Although it may seem like the stiff-upper-lip cousin of the more youthful and exciting social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn should be an essential part of your social media life, predominantly if you are a business professional. Your LinkedIn profile represents you, to the professional world.• With more than 400 million members , there’s no denying LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at an astonishing rate of more than two new members per second.• The purpose for an individual is to use LinkedIn as a way to promote yourself professionally . Whether you’re employed, or a business owner, thinkof your LinkedIn page as a personal website that can be used to share your accomplishments with your connections.Think about the potential connections that are out there; a high-profile partner or client could be impressed by your work.

• LinkedIn should not be used as your resume. A resume informs others what you’ve done, while LinkedIn tells viewers who you are. While sharing a summary of your past education and experience is important, it’s more vital to illustrate your value and what you can bring to the table.

• In order to get the most out of it, you have to actively participate on LinkedIn and the first step is to make sure that you have a complete profile. Make sure you have a professional photo, catchy headline, contact information, a compelling summary, authentic skills and samples of your work. These will all ensure that your profile has a professional appearance, and will enable people to find you easily. Profile completeness is measured in the following categories:
– Beginner
– Intermediate
– Expert
– All-Star
Of course, your goal should be to reach the level of All-Star, which means your profile is complete.

• A complete LinkedIn profile can directly benefit your business. LinkedIn gives you opportunities to link out from your profile to other sites like your blog and your company’s website, through regular posts using the right links. This is driving people, who are interested in you and your company, directly to a place where they can engage with you and hopefully make use of your business. A complete LinkedIn profile makes it that much easier to leverage all the tools that are available to you on LinkedIn. Participate in groups, send InMail, post updates.

With a complete profile, people are more likely to be interested in what you have to say and to engage with you, which is what social media participation is all about. To conclude, take a second and Google your name. What was one of the first results?

If you have a LinkedIn profile, I am willing to bet that it was one of the top results. Google just loves LinkedIn, which is beneficial for managing search results. In other words, if you met someone at a networking event and they searched for you online, your LinkedIn profile would appear. That’s a major bonus if you’re attempting to expand your network.

For more information, contact Karlien Theart at

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.

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