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Having A Complete LinkedIn Profile

Primarily used as a networking tool, LinkedIn allows you to connect with like-minded professionals, be contacted by recruiters, stay updated with the latest news and trends in the business world, submit job applications directly to companies, and showcase your online resume and professional achievements.

Naturally, none of these things would be successful without one thing: a complete LinkedIn profile. Here are 5 reasons why you need to have a fully updated LinkedIn profile:

1. Build your personal brand

We’ve already shared with you why you need to build a personal brand, and LinkedIn is the most appropriate way for you to show your professional accomplishments.

While personal websites and portfolios are also great for this purpose, LinkedIn is a free and easy way to quickly present your work experience, education history, accomplishments and certifications all in one place. By adding a professional photo and well-detailed summary – you’ve got yourself a strong online profile.

In fact, having a LinkedIn profile makes it possible to show up on a Google search – something a prospective employer is likely to do before making their hiring decision. If that’s the case, you want to make sure that people can find all the information they need to make a favourable decision.

2. Maintain your existing work relationships

LinkedIn is an ideal way to stay in touch with past and present colleagues and acquaintances. You never know when you might need someone’s help for an introduction at your dream company, or if they need your help in getting a job at your company – especially useful if there’s an employee referral bonus you could take benefit from.

By giving your peers and previous colleagues recommendations, congratulating them on their accomplishments, endorsing their skills, you can maintain great relationships with people you’ve worked with.

3. Enhance your professional network

Gone are the days of adding someone manually to your address book when you get their business card at a networking event. These days, professionals simply connect on LinkedIn whether it’s because they met up personally, interacted online in mutual-interest groups, or were introduced by a mutual connection.

As a networking tool, LinkedIn allows you to reach out to anyone as long as they’re in the network of people you know, and to build a professional relationship that can turn into a lucrative opportunity be it a job or a mutual working relationship. Or, it can just be a nice way to stay updated and celebrate people for their professional achievements such as a awards, new jobs, or promotions.

4. Get discovered by potential employers

Recruiters are always on the lookout for fresh talent, and LinkedIn is their prime hunting ground. They search specific keywords such as ‘digital marketing’ to find skilled professionals, and if you don’t have any of these keywords on your profile there’s a great chance you won’t be discovered.

If a headhunter somehow ends up on your profile just to find it incomplete, they won’t know if you truly fit the requirements for the role and they’ll leave to keep looking elsewhere. Why waste that quality lead opportunity just because your profile was not filled out?

5. Search and apply for jobs easily

With a powerful job board, LinkedIn makes searching for a job quite effortless. You can search by keywords e.g. Digital Marketing Jobs, location, job seniority, job type etc. It’s also easy to set up alerts to remain updated on new job postings in the field you’re interested in.

On LinkedIn, employers expect professionals to have filled out, active, and optimized profiles. Companies also post a lot of jobs online, making it easy for job seekers to apply for the role directly as all of their profile information is immediately shared with the employer.

Not only does this save time and effort, but it also protects your data as compared to job application or third-party websites – where posting your CV and personal contact information may get the attention of spammers. Even if you don’t get the job you’re looking for, you can always contact recruiters directly and let them know you’re interested in being considered for similar positions.

You can also follow companies on LinkedIn, and stay updated on their future job openings. If you’re looking at changing roles, you can research those companies easily, get a better understanding of their people and work culture and even connect with their employees or HR to increase your chances of getting in, or to simply understand if it’s a great fit for you or not.

Now that you know why it’s important to have a fully updated profile, here are 10 ways you can do it:

1. Pick a professional profile picture and relevant background photo – no one wants to connect with a profile with no photo, or an unprofessional one. Ideally, your profile picture should be a recent, clear shot of your face, and in presentable clothes that you would go to work in. Because your background photo is the second thing people see on your profile, choose a visual that represents you or your expertise in the best way possible. You can even select a picture of your location, your hobby, or include another picture and one-liner about yourself.

2. Use your headline to show what you do – this line is prime real estate and you can do a lot more than just add in your job position. Instead, focus on what you can do that helps people. For example, instead of writing “Digital Marketer at XYZ Company”, you can write something like “Helping SMBs grow their business through digital technologies”. Remember, people always want to know how you can help them.

3. Have a detailed summary – if you’ve always liked storytelling, this is your chance to do it. Your summary should tell your story, instead of just listing your jobs and skills (which people can see on the rest of your profile anyway). This is your personal content, so make sure it brings out who you are, and what you can bring to the table. To make it easy for people to contact you, you can also include your details if you’re comfortable with it. Furthermore, adding a personalised URL can also help you look professional and neat.

4. Use keywords that matter – while buzzwords such as ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘attention to detail’, ‘passionate’ are all examples of words that we think employers want to read, they’re extremely overused and therefore almost meaningless. What people really want to see is how you can demonstrate you have these skills instead – so use your accomplishments to show you have what it takes, instead of just saying it.

5. Add visual material to your job summaries – share your company’s brand content and marketing material under each job role you have. This is even better if you’ve created that content yourself. For example, you can display case studies that your digital marketing skills have contributed to, or blogs that you’ve personally written, presentations or videos that you’ve made. Not only does this help people understand your company, but also what you’re passionate about. It can also be presented as a mini portfolio for your work at each company.

6. Update your skills – select a few skills you are best at and want to be known for, e.g. social media marketing, search engine optimization, digital marketing. Once you add these to your profiles, your colleagues and connections can endorse you for them. Remember to only keep the core skills that also complement what you’ve written in your headline and summary. For example, although ‘Microsoft Office’ is a skill, it’s also an expectation from all professionals hence not worth adding to the top of your skills section.

7. List your certifications, scores and volunteer experience – got a test score you’re proud of? Or recently got certified for Digital Marketing on this website? Maybe you’ve just finished a course on the LinkedIn Learning platform? Go ahead and share all your accomplishments and experiences with your network, and be sure to list them on your LinkedIn profile!

8. Request recommendations – these are personal testimonials written by peers who have worked with you, and can be displayed on your profile to show your most valued qualities. You can personalise your recommendation requests to people who you know will praise your best traits. While it’s great to be known as someone who is “fun at work” or “friendly and hardworking”, a better recommendation to display would be something that demonstrates your core skills such as “increased company revenue by 60% during the employment period with digital marketing initiatives”.

9. Follow relevant profiles and join groups – this could be influencers in your chosen industry, big brands, and organizations. Not only does it keep you updated as their posts show in your feed, but it also shows any profile visitors which content you’re interested in and what you’re passionate about. By being in groups, you can contact others who have the same interest and grow your network

10. Engage with your network – networking doesn’t necessarily have to happen in person – it’s just as great online too. Like, comment, share on posts in your feed – this shows you’re active, have something to say, and also increases your visibility in other people’s feeds. When you comment on a post, you have a chance to display your viewpoint and build thought-leadership. When you share a post with your opinion, you show people that you’re not afraid to share your thoughts, can share valued content, and this may help cultivate better relationships with like-minded professionals.

Remember, everything on your profile contributes to what people think about you. Our bonus tips include:

  • Turn off your activity broadcast as you make all your updates to avoid blasting your newsfeed with notifications
  • Keep your profile as detailed and updated as possible
  • Be sure to proofread it for any spelling or grammatical errors
  • Never lie about any job or accomplishments
  • Always personalise LinkedIn connection requests
  • Customise your profile URL and include it in your email signatures
  • Connect your social networks for cross-social-media posting

To get started on the next steps for your career, take a look at our free course “The Job Seeker’s Guide”

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