LinkedIn has become a powerful platform for expanding your professional network and showcasing your experience to people who are considering using your services or looking for their next recruit.

With 7 million users in Australia (Sept 1 2015, Smartcompany.com.au), more people are using the social networking site as a starting point for building new strategic relationships. So if you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities, you need to make sure you have a LinkedIn profile and present yourself on it in the best way possible.

Here are our 5 must do steps if you want to get the most out of your linked in profile.

 1)     Keep It Professional. The primary use of LinkedIn is to expand your professional network and make your brand known. It is incredibly important to ensure your name and profile photo are appropriate for the medium. A photo of you at the bar with your friends or one of you and the fish you caught on the weekend is probably better suited for your Facebook page.

2)     Highlight Your Experience. That doesn’t mean list every position you’ve ever had. Be strategic with the information you provide. Make sure the jobs you choose are reflective of the experience you want to highlight to your prospective employers or clients.

 3)     Use Keywords. Like any website, LinkedIn’s internal search engines filter results by keywords. Ensure you use important keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile to become more prominent in search results.

 4)     Get Recommendations. Let the testimonials of your clients and colleagues speak for themselves.

 5)     Join Strategic Groups. Joining LinkedIn groups is a fantastic way to use the platform to connect with other professionals. A good place to start it to join groups relevant to your market or industry, to your region and your university alumni groups.