LinkedIn: basic tips for beginners

If you’re new to LinkedIn, here’s what you should know!

Back when LinkedIn was founded in Dec of 2002, little did anyone imagine this new concept becoming a raging success and eventually, the most sought-after professional platform in 2018! With over 260 Million global Linkedin users logging in each month, it has created a whole new virtual world that bridges the gap between employers and job seekers.

Here are the 6 basic steps, to ensure a professional and visible LinkedIn Profile:


  1. A clean PICTURE

Like it or not, our picture is our first shot at making an impression. Whether or not to be suited up, that’s debatable. While some prefer to take the strictly-professional route, others (like me) like to add a casual undertone to it. I personally prefer a friendly face, as I find the connection more approachable and less intimidating. Then again, its a matter of choice and perception.

But here’s what you do NOT want to upload:

  • Awkward side/ front angled selfies
  • Grainy pictures
  • Badly cropped pictures
  • An expression that screams “stay away!”

2. The NAME game

What’s in a name? A lot, apparently. Including your chances of bagging/ losing a potential job offer. Stick the basics of a name-only. Avoid all caps. You don’t want the viewer picturing you screaming out your own name. Avoid any symbols or fancy emojis. Not an ideal place to portray yourself as the too-cool-for-school types.

3. A crisp HEADER

Considering how busy the world has gotten, you only have 5 seconds to hold a readers attention and deliver your message. A recruiter scans through thousands of profiles, and wouldn’t always be in a mood to appreciate your storytelling skills or fancy-worded headers. Keep it short, and to the point. Stick to keywords/designations, and avoid symbols/emojis. It distracts the viewer and you do not want to come across as an amateur.

4. Unlock the ALL-STAR level


LinkedIn is like the elementary grade teacher who rates you with stars, on successfully completing the task. The task here is to ensure an up-to-date profile. After all, an all-star profile has 40% higher chances of being noticed. Click here to find out what the All-Star checklist looks like.

5. Turn ON your availability

Let recruiters know you’re open for opportunities. This enables recruiters looking for your skills, to find you more easily. Here’s how you can turn on this smart feature. Also, in case you’re worried about your current company noticing your green signal, LinkedIn ensures it isn’t made visible to anyone working in your current organization (as long as their profile mentions the same firm). But then again, nothing is 100% foolproof.

5. Highlight your SKILLS@happilyaverageafter

LinkedIn lets you add up to 50 skills (wow!). The wise step would be to make use of all 50. The not-so-wise step would include random skills that lack keywords. Each time you apply for a job on LinkedIn, make a list of all the skills mentioned in the job post. This should help you figure out the most sought-after skill-sets. Also, make sure the top 3 skills include your best, and are the ones you’re seeking a career in.

Meanwhile, request your colleagues/ clients or whoever else you’ve worked with to endorse your skills and maybe even leave a feedback. This can be really helpful in creating a professionally positive image about yourself. Obviously, stick to honest opinions. You don’t want to be endorsed for a skill you barely even know, and embarrass yourself at an interview.


Once you’re all set and ready to step into the world of professional socializing, start connecting. Well, that is the very point of registering on LinkedIn in the first place. Start with your own colleagues/ ex-colleagues. Make that search tab your best friend. List all your ideal companies, search and follow their LinkedIn page, and connect with employees working there. When I say “connect”, I do not mean bombard every single employee with a request. Take time to view each profile and assess their tenure in the firm, designation, and approachability. Here’s where you put your instincts to good use.

Also, google for leading recruitment agencies and connect with their recruiters. Don’t just spam inboxes with a standard addressed-to-all message and your resume. Personalize it. And if you can’t think of good content to post, take time to read what others have posted. Genuinely engage with their posts, and comment your thoughts.

Most importantly, help each other. Share job posts. Respond politely to fellow job-seekers. Share knowledge. Be kind. After all, LinkedIn is all about building “connections”. Both professional, and human.

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