profile right now.
You’ll be visable on a Google search
If someone types in your name, your LinkedIn profile will be one of the first three results to appear. Which leads me on to the next benefit…
Control what business leaders think about you
If a potential employer or client was to Google your name and find your LinkedIn profile, you have the chance to give them a great first impression of yourself.
Win more business
This great first impression can help you to win more business and perhaps even get headhunted for a new position or project.
Network with like-minded people
LinkedIn also lets you to connect with other people in your field, giving you the chance for great networking opportunities.
So, now you know that you definately should be on LinkedIn – or even if you are already but want to improve your profile – here are some tips to help create a profile that stands out.
How to make your LinkedIn profile ace
Add a professional photo
People are more likely to click on your profile if you have a picture. Make sure it’s a head shot that’s in focus. Get an image of you where you’re looking friendly and approachable but also make sure the photo is business appropriate (no party shots, sorry).
Make sure your profile is keyword rich with terms from your industry and relating to your position so your profile will appear higher up in a search.
Many people just put their job title as their headline.
But this is boring (and also isn’t great for the aforementioned keyword search). The best thing to put in your headline is who you are and how you can help a potential client.
For example, my headline is “Creative content creator: I help small businesses with social media, video and copywriting.” This is both keyword rich and explanatory.
You should update your profile headline regularly because each time you do, your contacts get a notification about it, so you’ll stay fresh in their minds.
Don’t just use bulletpoints to list your skills in this section. You’re more interesting than that! Tell a story about your career, highlight your achievements and end with a call to action. Your CTA could be something like ‘Can I help? Email me at… ’
Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and make sure your text is keyword rich.
Build up your network
Connect with as many people who you know professionally as you can. Don’t connect with random strangers but build up a network of people that will be able to help you persue your career path.
Join relevant groups
Join relevant groups that have a good following and aren’t filled with spam. Then participate in these groups so you’re an active member. Ask relevant industry-related questions and offer advice to help those who have any questions.
These groups can also help you to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry.
Ask people you’ve worked with to recommend you. Say that you’ll write them one in return. These testimonials can prove invaluable and will help show off your strengths while also giving you credibility.
Complete your profile
It sounds like a no-brainer but it’s amazing how many profiles out there are incomplete and this just makes you like unprofessional and lazy.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t be like my dad – go get on LinkedIn! (Oh, and dad, if you’re reading this, I think it’s time to re-activate your profile…)