Whilst young people may be fully aware of the influence of social medias such as Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is often overlooked because of its B2B nature.
However, any ambitious person starting to carve a career for themselves, should understand the ever-increasing importance of social networking in a business context, LinkedIn in particular.
For someone who is, or is looking to become, an apprentice, LinkedIn can add an air of maturity and professionalism that can make you stand out from the crowd!
The professional social network has over 350m members worldwide, with a staggering 15m users in the UK alone. In fact, one in three professionals on the planet have a LinkedIn profile.
These figures should therefore act as an incentive to make sure LinkedIn profiles are very good because as the social network’s importance surges, you want to be properly ready to make the most of it!
With that in mind, here are five tips to creating a great LinkedIn profile.
1. Full profile
The most important thing to do is ensure that your profile is as comprehensive as possible. If your profile is 100 per cent complete, you are 40 per cent more likely to receive opportunities, according to statistics compiled by Branching Out Europe. As you may have worked out, that’s because LinkedIn actually measures the completeness of your profile. Interestingly, only 51 per cent of all profiles are complete, so use that to your advantage and stand out by simply having a complete profile!
2. Appropriate profile picture
A photo is absolutely essential to having a good profile. According to Craig Smith, your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you include a photograph.
However, whilst LinkedIn is a social network, one shouldn’t forget that it is a social network for professionals and therefore the profile pictures should be of a respectable nature. Different photos are appropriate for different career paths. If you are looking to embark upon a career in financial services, then a photo of you in more business attire would work. Digital apprenticeships may allow for more informal clothes. Tailor the photo to the job you and career you are striving towards. The best thing to do is search LinkedIn for professionals working in your preferred industry and see how they are dressed in their photos.
The headline is one of those features that either gets used incorrectly or not used at all. Many people see ‘headline’ and assume it means simply plonking their job title – that’s not exactly what it’s there for. The headline should describe what you do, but more importantly, it should entice people to learn more about you. They are especially useful for people who are looking for employment. You should fill your headline with keywords that come up in searches and therefore draw more attention to your profile. Use the headline to highlight what value you can add to a company and your skills.
4. List your achievements and skills
This is after all the best place to boast. Statistics reveal that your profile is 13 times more likely to be viewed if you have listed skills on it. Your skills and achievements immediately tell recruiters and prospective employers what kind of value you can add. That is particularly important for prospective apprentices because they will speak louder about how serious you are about working than anything else.
Groups are an incredible resource, in particular for those who are looking for employment. There are over two million groups on LinkedIn and over 200 conversations per minute happening on them. Joining groups that are relevant to the industry you want to enter is one of the best things anyone can do to come up on prospective employers’ radars. By posting in the right groups you are effectively branching out to hundreds of people, throw a few groups into the mix and that can quickly become thousands. Groups will also educate you about the industry you are interested and you could learn something that you can use in an application or interview.