Five tips for a strong LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn may not be the sexiest social media platform, but it’s a really useful one. Apart from connecting you to thousands of professionals and potential clients, employers, employees, and/or associates, it helps significantly with your Google ranking as well as giving you or your business an added sense of legitimacy.

Here are five tips for creating a stronger LinkedIn profile:

1. Use an avatar – and keep it professional

Having a profile picture on your LinkedIn profile is crucial. Not only does the default avatar make your profile look incomplete, but LinkedIn will automatically move your profile to the bottom of the search results. Adding a professional photo gives you a definite advantage – that’s the key, here. A bikini beach pic, or you in your wedding dress, is not going to do you any favours on this particular platform, unfortunately.

2. Add media to your profile

Do you know what the three fastest growing apps of 2013 were? Vine, Flickr and Instagram – all visual platforms using photos and video. The “visual” is more important than ever, and your LinkedIn profile is no exception. Adding elements like photos, presentations and PDFs will make your profile stand out.

3. Have a strong summary

Your profile summary should be strong, punchy, and full of key words related to your industry that people are likely to search for. When someone clicks on your profile, they want to get a clear idea of who you are and what you have to offer within a few seconds. The moment they have to trawl through a jumbled concoction of your work history and qualifications to construct a picture of you, you will lose them.

4. Publish blog posts

LinkedIn allows you to share links – and the best way to take advantage of this is to share links to your own blog/business news feed. That way you establish yourself as a leader in the field, someone with thoughts and opinions on best practices, someone who offers valuable tips and information. This is content marketing 101.

5. Endorsements and recommendations

Endorsements are great on LinkedIn – they are very easy to give and it’s therefore quite easy to rack up a nice collection of them. Even more valuable, though, are written recommendations from previous employers or colleagues. While these take more time and energy than a click of the mouse (which is all an endorsement takes), they are worth asking for.