For people who work from home, especially parents with young children, advancing professionally can be difficult. The primary reason is because there’s a lot of truth to the old adage, “It’s all about who you know.” And when you work at home, the circle of professional people “you know” is unlikely to be very large.
Fortunately, social media – particularly LinkedIn – can serve as your primary networking platform. The problem is that many people don’t understand LinkedIn and, therefore, create profiles that possible connections ignore. Here are a few ways to make your LinkedIn visitors respect you professionally.
Complete your profile
You have to remember that networking is all about people. If you want your LinkedIn profile to help you network, it has to clearly demonstrate that you are a real person. In order to complete your profile, you’ll need to:
- Include a photograph. This is non-negotiable. Use something semi-professional and definitely don’t use selfies.
- Fill in the background information. Mention a few previous jobs and where you went to school. It gives you a personal history.
- Write a summary about what you do. I recommend being a little bit creative, but definitely write something. If you’re really intimidated by this, you can hire someone to write it for you.
A complete profile will project a positive image to your connections.
LinkedIn is not Facebook. It’s not a place to gripe about your kids or cold coffee. It’s a place to portray yourself professionally and discover opportunities.
In the “Title” heading, you want to give yourself a professional-sounding title. If you have one already, use it. Otherwise, invent something that 1) explains what you do, and 2) emphasizes your skill set.
My title is “Web Content Writer and Consultant.” It’s brief, sounds legitimate, and implies that I have knowledge about my field.
Evidence of your work
If possible, you want to include samples of your previous projects. Remember that your profile is designed primarily for people who can either refer you work or hire you outright. Therefore, you should use the type of project that will impress such people.
Just the beginning
Your LinkedIn profile is little more than your digital handshake. It acts in place of your real-life networking interactions. After the handshake, you’ll be on your own as far as cultivating those relationships
Do you have any advice for improving your LinkedIn profile? Share it in the comments!