Does your LinkedIn profile represent what you can bring to the table for an organisation or individual you are looking to do business with? What would you like a potential employer or business to know about that you don’t have on your profile? Well guess what, unless you tell them, they’re never going to know!
Step 1 – Your profile photo
Your LinkedIn photo is the start of your journey into getting people familiar with you. Putting a face in front of the words.
- Choose a professional photo that looks like you.
- Keep it up to date – best not to pick anything from 15 years ago in University or at a BBQ last summer.
- Try and use at least 60% of the frame for your face, cropping from the top of your shoulders to the top of your head.
- Wear what you would wear at work.
- Choose a background that is not distracting.
It has been proven that response rates, and referral rates increases when you invest in a proper profile picture. Its your first chance to communicate that you are friendly, likeable and trustworthy. All crucial aspects to getting prospects to engage with you.
Step 2 – A professional headline, with smart keywords
One of the most important aspects of your profile is the headline that you use in order to attract the attention of your viewers. You never get a chance for a second ‘first impression’, so make sure that any employer, recruiter or potential customer who looks at your headline will be able to view you as the right solution to their problem.
- Think about the unique impact that you are making in the world and in your daily work, and use that to inspire your headline
- Highlight your talents. Think about how you can put a creative spin on your unique value proposition.
- Use your headline to peak interest in what you do, and to find out more about you.
- Show your personality.
Step 3 – A concise summary
Your LinkedIn summary is quickly becoming your most important tool for advancing marketing and showing off your skills. First impressions have gone digital: people are learning about you online before they ever shake your hand. As soon as they know they’re going to meet you or have a phone conference with you, they’ll start their online research. Your summary is perhaps your most important parts of your LinkedIn profile, yet so many people leave it blank or write essays. People never actually read essays. This is the ultimate place to tell your story.
- Who would you like to impress and influence? Know your audience and write for them.
- What do you want people to know about you?
- What do you want them to do?
- How do you want them to feel?
Some questions to ask yourself when you are prepared to launch your new summary:
- Does the opening sentence, phrase or headline make you want to read more?
- Is it authentic with who you really are?
- Does it differentiate from your peers and competitors?
- Does it address the needs of your the people you are trying to attract?
- Is it compelling? Does it provide interesting facts and statements that make your reader want to get to know you?
- Does it contain at least 20-30% personal information? (your interests, passions, values, philanthropic interests?)
- Is it formatted beautifully? Is there whitespace to break up the paragraphs?
- Is it grammatically correct and proofread?
- Does it contain keywords you want to be found for?
- Did you get the reader to want to learn more or take action?
Step 4 – Your Experience
Your past is what has made you into the great person you are today. Don’t be shy. Be concise on each achievement. Write it in a way that a reader who knows nothing about your industry or service offerings can make sense of it. Make it easy and pretty to read as well. Use whitespace, and new paragraphs for each point.
- Use descriptive titles
- Make sure you have used your identified keywords
- The order of your experiences is important. If you want to place emphasis on certain ones, reorder them.
- Grammar matters! Make sure to run a spell and grammar check!
- Review your experience, and ask yourself if you would hire yourself!
Step 5 – The icing on your LinkedIn cake, Recommendations, Honours, Awards and Volunteer Experience
Who are you really? What do other people think of you, and what are you doing to better the world we live in?
LinkedIn has added some ways that you can promote yourself (and put yourself on a little pedestal). These elements add to your various experience sections. This is a fantastic platform to prove what you have been referencing above by offering links to work you have completed for each company, and to show off what you have been doing to help the community in which you live.
*Bonus! Step 6 – Engage*
LinkedIn is a social network, and must be treated like one. The most important thing with your personal profile is how much you engage with others on LinkedIn. Start liking and commenting on blog posts and status updates, and post content on a regular basis.
All of these above profile updates will help you grow your network, and ultimately, drive your career down the path you desire. Sign up below ⇣ for my mailing list to be instantly connected to the top things you can do to promote yourself in the digital space!