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LinkedIn success: Build your winning profile

To start with, it’s easy to be daunted by the mass of information that LinkedIn asks you to enter into your profile – but it’s quick and easy to get your profile looking good from the word go. Here’s a few simple steps to help you begin building your profile.


Your name should be just exactly that – no other clutter is needed here. You may want to include any titles or initials after your name if you’re lucky enough to hold a degree, for example. But if you clutter your name up with other things, you’ll only make it harder for people to find you.

You don’t need to worry about your company name at this stage either, as that comes later on.

Remember not to use nicknames or even shortened names here unless you use those in the work environment. It’s important to remember that this is a platform for professionals only, so your profile must reflect that.

Your background banner must be simple and complement rather than detract from your profile. The best idea is to keep it consistent with your company branding (there may even be a company policy to use a specific style, or a background image already set up specifically for this purpose).

The banner is simple to set up (LinkedIn provide some helpful guides and dimension templates) so you don’t need to worry about professional design here, unless your company insist (in which case they’ll provide this for you).


This is a common area of concern for some who prefers not to be too public. Just remember though; would you walk into a sales call with a paper bag over your head? Probably not, so why not show who you are on LinkedIn?

It is considered essential to building optimum credibility and trust with your network if you have a good quality, genuine photo of yourself.

A big mistake here is to use a holiday snap or a selfie like you would for Facebook or Twitter. This is fine if it is relevant to your industry and looks professional, but 9 times out of 10, it frankly will look too casual.

By far the best solution for this is to have a photograph taken in a professional setting where you look as if you’re set for work, not the beach or a club. You’ll have all manner of potential customers looking at your photo and forming their first impressions from this – don’t give them the wrong one!

Your company may well have a style guide for LinkedIn photos and if they don’t, it’s time to suggest it. This will give a really clean, tidy impression to anyone researching your company.


This is often overlooked yet it’s one of the most essential parts – this is where your prospective clients will go to find out how to contact you.

There are a number of fields available including email (work and personal), phone number, work/office address, instant messaging ID (such as Skype).

Further to this, you can add your Twitter and WeChat account links and a list of up to three websites (here, you can include different sections of your website, such as ‘About us’, ‘Online shop’ and ‘Blog’.

The last little point is one of the most critical – you can now personalise your URL, so that instead of a series of numbers you can replace this with your name. This keeps it short and easily memorable for anyone searching.

These are the elementary sections of your profile building which you must use to full advantage, making sure that first impressions count. In our next blog, we look in detail at the most important elements that will ensure you stand out from the crowd.


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