Everyone says that the network is governing us and that social networking is running the world. But of all the networks that I have seen and used in the past decade, LinkedIn is the most professional and serious network. This is a network that carries a lot of weight in the corporate world and in many a case, this network can make or break a career. One needs to take a lot of care and put in a lot of thought into one’s activity here. Let us look at that in detail.When you begin creating your profile on Linkedin, remember that your future employer and their recruiters use this profile as their bible to refer and infer about you. Be very clear and truthful. Do not leave any ambiguity or grey areas in your profile. If there is a break in employment, state is as such, that is ok, it is bad if you don’t state and it is found out later. Then your profile loses credibility. Starting with your education and years when you completed each degree, get the dates right. List all jobs in the right order. Remember that if you write down your role as your designation and when the enquiry and reference check takes place it is revealed that your designation was different, you are in trouble.
State clearly whether you were on the rolls or on contract. That is also an important point. And if there are additional activities that you had been involved in, like pre-sales or roadshows, mention that clearly too. Treat yourself as a brand and try to market your profile. Your summary needs to be crisp, clear and interesting to read. But it has to be factual at the same time. This is the part that gets recruiters or prospective clients to read more and engage with you.
Linkedin gives you the additional ability to mention the really important and critical projects that you have done as a showcase of your skills. Also do not forget to list out all your key skills. Your network can then endorse your skills, thus adding value to your profile.
Apart from the skill endorsements, there are full fledged recommendations that people can write about the various roles that you have played and how they saw you as a professional team member, these are worth their weight in gold. If you can link your twitter account to your profile and that account is technical and professional in nature, that is brilliant!
Remember to join the right communities and groups on Linkedin so that you get to hear the latest word in your speciality and act on it.