LinkedIn allows you to enlarge your professional contact network, hire other professionals, get hired by companies, look for business opportunities and look for new projects in which to take part. If you are an engineer and you would like to have a perfect profile in this network, we recommend that you read the following guidelines and that you apply them to your profile. Get to know in this post how to adapt your LinkedIn profile to the engineering world.
How does an engineer elaborate a perfect LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn is a professional network with more than 500 million people from all over the world. A network that unites millions of professionals and companies and that it is thought to be used by about 8 million people in Spain. That’s why it is very important to have a well-elaborated profile, since it is the showcase through which you can make yourself known before a huge community of professionals.
Keywords, your allies
LinkedIn works as a people search engine, it’s a kind of “Google where to find professionals”, even though it is not that precise. From the top bar you can search both people and companies as if you were using Google, and to appear in the search, you must have a good profile in which you should include one or more keywords. That’s why it is essential that your profile is optimised with keywords that appear along your profile in specific places and that allow you to appear in search results.
But before that, do you know what keywords are?
Keywords are those words by means of which you would like to be found in LinkedIn. Put yourself in the shoes of the people who you would like to get to your LinkedIn profile, and think with which words they would look for a professional like you.
From here on, as an engineer, not any keyword that defines your profile can be used, and it is better that you don’t use generic words like “engineer” or “engineering”. Choose a keyword that defines you as a specialist in your area of expertise, which is probably very broad. The goal is that you define the area or areas of your specialty. Depending on your interests you might choose one or more than one word.
For example, you are an industrial engineer and, during your professional career, whether it has been short or long, you have performed different functions and tasks, but you are currently interested in working environments related to layout design, calculus and installation sizing. These are the keywords that should appear throughout your profile. In short, it’s all about focusing on the engineering areas in which you have developed your professional activity and that you would like to highlight.
Where should I add my keywords?
The first thing you should ask yourself is: how can I help people looking for profiles like mine? What can I do for them? You should include the keyword or keywords in the following sections:
- Professional headline
- Professional experience
- Pictures that you upload to your profile, since they help you position yourself too
- Skills: Your keyword may be a skill. If this skill is endorsed… so much the better! Get mentions in which your keyword is named.
1. The professional headline
You can start by including your keywords in your “professional headline”, which appears right beneath your name and surname. It is a good opportunity for providing more information about your professional profile. Examples:
Industrial design and Product Engineer
Industrial design Engineer - Surface Modelling
You may also come across cases of LinkedIn profiles which include keywords in the name and surname. In some sectors, such as the communication one, this practice is quite extended, but it’s not the case of the engineering sector. They keywords you choose as an engineer can either make reference to your specialty within the engineering world, the sector you would like to focus on, etc. or anything you would like to highlight. As we have said, the engineering world is very broad and the sooner you specify what differentiates you from the rest, the better (even more considering that the LinkedIn community is so huge). These are some other examples that could also be of use to you:
- Electronic Industrial Engineer
- Freelance Mechanical Engineer
- Aeronautical Technical Engineer
- Junior Mechanical Engineer
- R&D&I Engineer
- Quality and Process Engineer
- Industrial Design Engineer / Product Design Engineer
- Mechanical Project Engineer
- Industrial Engineer – Construction and Structures
- Industrial Technical Engineer. Mechanical specialty.
These are some LinkedIn examples that you can use as a guideline. However, you can create the one you think better according to your interests.
2. The professional extract
Your extract is no more, no less, than the definition of yourself as a professional. The extract is one of LinkedIn’s profile most important parts (after the professional headline). It’s a space of about 2.000 characters (careful, characters, which means that spaces, accents, etc count as well) in which you present yourself and you explain who you are, what you do, or whatever you believe to be relevant about yourself as a professional. As an engineer, it is very important that you detail the achievements you have made.
Remember: you don’t have to explain your CV! This is already detailed later on. It’s a kind of business card or presentation letter in which you must present yourself in the best possible way. It is so relevant that it is the second most read part of LinkedIn’s profiles after the professional headline.
