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How to be Professional on LinkedIn?

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How to be Professional on LinkedIn?

Being on Linkedin is a must today but are you utilizing it to the fullest and in a professional way for your next career opportunities or visibility within the market? Here are 5 of the most important facts to help guide you in behaving professionally on LinkedIn.

1. Know the purpose.

One of the biggest mistakes people usually make on Linkedin is overlooking the platform's purpose and one’s individual purpose of being on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is an online platform that is designed to connect with the world’s professionals, to talk or exchange about business related things. So, yes, there is no place for pictures of new cars, selfies or office outfit looks.

Think of why you are on LinkedIn. It could be looking for a job, generating sales leads, connecting with recruiters or business contacts recruiting staff, etc. Then make good use of the platform professionally and improve your own credibility within the market by; sharing the latest industry news, hiring posts, company updates, services you are offering, etc. 

Question #1: What is your purpose of being on LinkedIn and how have you been cultivating it?

2. Have a Professional Headshot.

Don’t include anyone else in your LinkedIn profile picture, like your partner, colleagues, or a pet. Some people put a photo with bad lighting and some don't have a picture at all. Having a bad LinkedIn profile picture could damage the impression of your prospects without you even realizing it. Please stop doing this if you are and choose a clear photo of you that reflects your confidence and professionalism: a neat & tidy headshot with a nice clean background. 

Question #2: What does your current LinkedIn profile photo say about you?

3. Write a concrete Headline.

“Headline” of your profile is the first thing people will see together with your name, without even clicking or visiting your profile. So if it is compelling enough, people will visit your profile and want to be in the same network as you. If not, they might not look into your profile or even accept your invitation. Yes, it’s brutal.

The default setting is displaying one’s current job title and company. It is okay, but not catchy within a competitive market. To be compelling, you should include the “keywords” that are targeted at your audience. If you are a B2B Sales Professional, one of the examples would be “B2B Sales & Marketing | Project Sales | Industrial Equipment | (company name)”. There is no set format for this, just be professionally creative. 

Question #3: What’s your current “Headline” and how would you update it?

4. Keep it professional.

Did you know that when you click “Like” or give any reaction to a post, it will be shown in your connections’ newsfeed, plus all these engagement activities will be listed in a section of your profile called “Activity”? Yes, while it may be helpful to support your network and react to their posts, you'd better be sure that this content is also relevant or appropriate for your network to see. This Activity column is not a private section, so we can also look into a profile and go there to check out what that person has been up to for the last 90 days. Making good use of this column can be beneficial to know one’s current interests. 

Question #4: Did you notice the “Activity” column before? How have you been supporting your network with that?

5. Be visible.

Some people feel the need to protect themselves and treat their LinkedIn profile as other social media profiles, and hide too much information or not disclose any valuable information about themselves on LinkedIn, even hiding their past or current company names in their profile. We need to understand the purpose of this profile and us being on the platform. As this is a business platform, open for connections, be visible, be credible. So please make sure that your name and profile is open to every member on LinkedIn, to make the most use of it.

Question #5: Did you control too much on your LinkedIn profile? Let’s go check it out in the Settings section.

Being on LinkedIn is important but making good use of it and engaging professionally on the platform plays a bigger part. What do you think of these facts? Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments below!