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.