20 good reasons why you need a good quality LinkedIn profile
by Sue Ellson
1) If someone ‘Googles’ your name, it is likely to come up on the first page of Google search results
2) If you apply for a job, your new employer will search to see if you have one
3) If you want to keep your network alive just in case you are retrenched, have to move or change careers, LinkedIn can do it for you
4) It is a way to ask for recommendations (called references in days gone by) from people you have worked with so that future decision makers can read them as ‘past behaviour predicts future behaviour’
5) In certain professions or industries, it is a very well-known and utilised social network for keeping up to date with what is happening
6) If you feed it with good quality content and engagement, it opens up other ‘big data’ opportunities to you – LinkedIn rewards good LinkedIn behaviour (if you regularly endorse people then they regularly promote an endorsement opportunity for you)
7) It is not bragging or boasting if you word it correctly – but what it can do is provide a descriptive written summary about your skills, abilities or network that can match a future opportunity
8) It keeps you accountable for updating your resume and keeps a handy record that you can access anytime (and also download a PDF version to keep a record of all that typing you have done)
9) It gives you mobile access to your contacts and as most people update their LinkedIn profile, the number you call or the email address you use is most likely going to be correct
10) You can download the email addresses of your connections as a backup and also invite certain connections to selected events, activities or mailing lists
11) You can keep in touch in an ‘automatic’ way with past friends and colleagues – remember that to keep your network alive, you need to keep in touch at least three times a year
12) You can build your own personal database that you can bring with you to your next role (either with another company or for your own business). Remember that to be ethical, whilst you are in a role, you need to make sure that the client you created has been added to the database of that business
13) If you are a member of a LinkedIn Group or follow a LinkedIn Company and someone sees your name and looks at your profile, you want it to be the best representation of your skills and abilities
14) People like seeing a nice smiling face of someone they recognise when they login to LinkedIn (hint, make sure you have a nice smiling photo and are looking at the camera!!)
15) It is an opportunity to showcase the other aspects of your life – your voluntary contributions, the special projects you have worked on, the qualifications and training you have completed. Perhaps it will inspire you to finally complete a course you have always wanted to do or it may inspire someone else to get involved in some voluntary work…
16) It opens you up to new opportunities that are not advertised. If you have structured your profile well around keywords that people might be using as part of their search, you can possibly access the hidden job market, business opportunities or a guest speaking role
17) You can tailor the content depending on the career path you are wanting to follow. If you are transitioning from one industry to another, you can showcase transferable skills, a willingness to learn and describe how amazing you are by pointing out specific items. For example, if you can work full time, study full time and still complete some consulting work, that is not easily interpreted by looking at dates and sections but it can be described in the narrative ‘Summary’ section.
18) You can measure your performance or the return on your investment of time. If your profile has only received 5 views in the last 30 days, it is not performing well. But if you have increased your connections, views and appearance in search results, you know that your profile is working for you – so make sure it has the right message when people find it!
19) LinkedIn is constantly growing and changing so you can take advantage of the extra tools that it provides by reviewing these every three months. It also gives you the opportunity to receive targeted job alerts, articles of interest and recommended connections and post your presentations or videos.
20) A credible and up to date profile shows that you value your online appearance. This is content that you can manage to create the impression you want. An expert can assist you with the wording if you find that difficult or an explanation of how to use it for strategic purposes (yes, it can generate paying clients too).
Tips added by others
21) Lizz McEneaney Great reasons Sue Ellson. Plus you need to make sure you don’t have spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or typos in your profile! 31/07/13 (Agreed, they yell ‘unprofessional’ immediately!)
22) Caroline Cleland Because HR are increasingly using LinkedIn profiles to check job candidates as they can often prove more reliable than resumes. 31/07/13 (Agreed, they give subtle clues that are not always revealed via a resume!)
23) Vicki Tsigaridi Ahern U need to add links so that people can +google and twitter and such. 01/08/13
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