LinkedIn is a professional’s networking dream. It can be used to build connections, find business contacts, and most importantly, make you visible for others to find you.

Searching for people in specific roles, industries and locations has never been easier. However, it is easy to neglect a few key things while using LinkedIn, which make it difficult for others to find and contact you.

According to LinkedIn, a ‘completed’ profile will appear in search results 40 times more than the average LinkedIn profile.

By filling out as many fields as possible and keeping them all updated, you increase your chances of visibility and can promote yourself as a thought leader.

6 essential things you must have on LinkedIn

1. Profile picture

You have to put a face to your name, so upload a headshot to your profile that is easily recognisable.

The photo must be simple, professional, and personable. Good lighting and clarity are a must as well.

For the profile, make sure the photo is sized at 200 x 200 pixels, and upload it as a jpg, gif, or png for the fastest download time.

2. Headline

To make it easy for people to search you, write a headline that will be displayed below your name.

There are only 120 characters to use, so be precise and use words that are specific to your industry. Avoid just listing your official job title, and instead use keywords to reflect your expertise, service, or key marketing messages.

3. Summary 

Include a summary in this field to tell potential clients who you are and what you can do to solve their problems.

It is important to describe what your expertise is, information on your product or service, a company description and a call to action like, “Please contact me to discuss…”

4. Experience

Make sure to list your current and past employment to show your qualifications, experience, and to demonstrate what you’ve accomplished in your professional career.

Include your job title, company name, location, start and finish date, and a brief description of your roles and responsibilities.

5. Network

Join other LinkedIn groups and associations. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups at any time, so take advantage of this and get your name out there.

Join groups that post discussions relevant to your industry so that you can establish yourself as a thought leader on those topics.

6. Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations are just like testimonials from present clients, bosses, or mentors. You should ask these people to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn that highlights a specific skill or an experience they have had with you.

Having recommendations will add credibility and show how you are an important thought leader.

By making these tweaks to your LinkedIn profile, you can increase your professional visibility and establish yourself as a prominent thought leader.