Whether you are a stay at home mom or a career professional, having a LinkedIn profile can be beneficial for you now and in the future.
LinkedIn is a unique online networking tool for professionals of all industries. It is an advantage to job searches, networking within your industry or organization, and for staying on top of the best of the best in career fields. I recommend everyone gets on LinkedIn, even if you don’t think you need it right away. Here are the basics to LinkedIn.
A Beginner’s Guide to LinkedIn
Account Set Up
Set up an email just for LinkedIn, or at least set up a filter for your email account for incoming LinkedIn-related communications. I recommend this because as you grow your network you will receive a lot of notifications. Setting up a dedicated Gmail account just for LinkedIn and social media accounts can be a good choice.
Be sure to complete everything you can regarding employment, skill sets, awards , recognition, and so on. LinkedIn ranks your profile according to what you complete, so a mostly or fully complete profile is definitely better.
Settings and Privacy are areas you’ll want to pay attention to when you’re signing up. Set them to your preference immediately upon LinkedIn account set up.
Your email address should only be listed if you want to be contacted at that email address. If you do not want an email address to be public, do not list it.
Similarly, phone numbers should only be listed if you want to be contacted over the phone. If you do not want a phone number to be public, do not list it.
Give your new profile a nice picture. You could use a professional head shot or a nice, simple picture of yourself without a lot of distractions. Be sure the picture is primarily of your face, forward facing, without any objects in it such as seat belts, beer bottles, or kids in the background! Many people do not have a great profile picture, however a professional looking profile makes your LinkedIn impression a lot more impressive to folks that might be searching for you.
Make sure you select a background picture. Select the “Me” tab at the top right. Then go to “View Profile”. From there, you add a background picture. Click the box that say “Update Background Photo”. You may update your profile picture by clicking on it from here as well.
Give your profile headline personality and clear descriptions. Do not be to general.
Example: Do not simply say something like Mass Communication. Elaborate, say what it is you do in Mass Communications, such as Branding Specialists, Brand Identification, etc. Being specific is a great way to make sure that when others are looking at your profile, they’ll have a good idea of what your skill set is.
Resume and Recommendations
Your resume is your experience on LinkedIn, so ensure that it is accurate, informative, and completed field by field. Take the time to see if your company’s logo is listed when you type in the company name be have it display, as this looks very professional. Don’t forget to list volunteer work that you may have been involved with, from being a Scout leader to helping with a homeless outreach to teaching classes up at your church.
Recommendations are great. Do not be afraid to ask former employers, clients, or colleagues to give you one of LinkedIn. Always try to have at least two recommendations for the last two to three experiences.
I just took a look at my own profile, and I need to add in a few things. I need to update it with my volunteer work with my mom’s group and with my massage business. While I’m not on the hunt for a job, something I like about LinkedIn is that it really does help you network with people in ways you might not have thought of. You might find someone to collaborate or barter with, to mentor you (or for you to mentor THEM), or you might even find a professional to provide a service for your family.
These are just the bare bones basics of LinkedIn. Hopefully it’s helped you to get started. Be sure to proof it and double proof it again. Who knows, your next business connection could be just around the corner!