5 Steps to a Network-Growing LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the online networking platform of choice for professionals across the globe. With the right profile and a strategic approach, this tool can help small business owners, entrepreneurs and other professionals quickly grow their networks from anywhere with an internet connection.
Whether you're looking for a new opportunity, or just want to make sure your profile is in top shape for the future, it pays to give your LinkedIn account some attention. Here’s how to write an effective profile that stands out.
1. Start with a professional photo and attention-grabbing headline
A professional headshot is ideal, but any recent photo that accurately depicts who you are will work. Make sure your face takes up most of the frame and flash your best smile.
After your photo, visitors to your profile will look at your headline. As of 2020, this section has a 120-character limit. Aim for something that sums up your current position and skillset — the latter is especially important for job seekers.
2. Tell your story in the About section
This section, formerly known as the summary, is the bread and butter of your LinkedIn profile. It’s a text box that can contain up to 2,000 characters, and it’s your opportunity to tell the story of your professional life.
There are endless options for how to write your About section, so we recommend looking at some winning examples to get your creativity flowing.
3. Highlight your past work experience
The Experience section is another crucial part of your LinkedIn profile. Include any relevant jobs, then share a few bullet points that summarize what you accomplished.
Think in terms of results and the value you added to the organization, then watch the connections roll in.
4. Ask for skill endorsements and recommendations
Social proof is powerful. Future clients, employers and connections want to know that others think of your work. LinkedIn makes it easy to showcase this information in the Skills & Endorsements and Recommendations sections.
You can ask for recommendations and skill endorsements from your current connections. Another great way to receive them is to give them — think of it as good professional karma.
5. Stay active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social networking tool. If you want to get the most value from it, you need to be an active user. Here are some examples of how to stay active:
- Engage with posts from your network with thoughtful comments and feedback.
- Share useful information.
- Write an article about something you have expertise in.
- Join groups and participate in the conversation.
More smart networking tips from the Intelligent Office blog
Here at Intelligent Office, we’re big advocates of networking intelligently. LinkedIn isn’t the only networking tool professionals have at their disposal, and here are some additional resources you can use to expand your network:
- 5 Ways to Build or Expand your Business Networks
- Using Networking Events to Grow Your Business Leads
- 6 Tips for Networking in a Coworking Space
- Referral Groups 101
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some of these tips aren’t possible to implement right now (we certainly don’t recommend working from a crowded coworking space or attending a large networking event at the moment.)
But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead! Maybe there’s an industry conference you’ve always wanted to attend or an in-person referral group you’d love to join. When it’s time to attend these events again, you’ll already have a great LinkedIn profile that will allow your new contacts to gain even more insight into your expertise.