LinkedIn is to the professional world what Twitter and Facebook are to social world: a way of establishing and maintaining connections. However, with LinkedIn the focus is on professionalism. A LinkedIn profile is the best way to find out how compatible an individual is for a particular job.
Needless to say, creating the account can be a bit of a humbling experience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, on LinkedIn, that picture is a single thumbnail. Text reigns supreme, and a solid resume with a successful academic background will usually lead to a well-rounded and appealing LinkedIn account.
One should not shirk from creating an account simply because he or she feels inadequate or underrepresented with what is revealed when making an account. LinkedIn is like an online resume that everybody can see. Be honest, be descriptive but concise, and be an individual. Not all employers look for an extensive resume. Many are simply looking for a person with a few relatable experiences who appears suitable and sincere.
A few things to keep in mind when creating your account:
Always maintain and regularly update your Linkedin account to reflect your current professional life
Having an incomplete account will not aid in establishing meaningful connections. It can even lead an employer to believe that you are underprepared.
Reveal information about yourself that is important to you
Remember that you are not only trying to stand out as a professional but also as an individual. If you keep a blog or have generated any type of content work (a published thesis or article,) be sure to share it on LinkedIn. Try to represent yourself while still remaining professional (Linkedin is not a platform to share hobbies or reveal an interest in pre-war blues).
Start with your immediate family and friends. Sharing your account with family and friends will help push you to create a quality profile.
Optimize your profile around a particular keyword
For example, if you’re a tax consultant, you’d want to optimize your profile so that when people search for “tax consultant,” your profile shows up first – or at least on the first page. Keywords make it easier for field related employers to find you.
Linkedin is is a valuable tool for the job searcher or employer and keeping up with it as actively as you do your less professional profiles can massively improve your professional life.