Adding content to the main profile
LinkedIn initially presents 5 areas for you to add content to but bear in mind that once you have added this content in the initial setup it is important to revisit your profile to customise and refine.
At this stage I added my three most recent jobs, LinkedIn asks you to add the starting month and year for each job added
It will then ask you to add the job title and company for each position and ask you ‘Where Else have you worked?’ But as I said after adding three positions I went on to the next step and I suggest you click the ‘no more positions’ hyperlink because we are just interested in adding the basics at this stage and can add more detail later.
Note that when you add a company, search for the company name as it appears on the LinkedIn so that you link your name to the company. In that way LinkedIn behaves similarly to a relational database.
Skills and expertise
The skills and expertise section is a key area to customise your profile so it is important to add the right mix of skills that apply to you. LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 skills so use the full quota but if you can’t remember all your skills at this juncture, then you can revisit this section later.
I’ll tell you more about optimising this section later on. But whatever you do only add skills that you are confident you can use from good to excellent level in the work place.
When you start to type your skill LinkedIn will present you with a list of skills that it has in its database and that might match your profile. For example I have over 10 years of recruitment experience so I selected ‘recruiting’ from the list because it applies to me but also because it appears in LinkedIn’s database as a popular search term. Recruitment consultants and employers will use these search terms to find people like you so choose wisely.
If you want to be found for a number of different terms within different niche areas – for example I also wanted to be found for search engine optimisation and online marketing – split the 50 skills limit between the different areas of keywords. However you’d ideally want to focus on 1-3 niche areas.
I also focused on adding skills that related to hard skills that I have acquired rather than wasting my 50 skills limit on soft skills like ‘communication’ or ‘listening’. Basically it’s crucial to bias the skills you select around the skills that are most likely to be searched for on LinkedIn by prospective recruiters and employers.
As I mentioned earlier don’t add skills that do not appear in the drop down menu because they are not like to be popular search terms and it’s likely that there is an existing alternative term that is more popular and searched for more regularly.
Want to get to a point that you can’t think of any more skills to add but still have a number of skills in your 50 skill quota, click skip and revisit the skills section once you’ve had time to brainstorm more skills.
In fact I reserved most of my quota to allow me time to think and research important skills.
LinkedIn then asks you ‘Where did you go to school?’ And the answer to the question depends on what stage in your career you are currently at. Obviously if you just left school and are about to go to University you can add your school and the University that you are due to attend. But in my situation it was pointless to add my junior and senior school so I just went with my University.
Again when you start to type LinkedIn will suggest items from its database so choose an item from the auto suggest list. You have an option to select the ‘does not apply’ link if you prefer not to add your school, or indeed if you didn’t go to school!
Next LinkedIn will ask you to add subjects that you studied, so in my case I studied environmental studies and geography at University so I ignored the drop-down list and added the degree name as it appeared on my certificate. You have an option to skip this step.
Personal point of view, the next part of this step was to add the year that I started and ended my time at University.
I chose not to add any university related activities because they were not crucial elements of the LinkedIn profile and once again I always had the opportunity to be able to add activities that I did at University and later on down the line.
Once I was happy that the education section had the information that I wanted to present I clicked the ‘I have listed all my schools’ hyperlink.
The next section – languages – is important to complete only if you are proficient in a particular language and can speak it to a high level. From my point of view I only speak English so I selected ‘No’ at this stage.
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