A professional well-written LinkedIn profile is an advantage to your career and business. In this blog we explore how you can build a professional LinkedIn profile:
- Keep it professional and honest
- Include a profile photo
- Don’t skip the Summary
- Include photos and other multimedia
- Give and ask recommendations and endorsements
- Network in groups
Having a professionally written LinkedIn profile is more important than you think. Unlike more social platforms like facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is the one platform that has been created to promote careers, professionalism and business.
Think of it as a window where other professionals can peek through to see who you are and what you can do. A shoddy profile can have negative consequences, especially when recruiters and prospective employers turn to social media platforms to gather information about future employees.
If your writing skills aren’t up to scratch or you simply don’t have time to do it yourself, there are professional writers who can help to create a stunning profile.
If you decide to do it yourself there are certain things to keep in mind:
Keep it professional and honest
Keep it professional, short and sweet. Don’t use funny nicknames and do not ramble, but at the same time try to make it personal. Be honest by sticking to the facts.
Include a profile photo
Include a photo of yourself in your profile. In an article for Huffington Post, Susan P Joyce suggests that profiles without photos implies that the profile is not up to date or active. She also points out that most scam profiles do not have photos.
A photo will attract people who recognise you to most likely follow you.
It can also become your own personal brand, especially if you re-use the same photo for professional purposes.
Your profile photo should be a good quality head and shoulders shot without any other distractions such as people or pets. Do not use silly photos. Keep it professional. 
Don’t skip the Summary
Many people tend to skip the summary, but it is a very important part of your profile. In a recent blog post for Forbes, personal branding consultant, William Arruda, writes that your summary is the first thing people read to evaluate you and where people who are relevant to your career can learn more about you. A striking summary can also make you stand out from you peers and make people want to learn more about you.
Arruda gives the following hints to get you started. He recommends that you ask yourself the following three questions:
- Who do you want to reach?
- What would you like them to know about you?
- How do you want to make them feel?
He also suggests you include the following information:
- What you do
- What you have accomplished
- Your values and passions
- What makes you different from your peers.
Writer Cat Knarr can attest to what a professional LinkedIn profile can do for you. She landed a sought-after job because an editor was impressed with her LinkedIn Profile. Knarr adds the following suggestions to make your profile irresistible:
Include photos and other multimedia
Share photos, video clips and presentations that can enhance your profile.
Give recommendations and endorsements and ask for recommendations and endorsements
Knarr explains that recommendations lend authority to your profile.
Network in groups
She advocates joining LinkedIn groups to connect with other professionals.
To conclude: LinkedIn can be very beneficial to your career and business if you build a professional profile and manage it properly. It can help you network, find a new job and promote your business. Does your profile reflect your true professional self? If not, it is time to make it shine on your behalf.