First Steps in Completing Your LinkedIn Profile

First Steps in Starting a LinkedIn Profile

If you have decided to start a LinkedIn profile, you are on the right track to making important connections within your existing networks and beyond. The important thing to remember is that LinkedIn only works if you actually use it. Part of ensuring you are using LinkedIn means that you need to complete a profile.

When you start filling in your profile, you will notice a percentage that represents how complete your profile is at that particular time. Profiles that achieve a 100% completion rate tend to rank higher on searches within LinkedIn. You can certainly start your profile and then finish it at a later time; however, I encourage users to think about what they want to write and finish it during a specified time period.

Next, you will be encouraged to upload a profile picture to your LinkedIn profile. My LinkedIn profile page has a very professional photograph; please remember this when completing your profile. The photograph on LinkedIn is very small—you want it to represent you at your very best. Personal photographs are appropriate for personal networking; however, LinkedIn is used for more professional purposes such as job seeking, connecting with groups, and representing your business.

Finally, remember that words are key components of your LinkedIn profile. Make a list of words that appeal to people in your particular areas of expertise. Utilize these words when writing your profile. For example, describe your areas of expertise, mention job positions that may be of interest to you, and describe your reasons for joining LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn profile summary is listed below. Because I want to use my LinkedIn profile to promote my business, Feather Communications, you will notice that I have used key words that pertain to the writing and communication industry. Search LinkedIn and view profiles to discover what will best represent your industry, your organization, and, ultimately, you as a professional.

With over 12 years of management and communication experience, I decided to begin Feather Communciations in January 2008. Since that time, I have enjoyed working with and writing for a variety of clients, including local, regional and national publications. I have already worked with several clients in Australia and hope to continue my business’ international expansion. Through my experiences, I have given numerous presentations on business communication, e-mail etiquette and freelance writing.

Starting a LinkedIn Profile

If you are a professional business person or someone seeking to expand your network of contacts, then you need to join LinkedIn. Over the next several weeks and months, I will be providing tips for designing your LinkedIn profile page, finding contacts, asking for recommendations, and becoming an expert in your professional area.

LinkedIn is another social media tool that can be considered much more “professional” than Facebook or Twitter. Think of utilizing LinkedIn as your online resume. There are over 75 million users on LinkedIn and that number is growing each day. Everyone knows there is only so much time in a day to use social media, so you need to make it count. And, in my opinion, LinkedIn is a way to make a statement in the social media atmosphere.

LinkedIn is designed to add to your list of contacts. It is a place to find people you already know and expand to those you want to know for networking purposes. It’s an opportunity to connect with people quickly and easily in a professional medium. Many people are starting to use LinkedIn profiles in addition to a traditional resume or a replacement for that document.

Find out the key words being utilized in your industry and use them on your profile, especially in your summary statement. This will help ensure your profile is found when individuals are searching for professionals in your field. Develop your areas of expertise and list those, along with accomplishments and job history. Finally, you may want to summarize why you have joined LinkedIn—perhaps you are interested in connecting with similar people in your field or maybe you are seeking additional job opportunities.

To start your LinkedIn profile, simply go to LinkedIn.com and sign up today. Watch for the next blog which details how to effectively develop your summary statement and design a profile worth seeking. 

P.S. If you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, search for “Heather Rothbauer-Wanish” and click “Connect.”