LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Founded on December 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs.
It is a social media platform geared towards professionals. It enables you to network and to build your professional portfolio, but you can also go out into the world and look for a new job. Professionals who’ve been in business for decades use LinkedIn and so do newly minted graduates. It is also used by employers and recruiters who are looking for job candidates.
HOW CAN I OPTIMIZE MY LINKEDIN PROFILE?
Optimization simply means to enhance a thing in order for it to effectively achieve its purpose of existence. So, when we talk about optimizing your profile, it about enhancing your profile to “sell” you as a great personality, someone people would want to know and meet.
According to Yemisi Ajeojo (Author of Social Media Your New CV) said that for you to build a strategic online presence you need to answer the following questions:
What do I want to be known for online?
What are my core values?
What do I want to achieve by being online?
Your answers to this questions will largely influence the way you pose yourself online.
WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
The first profile section of your profile is YOUR NAME. It’s important that you are easily identified. Identity is key! Note that LinkedIn is a professional networking platform. Everything you put out there has to be of a professional standard:
- Use your official names.
- Arrange it professionally.
This is basic but so crucial.
Your name perhaps is the first thing people look at on LinkedIn, and if it’s improper, you are simply shooting yourself in the foot.
Please, don’t attach “Posh” or “Queen” or “Sexy” or any slang/stage-name to your name on LinkedIn. That’s unprofessional. Don’t write your names in small letters or all caps. Arrange your names well, know where to put what.
Here are three formats you can consider;
Let’s take Kpilaakaa as a surname, Johnstone as the first name, and Terkuma as the middle name.
Format 1: Johnstone Terkuma Kpilaakaa
Format 2: Kpilaakaa, Johnstone Terkuma
Format 3: KPILAAKAA Johnstone Terkuma
These are professional ways of writing you names. Just as you would on your CV or on a formal application.
WHAT & HOW DO YOU LOOK LIKE?
Your PROFILE PICTURE is also an important part of your profile.
Upload a high-quality, headshot.
Don’t try to put your full body into the photo – A headshot is perfect.
Make use of a clear background for minimal distractions- A plain background is cool.
If you use a poor image, you may lose people right away and never get the chance to recover! Also, wear clothes that align to your industry’s standard!
Avoid using pictures of your favorite celebrities as LinkedIn profile pictures.
The next section of a LinkedIn profile is THE HEADER.
Use the keywords in your industry while writing your header. Be identifiable!
Using keywords will enable clients or recruiters to easily access you.
If you’ve also won a respected/popular award you can as well use it.
In writing your profile, be authentic!
Don’t inflate your value!
WHAT SHOULD BE MY ‘SUMMARY’?
Aside your Header, the summary is the section that tells anyone who views your profile more about you. It provides an opportunity for you to highlight your skills, accomplishments and experiences in a more detailed manner.
NB: Avoid typos or grammatical errors, diligently review your profile for such.
Featured is the next part of your profile.
It gives you the opportunity to highlight some of your success stories via images or links…
LinkedIn also provides a section for you to state you past and present EXPERIENCE(S)
EDUCATION is the next section that follows; where you highlight your educational experience.
The LICENSE AND CERTIFICATIONS section provides you the opportunity to include your professional qualifications.
You can also ask your classmates, clients and colleagues to write you a RECOMMENDATION.
Your ACCOMPLISHMENTS can also be included in a separate section below the recommendations you’ve received.
A Summary on How to Set Up Your LinkedIn Account
1. Create your LinkedIn account via www.linkedin.com. Connect with me here
2. Setup your profile professionally.
3. Let search engines optimize your profile.
Use keywords that are relevant to your industry when setting up your profile.
4. Highlight your skills, achievements and experience.
Finally, HOW TO BUILD AND GROW YOUR CONNECTIONS
1. Search and send strategic connection request: the quality of your connection should be prioritized above the quantity.
2. Leverage on LinkedIn Groups.
Join groups that are in line with your purpose of joining LinkedIn.
3. Share valuable and relevant contents.
Your content should emphasize (directly or in directly) the kind of opportunities you are looking for and why you are best suited for it.
You can also share about relevant lessons you are learning as regards your industry.
Also, you can share your experiences or accomplishments that highlights your skills and value. Be mindful of the comment you make on other people’s content, it can make or destroy you!
In CONCLUSION, Social Media is Your New CV!
Build your skills!