By GREG FINK
You can hate Facebook, loathe Twitter and downright ignore Instagram, but even if you’re social media shy, you can’t neglect LinkedIn. The career-oriented social media network with approximately 400 million users is a prime place to make important connections, keep up with the latest industry news and even find your next job.
To make the most of LinkedIn, you’ll want to be sure your profile is as compelling as possible. Think of LinkedIn as your online business card – image matters.
You can make your LinkedIn profile stand out with these simple tips.
1. Use a professional picture, not an Instagram selfie
A picture says a thousand words, and your LinkedIn profile picture is no exception. In fact, your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if you have a profile photo, according to LinkedIn. Be sure to use a photo that reflects how you want to be seen in the context of your career.
LinkedIn recommends users display a photo that is both professional and friendly: smile, wear professional attire, make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the image frame and choose a background that won’t be distracting.
That means it’s best to skip any group shots that include individuals other than you, as well as any poorly cropped photos – no one wants to see a disembodied hand in your profile picture.
While it’s better to have a professional photographer take the image that will become your profile picture, there’s no harm in taking it yourself – just be sure to put some time into taking and editing the picture so it doesn’t look like you took a quick selfie and then called it a day.
2. Give recommendations and endorsements
Give and you shall receive. The best way to build up your recommendations is to offer them to your colleagues first – be sure to endorse them for their talents and write what you liked about working with them on their profiles. This will make your connections more likely to return the favour.
Ultimately, the more recommendations and endorsements you have, the greater your credibility is.
3. Think like an SEO manager
SEO is short for search engine optimisation. It’s a common strategy website producers use to make sure their web pages get to the top of Google search results pages, and it’s a tactic you should use when building your LinkedIn profile.
Think of the common terms that are often searched in relation to your skillset. For example, someone with management experience looking to work in a managerial role should be sure to include the key terms “manager”, “management”, etc. in their profile – be it in their headline, previous job description text, and/or summary text.
The better your profile is optimised for search, the more likely others will find you – whether you’re just looking to make connections or you’re hoping to be recruited to your dream job.
4. Join groups
LinkedIn offers you the chance to join a number of professional groups. Take advantage of this, as it provides you with an easy means of keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry, as well as the opportunity to see what others in your line of business are thinking. Joining and engaging with some of the many groups LinkedIn offers – or starting your own – can further help position you for success.
Greg Fink is a content marketing specialist at the Jack Welch Management Institute. His work has been featured on sites like The Huffington Post and U.S. News & World Report. You can read more about business and leadership from Greg on JWMI’s official blog.
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Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com.