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How to ace your LinkedIn profile – 5 top tips

It has been described as the Facebook for professionals.

LinkedIn has 722 million business-minded members world-wide with 3 people hired through LinkedIn every minute. Employers often use LinkedIn as the first place they go to look at your online presence and professional background. It is also important to note that only 43% of LinkedIn users are women, so let’s get in there ladies! If you have yet to join LinkedIn or have not updated your profile in a while, the time is now! Here are some tips to help you get a strong profile to prepare you for networking and for applying to jobs.

1. Have a strong profile picture

Your profile picture should be taken from above the shoulders and ideally with natural light. If you are the kind of person that does not like photos of themselves, avoid the temptation to take the picture from a distance - it will come across poorly on the little icon that most people view. Do not use a selfie! Or if you have to use a selfie, make sure it does not look like a selfie because that can come across as unprofessional. Wear clothes you wear or would wear to work; casual clothes and Covid lounge wear will not cut it. Finally, remember to smile!

2. Personalise your summary

When writing your headline, it is important to not just include details about your work experience but to make it unique to you. What matters to you? What are your interests? Give people an introduction to you as a person and not just you as a worker-bee. It is what will engage people’s attention and help you stand out. If there are any types of books you like reading, social activities you are keen on or sports you are particularly good at, include it!

3. Send out lots of connection requests

LinkedIn is not about making friends, but about connecting with people you want to work with or for. Send out lots of connection requests to build up your network. When attending events, if you meet someone you think is interesting make sure to connect with them using a personal message. For example, ‘Hi XXX, it was great to meet you today at event X !’.

4. Showcase your skills

There is a section of LinkedIn that allows you to input your skills, be that leadership, communication, entrepreneurship or public speaking. If you are skilled at different online tools, like coding languages or Microsoft PowerPoint, you can take a skills quiz and earn a badge to show potential employers that you are particularly good at those recognised useful skills. An important part of this section is also to get other people to endorse these skills – and don’t be shy asking people to endorse you! If you work within a team and have put ‘communication’ as a skill, ask your team to endorse you.

5. Interact with content

It happens all too often that people build a profile and then forget about it, leaving it to go stale amongst all the other social media they use. Treat your LinkedIn like a professional social media network – follow content or people that interest you, like other comments and make posts! Having a strong presence on LinkedIn is not just about making a stellar profile, but also about being inspired by people who are in the position you aspire to be in. LinkedIn gives you direct links to industry experts and CEOs of major companies, so make your voice heard amid all the cyber noise by engaging with content you care about.

I hope these tips help you build a great LinkedIn profile. It takes 5 minutes to set up your profile or freshen it up, so go and do it now!

Written by Rebecca Walker

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