I’ll be honest, I only recently started taking advantage of LinkedIn as a social media platform. It was never the most “fun” platform to use – I’d much rather spend my time on Instagram or TikToc. But, over the past few years, LinkedIn has built a platform that makes networking and career-building simple, easy and entertaining.
With the addition of long-form posts, an increase in video content and an uptick in interest-focused groups, LinkedIn has created a space where people of all backgrounds and careers can connect and share ideas. It has turned into a place of positivity and learning instead of a place where you only go to search for a new job.
One of the most important parts of anyone’s LinkedIn experience is their profile. Much like Facebook and Twitter, you profile is the place people go first to learn about who you are. Completing the information and questions on this page can lead to a better overall experience on the website or app. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Add a profile picture.
Humans are wired to connect to images of faces. Adding a picture of yourself not only makes it easier for your connections to quickly recognize you, but it also adds to the overall “social” experience once you begin interacting with other people’s posts. A formal headshot is the most common profile image on LinkedIn, but as the pandemic continues, more and more people are changing their profile pictures to reflect their current work environment. For example, my current profile picture is a selfie I took in my home office.
2. Turn your “About Me” into a story.
You don’t have to be a professional writer to create a short explanation of who you are. Aim for three to five short paragraphs (about three sentences each) that discuss what you currently do at you job, your skills, passions and past experience. Already have a bio on your funeral home’s website? Perfect! That can be reused in this section of your profile, too.
3. Include your past and present careers.
Take a little time to list out all the jobs you’ve had since you started your career. This section of you profile can be treated like a digital résumé. Listing out your career moves and promotions is a great way to show your experience and expertise.
4. Share your achievements.
Much like listing your careers, making sure you mention any awards or honors you’ve received in your field is also a great way to show your expertise. Have you been given an award from your community or a local organization? Add it to your profile!
5. Connect with your business contacts, colleagues and friends.
The more connections you have, the better your experience will be on LinkedIn. Not only will you see posts from the people you know and follow, but you’ll also see posts from people THEY interact with and follow. New connections open up your network and help to show you more relevant content. While it is important to grow your connections, remember that you shouldn’t connect with people you don’t know. Scammers sometimes use LinkedIn connections to get in front of you when you otherwise could ignore them.
6. Follow your favorite brands and businesses (like Homesteaders!)
Several brands and businesses have LinkedIn accounts that are updated regularly with content you wouldn’t normally find on other social platforms. A few of my favorite brands and people include our Finding Resilience program, Bill Gates, The Marketing Millennials and Lucasfilm.
7. Login at least once a week.
It can sometimes seem like a hassle to keep all (or any) of your social media platforms updated. A great way to remember to check your social media apps is to set a weekly calendar reminder. All it takes it five minutes to scroll through LinkedIn and check out what’s new in your circles. Like or react to anything that you enjoy, and even comment if you feel so inclined. If you really appreciate a post or an image, sharing the post to your own profile is a great way to help others see it, too.
Now that your profile is set, it’s time to start using LinkedIn! Let us know what some of your favorite LinkedIn profile tips are in the comments below.