How to build the best LinkedIn profile

Esade Careers

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LinkedIn is not only a great tool to boost your professional profile, but it also helps you reach out to top voices in whichever field you're passionate about. In this episode of Career Beats, we talked to Borja Jimena, Esade alumni, an expert in personal branding, and a strategic advisor at LinkedIn's European headquarters. He brings top tips to build the perfect LinkedIn profile. 

This article offers a briefed version of the interview.

Why is having a good LinkedIn profile so important?  

Linkedin is two things. One is your professional digital representation. LinkedIn is the first thing that comes up whenever someone searches for your name. Your profile answers the question: who are you as a professional? What value can you bring to others? And most importantly, who do you want to be? The other one is that it's your best career tool. It's a global networking platform to build your brand. 

Don't undervalue yourself, especially if you're a young professional

What are the top three tips for making the most of your LinkedIn profile?  

First, treat your profile as a website. It's your digital representation, indexed on every web browser. Ensure every word counts, understand your keywords and present your work and achievements.  

Second, don't undervalue yourself, especially if you're a young professional. We tend to relate the lack of experience with a lack of value, but that's not true. Also, no one can compete against you on being you. Identify that unique perspective you can bring to the platform.  

Third, learn some basic skills like copywriting or design; these will be useful for your whole career. People have a short attention span and want to see catchy content.  

What's the best way to find the right opportunities through LinkedIn?  

The right opportunity on LinkedIn usually comes when we don't expect it. But there are three ways opportunities can arise. One is from your network, including your external network (not only your contacts but your contacts' contacts). The second one is being found by others. And the third one is finding the opportunities yourself.  

What do you recommend not to do?  

The biggest mistake is using LinkedIn as a static CV; this is a dynamic network. Another one is writing about you in the third person. Also, discussing controversial topics like politics is a big mistake in a professional knowledge platform. And the last one is using LinkedIn only for job hunting – most people here are not looking for a job, but they care about their professional network and brand.  

Visual content is a huge diferentiator in LinkedIn

How can I showcase my expertise on a specific topic through LinkedIn?  

The most important thing is to turn information into actionable advice that is easy to digest, something that you would stop and read. For instance, whenever I create a piece of content, I think of who will read this and how they will perceive me.  

How important is the visual content of your profile?  

It's a huge differentiator. You should begin with a profile picture taken with a professional camera. And the background image could say something about you and not just be a generic, dull background. A video presentation of who you are is also a good idea.  

What are your top recommendations for the summary section?  

First, use storytelling so people want to read until the end. And craft an elevator pitch where you talk about where you are right now, your previous experiences, your achievements, and then where you want to go because LinkedIn is an aspirational network. And if you can pair your professional life with something personal, that's great. You could ask yourself: "If I was reading this, would I want to befriend this person? Would I want to work with them"  

If you were to give only one piece of career advice, what would it be?  

Don't ask LinkedIn what it can do for you. Instead, ask yourself what you can do for others on LinkedIn. Most professional opportunities will come when people know the value you can bring. Start trying to help people! 

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