Published: 9 Aug 2016

Ellen Willoughby, ACQI, is the founder of consultancy firm All About Quality. She uses networking websites such as LinkedIn to drive and retain business. Here are her top tips for getting the most from your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn for beginners

Setting up a profile:

When you join LinkedIn you can set up a profile by clicking on the ‘Profile’ menu item and clicking on ‘Edit Profile’. Lots of pencil icons appear that let you know you can edit that section of your profile.

Important areas to edit:

  • Add your name and professional headline. Your professional headline explains what you do. Make sure it is clear and concise for maximum impact. This means expanding on your job title to include specific keywords, for example “Quality Management specialist” could become “Quality Management specialist ­– Service Industry SMEs”. Don’t put your phone number after your name as this is against LinkedIn rules.
  • ­Upload a professional looking photo of yourself rather than personal pictures or logos. The picture should be current and high resolution.
  • Fill in your summary using relevant keywords so people can find you using the LinkedIn search function. This section is similar to a cover letter. Explain your goals, your most important accomplishments and your values. If possible, include any testimonies from others and any accolades you may have received.
  • Remember to add your contact details to the summary to allow connections to contact you. Include social media accounts, such as Twitter, but make sure your behaviour on those accounts is congruent with your behaviour on LinkedIn to ensure a professional image.
  • Update your job descriptions to make sure you have latest details. Include the achievements and skills gained in each post.

Be sure to proofread everything you write before posting content online – spelling mistakes do not look professional.

LinkedIn for intermediate users

Join a group:

Groups allow you to interact with others in areas of mutual interest. Under the ‘Interests’ menu, go to ‘Groups’ then ‘Find a group’.

You can join up to 50 groups, including the CQI United Kingdom group, IRCA group, ISO interest groups and industry sector groups.

You can start discussions in each of these groups or contribute to ongoing discussions.

Update your activity:

It is important to update your activity to help keep your connections up to date with your work and progress. LinkedIn is not like Facebook, where you share personal updates, so only share professional information such as:

  • Posting your blog posts or those of others
  • Information about events you are attending
  • Professional tips and techniques
  • Giving your opinion on trending topics
  • Posting links to interesting articles.