The three elements of an effective LinkedIn profile

23 September 2013

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24 September 2013 | Paul Snell

Your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand as people now have an expectation they will be able to find information about you on the internet, according to an expert.

At a CIPS Fellows’ event held in London last night Mark Williams, also known as ‘Mr LinkedIn', explained the importance of enhancing your presence on the world’s biggest business social media network.

“It’s human nature you don’t want to be visible – people tend to want to be private - but you are going to be found online. So why not use a LinkedIn profile to promote what you are about?” he told attendees. “It is the best way of controlling your presence online. And you are giving people a reason to find you in the light you want to be found.”

As a LinkedIn profile is often now people’s first impression of you, he advised of three important factors of an effective profile.

It needs to be professional. Some profiles are unprofessional in an unconventional way, said Williams. An incomplete profile demonstrates a degree of slackness. He also estimates there are 14,000 profiles in the UK with the misspelt job title “manger” (as opposed to manager) in them.

It needs to be authentic. People’s attitude toward online profiles is “convince me that you are real”, and your profile needs to achieve this.

It needs to be comprehensive. People are interested in your back story, such as previous roles, companies and education, for example, even if you don’t think it is important. A more detailed profile can also boost your profile in the network's search.

Williams also outlined the key areas to focus on to improve your profile. Vital ingredients include;

The picture - “It doesn’t matter what you look like, but it does matter that people can see what you look like,” said Williams;

The headline – so people understand what you do within seconds of viewing your profile; and

The summary – so people know who you are, why you do it, and what it is you do.

* Once you have improved your profile, why not join the Supply Management Readers' group on LinkedIn?

There will be a more detailed look at improving your LinkedIn profile written by Williams in the career development supplement with the October edition of Supply Management.

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