As the business world becomes increasingly digital, it is more important than ever for professionals to ensure that their online presence is clean and up to date. Building your personal brand is imperative to staying connected and competitive online in 2022.
Of the numerous ways to build your personal brand, constructing a confident LinkedIn profile is a great place for any professional to start. There are a multitude of ways you can use LinkedIn to your advantage. As fellow Modthinker Macey Moghadam put it, LinkedIn profiles are more than just a social media site: “It’s your resume, your network, and your business card — all in one place.”
From establishing a professional network, to displaying your unique skills and education history, here are a few practices to make your professional page work for you.
Your Network is Your Net Worth
It’s almost a cliche to stress the importance of networking in a professional career, but on LinkedIn, connecting with people pays serious dividends. Once you are linked with 500 or more professionals, your account is marked with a distinction of this milestone. Employers and potential connections alike will take notice of your large network. Not only this, but people with whom you are connected are more likely to see your content and share it with others, growing your influence.
Through this increased visibility, your account will continue to receive more connections. With more connections comes higher placements on company rankings and job searches. The more credibility and connections you have, the more likely it is that you will get the attention of someone who wants to hire you.
So, how should you get the ball rolling? Start with the people you currently work with, the people you worked with in the past, and other colleagues in your industry. It will definitely take work to reach 500+ connections, but your account and credibility will be on their way to the top in no time.
[Insert Your College Pride Here]
It may seem like a basic step when setting up your profile, but listing your college and education history is a great way to connect with others and outline your history of success. Even if you don’t know them, the commonality between you and your fellow alumni may be reason enough to invite another connection.
What’s more, by listing your school on LinkedIn, the website will show you if alumni from your college work at a business. Check out this blog for practices that will help you effectively connect with people from your college.
It’s important to list all of your educational experience and history on your LinkedIn. This can include classes you’ve taken, clubs you were involved in, and related certifications you’ve achieved. The more involved you are/were, the more filled out your profile will be.
Skills to Pay the Bills
One of the best ways to get noticed is through your skills. While your resume should already outline your talents, LinkedIn has a section in which you can list 50 of your most impressive abilities. If you can’t think of which ones to put, don’t sweat it. LinkedIn has a base of thousands of various skills from numerous different fields.
When listing your skills, be sure to pick out the three that you think are your best and the most important for people to know. LinkedIn will display these first for the people browsing your profile. Should you forget to do this, the site will automatically place some of the skills you selected as these top skills, so make sure your top three reflect what you want people to know about you.
Need to prove your mastery of your skills? Try one of LinkedIn’s skill assessments to show you really know your stuff. These skill assessments allow you to take tests on certain skills to exhibit competency and proof of your knowledge. While not every skill has an assessment, there is a wide range of technical, business, and design assessments that you are able to go through on the site.
You can also request an endorsement of a particular skill from a connection. Don’t just choose anyone– pick a colleague who you respect and have built goodwill with. Be sure to thank them for their endorsement and consider writing one for them as well!
Keep It Going
These are just a few of the best practices you can implement when setting up your LinkedIn profile. While the breadth and depth of the site go much further, your career will be well on its way to success with these taken care of. Make sure to explore everything the site has to offer, and continue to update your profile much like you would your resume. You never know who will want to connect with you next.