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9 Tips To Help Make The Most From Your LinkedIn Profile

You probably know how important LinkedIn is to your career and following the example of other professionals, you didn't hesitate to set up your own profile. So, when was the last time you logged in? That's right, most professionals think that polishing their profiles and adding a few connections is enough. Sure, being present on the network is an important step, but without constant engagement LinkedIn won't really bring you many benefits. Using the platform's smart functionalities, you'll be able to build a strong personal brand. Here are 9 tips to help you do it and make the most from this key professional network.

1. Add a professional headshot
Let's get one thing clear — lots of studies prove that LinkedIn profiles with headshots get more views. Add a professional profile picture — the photo should include only your face on a clear background. Your profile picture needs to match the expectations of your industry, including those of recruiters hiring in your sector. What's the required degree of formality in your niche? Make sure to follow the rules and present yourself to others as an expert in your field.

2. Customize your URL
You know how LinkedIn URL looks like — a string of random letters and numbers doesn't really motivate anyone to click on it. Fortunately, you can customize your LinkedIn profile URL to feature your name and surname, making it more searchable and likely to be remembered. If you'd like to include a link to your profile in your email footer, make sure to customize it. It shows that you fully control every single detail of your personal brand online.

3. Don't hesitate to remove connections which aren't useful
It might seem counter-intuitive to remove connections. After all, even if they bring no particular benefit, they at least testify to how well-connected you are. But think about it for a second. Do you remember how at the beginning LinkedIn didn't even include the option to remove connections, convinced that every single contact brought a value to users?

But once users requested it, the functionality has been added — and for a good reason. Some of your connections might bring you more harm than benefit — if you'd like to deny somebody access to your information, all it takes is disconnecting. And it's the right thing to do, every time.

4. Monitor who's viewing your profile and put your insight into action
LinkedIn team constantly works on the 'Who's Viewed Your Profile' page to allow non-Premium users really make the most from this functionality. Have a look here to see how users are finding you and what sectors they're coming from. You'll also get some personalized suggestions on how to attract more users to your profile. Put these actionable tips into work and enjoy more exposure among professionals who might help you further your career.

5. Ask for recommendations and endorsements
LinkedIn provides the functions of endorsement and recommendation to help professionals in developing their personal brand and gaining more credibility in the industry. If you endorse someone else, there's a high chance that they'll return the favor. If you decide to recommend a colleague, make sure that your description is insightful and on point. Avoid writing generalities and be kind — after all, you want to get some recommendations too.

6. Revamp your headline
Not many professionals pay attention to their headlines, but they clearly should. After all, the headline is that piece of text displayed right next to your photo. It's practically your first pitch, so you need to make sure that it counts. Sometimes simply stating your current position doesn't reflect your personal brand and you'll need to work on your headline to perfectly capture your professional identity.

Make sure your headline is short and captivating. If your current status is complicated — for instance, you've just founded a startup but still work your old job, you need to express both. Write something like: 'Software developer and Startup Co-founder' to have both aspects of your professional life recognized in a single headline. Naturally, you should use the summary section to explain it in detail.

7. Use Pulse to follow key influencers
LinkedIn offers Pulse functionality to help professional quickly get the gist of what their industry leaders are up to. The page collects posts contributed by sector leaders — among them, you'll find names like Bill Gates or Richard Branson. Content is categorized into themed collection,s like best advice, technology or entrepreneurship. Make sure to follow influencers who really inspire you. Remember that if you do, you'll be showing recruiters that you keep yourself informed about industry development.

8. Keep track of your contacts with the Relationship tab
Once your network grows, you'll find it increasingly difficult to track all your connections. This is where the 'Relationship' tab comes in. Choose a connection and go to their profile — you'll find this tab right on the top. Click on it and you'll instantly see all crucial details about your connection — for instance, when you two connected. This tab will help you to keep track of your connections and include contextual information in your messaging.

9. Add engaging content
LinkedIn's blogging platform is a top place for adding great content and boosting your personal brand. When writing blog posts, make sure you know who is your target audience and add a little something special to differentiate yourself from countless other professionals.

If you'd like to share interesting content you found on the web, your best spot are groups. Join only those which you find relevant to your interests and listen in. once the occasion strikes, add your piece of content and enjoy more exposure of your personal brand.

If you thought having a profile on LinkedIn and updating it only after you get a promotion is enough, you're clearly mistaken. These tips will help you to really work this network and get as many benefits as you can to boost your personal brand.

Amelia Knott is a team member at AuBiz.net — a free online ABN lookup tool. She is passionate about new marketing trends and branding strategies. She shares her insights through blogging.