LinkedIn: How do you set it up?

The following is a quick guide to how to setup your LinkedIn account

Web Browser vs Tablet/Smart Phone

Whilst it’s tempting to do much of the below on a smart phone or tablet, don’t. There is too much functionality on the web browser version that just isn’t available on a mobile device. Use a computer.

First thing to do: Notifications – turn them off! 

Zip up to the top right hand corner and click on your head (if you have a photo) or the grey silhouette. Trace down to “Privacy and Settings”. You’ll be presented with a control panel view that has an number of tabs – go to “Notifications” and change the one that indicates what you share with your network. You want to change it too “Only Me”. Once you have set your changes, you can go back later and set – My Networks or Public, whatever you feel comfortable with. It’s prudent to change this setting, as it’s unlikely that as you are fretting, crafting and redrafting your profile, you’ll get it right the first time. This prevents your stream of consciousness appearing on other peoples news feed – really, you should keep your job title changes, role description updates and adds/deletes to your profile private, until the bulk of what you want to be published is complete. Back in the early days circa 2007/2008, I saw someone with the job title of “Master of the Universe” pop up on my news feed. That made for an amusing conversation between us over some pints of beer.

Your profile: 

Your Name – sentence case, not all capitals (SHOUTING) and not all lowercase. There are exceptions to this e.g. you work in an industry where it’s deemed a part of your personal brand/handwriting e.g. Creative pursuits such as graphic design or architecture. Also, don’t put initials, middle names or “nick” names. These all contribute to lessening your search visibility on the platform.

Your Tagline – always put something here – it’s screen real estate and useful. You have two options: something descriptive about yourself or your job title. LinkedIn likes you to put in a descriptive about your personality. A lot of people opt for job title, but this can have its drawbacks. If for instance you are a “Training Manager”, that doesn’t stand out as much as: “Experienced training and change management lead for commercial merchant bank”

Photo – YES! Really important. A proper photo conveys professionalism and denotes an air of self confidence whilst also allowing you to present for “the role you want”.

Do not use the following: (which I’ve seen)

– photos that have a backdrop of dirty bathroom/toilet/bedroom/kitchen
– Super close up of your head without a shirt on
– Social situation photos – use Facebook instead
– Photos with your family – again, Facebook, not a professional career site.

Role Titles

Use your exact career title, not an abbreviation or acronym. This is really important as the search function recruiters use, zeros in on job titles. For example if you are a “Senior Developer” don’t fall into temptation and type in “Snr Dev”. Also, make sure the spelling is correct! I’ve seen “Snr Dveloper”, “Real Etate Agent”, “General Manger” and other such slip ups. If you don’t take pride in your presentation, than erstwhile employers will question your ability to present them appropriately!

Job History

Some people don’t like to give away too much here – again, it’s about verifying and validating your expertise to and by a professional audience. A minimum ought to be either the project type/delivered or notable professional achievement e.g. “Company wide Oracle 12F upgrade and deployment” or “Achieved highest revenue and sales profitability for 3 consecutive quarters” or “Implemented new systems and process that achieved savings of ABC% and improved efficiency by XYZ%” in saying that, it is prudent not to include actual revenue or sales figures – that could be construed as a breach of company trust and confidentiality. The exception to this, within reason, is for publicly listed company’s, where such revenue information is disclosed.


Skills refer to specific, succinct traits you have – whether it be industry specific e.g. PCI Compliance or more broad in nature e.g. Leadership. You can have up to 50 here, so list these out. Recruiters and HR people who use the platform have features that are not available to standard users that include being able to mine and search these skill tags. These tags effectively form a part of the way the underlying search algorithm works in filtering search results.