Linkedin is one of the most effective networking tools and is great for personal branding. Whether you own a business, freelance or work for someone else, having a strong Linkedin profile will help you to stand out, make better connections and gain new business.

We have created a check list that will guide you through the fun process of building your personal brand on Linked in that will definitely make things much easier and more organised.

1. Your profile picture should be high quality, professional, on-brand and coherent in respect to your background image. Invest in a professional shoot and opt for clean, simple backgrounds. Your clothing, hair and make-up are also very important and should reflect who you are in a professional way.

2 Background image should represent your personal/business brand. Many people do not add a background image at all or use low quality or irrelevant images. Use this space to tell your personal story and reinforce your brand. If you are a fashion designer, make a collage of some of your most iconic designs and add your website address, if you are a chef-show some of your signature creations and so on. You can also use a quote or a call for action.

3 Profile URL should be used. This can be easily changed in settings and makes the link look neater when you share it across your social channels. It should look like this instead of

4 Your name should be complete with maximum two titles

5. A good headline should combine your actual role with a call to action.

6. Active participation is a must so ideally you should open LinkedIn at least 1-2 times a day and engage with your audience via a status update, shares, likes, comments and direct articles

7 Connections network should be higher than 500 relevant and quality connections. Think quality over quantity and start by adding people you already know and use LinkedIn suggestions feature to build your network. Connect with people of companies you want to work with and make sure to send a personalised message in a request

9. All the professional experience should be listed with details of the company/sector, role, timeline, as well as description of main responsibilities and the obtained results. Keep it short but precise.

10. Share high quality content. You should use high quality content (photo, links, docs, slide deck) aligned with the personal brand you want to create, utilized in systematic mode to amplify the message of the profile. Ideally you should have a content plan or just stick to the brand feel you want to achieve. Keep irrelevant or personal content for other social channels.

11. Competence. You should list at least 5 -10 skills coherent with your main profession and the number of endorsement should Ideally be more than 30 with a good distribution in different subjects.

12. Projects list at least 2 projects related to your actual or recent role with a detailed description of the field, objectives and results, with indication with other components of the team.

13. Recommendations are very important as what others say about us is more trustworthy than self-praise. Ideally you should have 2-3 recommendations for every recent role that highlight both your skillset and personality. Do not feel shy and reach out to your boss, co-workers, partners and clients asking them for a short recommendation.

14. Think community. You should join 5 or more groups in every category. of your expertise and interests. It is a great way to grow your professional network, build your yourself as an expert and also gain new business opportunities.

15. Interests. You should follow more than 5 different companies and institutions in a relevant sector.

16. Education. You should have detailed info of education (school, institution, title obtained, dates, level, grades)

17. You should list your accomplishments.

18. You should list all certifications.

19. Publications – share direct articles and the links to outside sources.

20. Languages. Indicate the level of the language skills. This is especially important in the Middle East where bilingual speakers are always needed and Arabic is a huge plus.