Your LinkedIn profile is more than a virtual CV – it’s a personal branding opportunity with the power to accelerate your career.
Creating a LinkedIn account is the first step. But now that you have an account, you’ve got to compete for attention with another 562+ million users – how hard can it be, right?
As it turns out, it’s very hard. After all, LinkedIn is a giant platform with users from over 200 countries and territories from around the world. It’s available in 24 languages and embodies one noble vision – to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
I love LinkedIn and use it daily for networking, learning, personal branding and business development. I also deliver training to help individuals to build a more professional profile that will be of benefit to them as individuals, and to their employers. My training session on ‘creating a professional profile on LinkedIn’ is ideally suited to those who are new to LinkedIn, or those who have a basic profile but are relatively inactive on it.
So, if you want to connect with leading professionals in your industry, find a new job, grow your business or train your staff to use LinkedIn for business more effectively, you’ve landed on the right post!
Here are my top 10 tips to create a more polished and professional LinkedIn profile. Whilst I could list a lot more than 10, work on these and you’ll be well on the way to getting LinkedIn’s All-Star user status!
1. Add a Professional Photo
The first step is to skip the inappropriate selfie and use a professional head and shoulders shot as your profile picture for LinkedIn. If you don’t have one, get one! Book a session with a professional photographer (it’s not as pricey as you might think) and smile. It’s as simple as that. Your profile photo is one of the first things that a potential employer (or client) will notice. A lot is riding on it, so make it a good one!
2. Brand Your Profile to Stand Out From the Crowd
Whether you’re competing against 100+ candidates for your dream job or you’re trying to win over a massive client for your business, you’ve got to make sure that your LinkedIn profile won’t be quickly forgotten.
A stand-out background image will help to grab people’s attention, which is precisely what you want! Breathe life into your LinkedIn profile by adding a mix of media content such as videos, compelling articles, fascinating posts and infographics etc.
3. Create a Compelling and Convincing Headline to Encourage Click-Through
Your headline is your chance to convince people to click on your profile. Make sure your headline reflect your skills and unique selling points (USPs). If you’re using LinkedIn to grow your business, you’ll want to make sure that your headline says more than just your job title.
Need help writing a convincing headline? That’s what my LinkedIn training service is for!
4. Create an Informative and Engaging Personal Summary
You wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, right? Of course not! You flip the book over and read the blurb at the back to find out if it’s the book for you. Well, your summary is like your personal blurb on LinkedIn, so tell an engaging story that people can’t help but finish. The last thing you want to do is bore your reader into leaving your profile. So, take your time and craft the perfect personal summary that helps people really get to know you and what you can offer that is of value to them. Remember to write your personal summary with your target audiences in mind.
5. Include Keyword Rich Content to Help You to Be Found In Online Searches
LinkedIn uses keywords in the same way that traditional search engines use them to match search terms with relevant results. However, instead of presenting you with a list of websites, blog posts and videos, LinkedIn uses keywords to show users relevant people, company pages, job roles and groups. So, make sure to utilise LinkedIn marketing techniques by including keywords in your content to help you get found on LinkedIn and via Google searches.
6. Complete Your Previous Employment Info to Show Your Experience
If you want to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, don’t leave it incomplete! This is a mistake that many users make. Make sure that you take the time to fill in your previous employment information and describe the role. This is your chance to show off your expertise, so don’t be shy! After all, users with a completed LinkedIn profile are 40x more likely to receive opportunities. It also gives you the opportunity to optimise your profile with keywords (remember point 5 above!)
7. List Your Qualifications to Show What You’ve Achieved
57% of companies have a LinkedIn company page, so if you want to grab the attention of senior representatives within a company, you’ve got to list your qualifications. This helps you to demonstrate your knowledge to potential employers, project partners and potential clients and shows that you don’t just ‘talk the talk’ but ‘walk the walk’.
8. Add Your Skills to Show What You’re Really Good At
Identify your key skills and list the most relevant ones on your profile. No, I’m not talking about “I’m a good team worker” type of content, focus on skills regarding what you’re good at e.g. copywriting, event marketing, digital marketing strategy etc. This helps readers to get to the crux of what you really excel at as a professional. Other users also have the opportunity to endorse these skills, giving viewers greater confidence in your ability.
9. Create Credibility by Requesting Recommendations
Don’t be shy – ask your past (or current) employers and colleagues for a recommendation. A profile with a selection of positive testimonials is a winning profile. Recommendations increase your credibility and, in a way, act as proof of your skills, knowledge and expertise. However, avoid requesting recommendations from random connections. Reach out to people who actually know you and have experience working with you. Make your request personal and don’t forget to show your appreciation with a simple thank you!
10. Build an Audience to Increase Profile Views
Aim for 500+ connections as this will open you up to a much broader network of people and more potential opportunities. It’s also worth taking the time to follow relevant influencers on the platform and look for valuable connections that you can learn from. It takes time to build an audience on LinkedIn, but if you put the work into improving your LinkedIn profile, you’ll start to see a massive return on investment!
LinkedIn is a tool that every professional should be using for their personal development and to promote the company they work for (or their own brand if they are self-employed). Using LinkedIn for personal and business branding is a MUST for B2B professionals, but also beneficial for those selling in B2C markets.
If you or your team would like to improve your LinkedIn profiles, get in touch! Once you have a professional profile, you can progress to the next stage in your LinkedIn journey – creating, curating and sharing engaging content!