LinkedIn should be a part of your professional presence. Why? This is the first place, other than search engines, that recruiters and employers will look for you. In today's society everyone is expected to have an online presence of some sort. Some recruiters will not consider a candidate further if they do not have a LinkedIn Profile. It can take up to 4-8 hours to set up your profile but after that you need only update it when you change jobs, have a new project to brag about, are job searching, or on an annual basis.
Use LinkedIn to:
Request recommendations from connections & past employers
Periodically update & post to maintain visibility
Keep your profile up to date
Answer questions & make recommendations
Comment on others' posts, a form of networking
Tip: Worried about recieveing too many emails? Go to Account Settings and pick and choose how many if any emails you want to recieve and when. You can also choose to turn off skills and endorsements.
Academics may also be intersted in Academia.edu
Your professional (public) pages shoud include a brief biographical paragraph. Think of this as your "elevator speech", deliverable in the time it takes to ride an elevator, approximately 30-90 seconds.
Consider including a description of your:
Key Accolades and Awards received
Use the same brief bio on all your professional pages. Keep it up to date. You may also want to develop a one sentence summary to use when you need something shorter.
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Make use of the available options for framing your image:
Link your accounts, for example, set your Twitter or Blog posts to automatically post to your social media account
Establish your "professional" image through a hosted web page or LinkedIn
Make sure your resume/CV is reflected on your professional page or linked to it
Establish a domain name or "vanity" URL
Consider using the same username for all accounts, or distinguish them by using one for private, personal sites; a different one for all professional, public sites
Use the same profile picture on all your sites or choose the same professional image for all your public sites
Let your personality shine, but be cautious about how much you share
Write a bio for your professional pages and keep it up to date
When you conduct an Internet search on your name, which pages show up first? Spend time editing them and make sure they reflect the right image
Update all your profiles & social media at the same time
Keep up with changes in privacy settings for all accounts