Obviously, if you don’t fill it out, it won’t appear in your profile. It’s a great chance for impressing your potential clients or, if you are looking for new professional projects, it’s the perfect way for helping recruiters get to know you. It’s the most personal part of the profile. It is worth taking good care of it! For example, if you’re currently not working, we recommend that you avoid sentences like “engineer in search of new projects”. Instead, focus on the keyword or keywords you have chosen and that define you better than your working situation at a given time. Don’t you think that “Chemical engineer specialised in petrochemical process design and optimisation” sounds much better?
Next, you will find some extract examples from a few LinkedIn engineer profiles:
Professional extract, example 1:
I consider myself a proactive, responsible and result-oriented professional. My work has provided me with deep knowledge on the development on robust systems oriented towards the industrial market, from the conception of initial architecture, to its final implementation. In spite of being very oriented towards software systems, my training and knowledge in electronic development allow me to have a global vision of the set to design, achieving a better hardware/software set and an improvement of the results.
I’m a Mechanical Engineer with 3 years of experience in the project and production areas. I’ve acquired experience as a production engineer in the textile industry at a nationally renowned company and I’m currently working as a production supervisor in the automotive industry.
Project oriented, but with experience in maintenance both at a national and international level too, as well as in different areas such as the industrial, infrastructures and MES ones. All of it by working in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, mining, energy, railway, airport, logistic or metallurgical sectors. Experience in different products (plc, scada, dcs or communications) of the main automation suppliers, as well as embedded systems, databases, programming languages or project management. Interest in the 4.0 industry.
Likewise, it is recommendable too that you specify the areas in which you sand out in a very visual way. For example:
- Industrial communications (Modbus, IEC, GPRS).
- Robust system design and development (like RTUs or SCADAs).
- Requirement management: IBM Doors.
- PLC: Siemens Step 7, Schneider (Unity/PL7)
- SCADA: IAS Wonderware, Vijeo Citect, WinCC Flexible.
- DCS: PCS7, Desigo Insight, Teleperm M
- Batch: Simatic Batch, InBatch
- Historian: PI
- Fieldbuses: Profibus DP, Modbus TCP, Fipway, Unitelway, Lon, As-i
- Embedded systems: Freescale, Rabbit
- Programming: C/C++, Visual Basic 6, VBA, Assembler, Visual Basic .Net, SQL
- Databases: SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008
3. Optimise your URL and differentiate yourself from others
LinkedIn, by default, will associate your account to a URL ending in numbers, something which denotes a sloppy profile. Here you can use the keyword you have chosen for your profile too, as in this example:
You can do it without intermediate symbols: www.linkedin.com/carlotaalegreproductdesign
4. Professional experience
Make sure you complete all your professional experience to prove not only your current achievements and knowledge, but also to show how your past’s experience adds value too. It is indispensable that you include the keyword in the different professional experiences you have accomplished.
At this point it is very important that you detail the functions you carried out, and the more visual this detailed summary is, the better for the reader.
Example of an electromechanical engineer’s tasks while working as a “Maintenance engineer”:
- Electrical layout design in AutoCAD and MicroStation.
- Creation of a database containing the different available equipment in the workplace.
- SAP equipment management.
As you can see in the previous example, it is important that you include some multimedia content which is related to your professional experience and to the tasks you accomplished. As an engineer we’re sure that it will be very easy for you to include some details of the projects in which you have taken part.
5. Images, skills and mentions
Remember that you can include the keyword or keywords in the pictures you upload to your profile, because images help you position yourself too. With regard to the skills section, your keyword can be a skill. If this skill is endorsed… so much the better! Finally, try to get mentions in which the name is your keyword. In addition, ask people you participated in projects with you to recommend your abilities.
We’re sure that after reading these tips, you have lots of new ideas that will help you optimise your profile and increase your visibility in LinkedIn. Make other LinkedIn users find you!
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