Love it or loathe it, LinkedIn is the leading online networking site. And, it is only getting bigger.
If you don’t know much about it, here are some interesting facts about LinkedIn:
- 21 million in the UK have a LinkedIn profile (that’s a 1/3 of the UK population)
- LinkedIn is the largest social network site in the world
- LinkedIn has 450 million users, globally
- 2 new users register on LinkedIn every second
- It has a presence in 200 countries
- the most sought after skill on LinkedIn is ‘Data Mining’
LinkedIn is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. It is well known that recruiters love LinkedIn, for them, it is a free source of potential candidates. On, the other hand, contractors and freelancers have mixed feelings about it. More often than not, they set up a profile years ago (because everyone was doing it), entered a few details and then left it to languish in LinkedIn middle-earth.
To answer the question that we proposed in the title ‘Do contractors need a LinkedIn profile?’. Our answer is ‘Yes’. LinkedIn is all about creating connections and increasing your network of referrers. A well written and professional looking profile could help you find your next contracting role.
So, the time has come for you to resurrect your LinkedIn profile and breathe some life into it. Our 8 tips can help you do this:
Show them who you are
Your profile image is your window to the world and you want it to look good. Research has shown that a profile with a professional profile image is 4 times more likely to get viewed than one without. Take heed, though, don’t rush off and upload your latest holiday snap. LinkedIn is a professional network and you only get one chance at making a first impression. So, preferably use a head shot that looks both smart and friendly. You want to encourage people to connect with you and not scare them off!
Inform not bore
The summary section that is situated at the top of your profile is the most important element of your profile. Unbelievably, a lot of people leave it blank!
People have short attention spans and they want to be able to find out as much information in the shortest time possible. If you think that you can leave the summary section blank, because people can read what you do in the job section. Well, they won’t. If they can’t find what they are looking for, they will click away.
Make it interesting and enticing and insert some personality into it. The aim is to get people to read on not put them to sleep.
Use words that count
As a contractor or freelancer, you have likely worked on lots of projects for different clients. Whilst, it is important to detail all these roles, it is more important to get your main responsibilities and achievements across to people quickly. This may sound tricky, but we have found an easier way to do this. Instead of putting it in words, use numbers instead. Information stands out better in numerical form. What looks better: “Through my stringent budgetary controls and precise time management I saved the client a substantial amount of money, or I saved the client £1,000,000?
Show you are superstar
You may, or, may not feel comfortable about blowing your own trumpet. If you do, go ahead, but remember rambling on about how great you are can sound condescending. To avoid this, and to add credibility to your profile, ask colleagues, clients, or friends to endorse your skills and to leave feedback about you. If you are shy about asking, don’t be. Say if they endorse you, in return, you will endorse them back.
Change it up
Does experience count more than education? Do want to highlight a certain project you have worked on? Did you know that you can change the order in your LinkedIn profile? No, not many people do. It is very simple to do, go to Profile, Edit Profile and click on the double ended arrow to drag and drop the section to the position you want it in.
Be found not find
If you have thought about setting up your blog, but don’t know where to start or if you don’t have the time to start one from scratch, LinkedIn Publisher is the perfect solution for you. It’s an incredibly simple platform to use, but one that many users overlook. By publishing your own thought pieces, articles and solutions to queries that are commonly asked in your line of work, you are showcasing your knowledge and expertise to your connections and public beyond this. Add attractive imagery or videos to make it really stand out.
We live in an interactive world, so it makes sense to make your profile so as well. To help your profile stand from the others, try adding images, videos, presentations and brochures. This more engaging than plain text and will encourage people to click, open and share.
Short and Snappy
As we mentioned earlier, people have a short attention span (have you forgotten that already?). Reading long paragraphs of text, particularly on an electronic device is very difficult. To stop people from getting bored and moving on, ditch the long paragraphs and instead use short snappy sentences. Include key phrases but leave out the word ‘motivated’, it is the most commonly used word on LinkedIn and the most irritating (apparently).
If you are a contractor that is starting out or one that this well experienced and you are looking for a proactive firm of accountants, give us a call today 020 8952 2234, or request a callback, and we will get in touch at a time that is convenient for you.