I know you are busy. We are all busy. Yet, that is not a good reason to leave your profile on any social networking site semi-completed. In order to shine in the social media arena, you profile needs to be sharp, clear and professional. We will start with the basics and move on from there...
1. Profile picture: Professional is best. A collared shirt, a dress or skirt, a jacket or other type business wear is appropriate. On Facebook it is fine to have a picture with your kids, an outdoor picture with trees, bushes or even a horse in the background. But, on LinkedIn your image needs to portray your profession in the best light.
2. Bio: By using a very simple device your bio can immediately look crisp. Use this line to break sentences such as this | and this | ... to create these divider lines, hold the shift key and the backwards slash mark (not to be confused with the forward slash mark under the ? mark!) Your bio needs to state at a glance what you are all about. This is an example of my bio on LinkedIN
You can create your bio in a word document and paste it into the Linked In profile page. Especially if you are using characters that are not supported on the website. You can easily paste the information.
Create your summary in the same way. Clearly think out what you want to say and what you want others to determine once they have read your bio. You may consider keeping it brief and to the point.
3. Your Online Resume: Here you will list you past work experience. Allow others to see your educational background as well as any honorary degrees or distinctions. This is not the time for humility. Letting your expertise be known will be useful to your contacts.
This has value for those who desire to hire you or work with you in some capacity. Having your online resume available will save time in the long run. Either you will have the traits someone is looking for or not. It will be clear at a glance.
4. Additional Information: A summary of your interests as well as a listing of the groups of which you are a member on LinkedIn. If there is someone you'd like to meet this is a good way to do it. By seeing the groups they belong to you can join as well and look for ways to interact.
5. Contact Settings: This explains your focus on this networking site, as well as allowing the contact to know what areas you would be a good fit for their needs.
There are other important parts of the profile page. If you work on these aspects you will be ready to tackle the next in future posts.