Some social media sites are more fun than others. If you’re hooked on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you’ll be forgiven for neglecting your LinkedIn profile.
There’s something very grown-up about LinkedIn that can make it unappealing to a lot of young professionals – yet in many ways, LinkedIn the most contemporary network of all.
But where to start in getting your profile up to scratch? Well, you need to get that profile picture right.
It can be a delicate balance, because you neither want one of your Facebook ‘drunk’ photos nor an overly formal headshot that makes you look a bore to work with.
It is, however, well worth taking the time to take a new photo especially for the purpose, with good lighting, a friendly expression, and the appropriate type of clothing for the industry in which you work. You can be a bit more artsy with your cover photo – something that shows you in action, at work or in a hobby or sport that illustrates something positive about your character.
Hopefully, though, most potential employers and collaborators won’t measure you so much by your photo, as what you say and what you can do. Demonstrating this begins with your headline, which is kind of like your personal slogan – only it should also be informative.
Try to get across not only what you do, but provide an idea of your approach or your particular area of expertise. You have 120 characters to express yourself here – and if you leave it untouched, LinkedIn will automatically add your current job title and employer, making you look like every other Regular Joe on the site, so do try to come up with something good. You can always ask a friend to help if words aren’t your strong point.
Like any social media network, you can tweak your profile and interact with others endlessly once you get the hang of it. For some more ideas on what to prioritize, check out this guide to becoming a LinkedIn power user.