When you think of social networking, you tend to think of places where you can share family photos, and videos of cats doing funny things. Social sites come in all shapes and sizes, though, which is why LinkedIn has become the site where executives and business professionals go to maintain an online profile. Unlike those other sites, this is not a social setting where the participants are asked to be anything other than totally professional. This is why setting up your profile correctly is a must, as your peers are going to be judging you based on how your page looks.
Why is this important? It all goes back to the old phrase about only getting one chance to make a first impression. LinkedIn is the place where business people go to interact and network, with many there for the purpose of looking for people to hire. If you are in the process of looking to find a job or switch careers, you had better have a professional looking profile that will catch the eye. Missing information or inappropriate details will drive away those who are looking to hire. It is essentially the equivalent of showing up for an important job interview in a t-shirt and jeans.
LinkedIn is a place where you can post your resume, but it will never get seen if you don’t have a profile page that is professionally put together. If a potential employer likes what they see when they land on your profile page, chances are they will take a look around. Think of your LinkedIn profile as being an extension of your resume. This is where you have a chance to go into more detail about your education, work experience, and any other skills that you might be bringing to the table.
You don’t necessarily have to be looking to change your career by going on LinkedIn. The site is a fantastic place to network and learn more about your industry. If you want to be taken seriously when talking in groups and forums within LinkedIn, you need to have a profile that shows you to be professional and someone who might actually know what they are talking about. What you find when you take part in these groups is that there is a lot about your industry that you didn’t know. Don’t be left on the outside looking in because your profile is unacceptable.
Being successful in the business world begins with building your credibility, which is definitely something that you can do via LinkedIn. If you are not sure where to start, or think that your profile page may be lacking, it is important that you ask for help. There are services out there now who will help you put together a LinkedIn profile page that gets noticed, and gets the respect that your experience and industry know how deserves.