How To Build A Successful LinkedIn Profile

by Eric Ho

Since LinkedIn released its IPO in 2011, its stock has exploded. The multifaceted professional social networking platform has over 200 million users and the company’s growth isn't showing any signs of slowing down. As more and more young adults enter college and the workforce, LinkedIn becomes the most important social media platform for networking, job searching, and business development.

LinkedIn is essentially your digital professional profile, suggested for every budding professional. Here are important tips you need to know for building a strong profile and finding success with LinkedIn.

1) Use a professional photo.

This is pretty straightforward. You don't need a professional headshot but try to use a headshot photo that looks professional. Your profile photo is the first thing anyone sees when landing on your profile page.

Don't use a selfies or a photo of you making a duck face. Use your best judgment when selecting the photo you would use based on the profession you are in or seeking for.

2) Personalize your LinkedIn web URL.

Personalizing your LinkedIn URL makes it easy for you to share your profile with other people and makes it easier for people to discover you. You can create a customized URL by editing your profile. It's best to create a URL that best matches your name. For example, my URL would read:

3) Keep your experience and summary updated.

Try to make sure your experience and summary are updated frequently in order to keep your profile relevant. This is the most read portion of your profile.

Make sure you include what you’re involved in and how you add value to the organization. Keep your experience detailed and accurate. Make the summary of your experiences sound more like a reflection rather than a resume or cover letter.

4) Share updates with your connections.

Sharing updates with your connections shows that you keep up with what's going on in the world, and what you share tells the world what type of content interests you. Make an effort to share interesting blogs and articles you come across, and try to include a link in every post, as well. LinkedIn is an amazing publishing tool to share news, insights and information, so try to take advantage of this.

5) Join LinkedIn groups.

Joining and participating in LinkedIn groups gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with other professionals in your industry, alumni from your school and folks who share the same interests as you. LinkedIn groups allow you to have open discussions with other professionals where you can demonstrate your expertise.

You can direct message other professionals to exchange advice and network privately. Employers and other decision-makers check out what groups you're a part of to see how involved you are on Linkedin and what your interests are.

6) Get recommendations, endorse, comment, and like.

LinkedIn, after all, is a social media platform and these are some of their social features. If you come across an insightful content post on your newsfeed, like it or comment offering your opinion. Endorse someone’s skills or expertise.

Recommendations are great both ways. When writing a recommendation for someone, be authentic and focus on specific skills and personality characteristics of that person to emphasize their value.

Top Photo Credit: Getty Images