With more than 600 million users across the globe, LinkedIn is simply the biggest professional network on the planet. If you are serious about your professional and career advancement, you need a LinkedIn profile that is optimised and up to date. Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to get your face and name in front of thousands of professionals within your industry. If you are on the hunt for a job, that is essential. However, it is not enough to simply have a LinkedIn profile. You need to ensure that your profile says the right things, helps you to really connect with those who can help to expand your career and draws attention. Below are 10 simple tips you can implement to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
- Add Your Headshot
The easiest thing you can do to upgrade your profile is to put a face to your name by adding a good profile picture. Be creative if that fits with what you do or who are are, however, remember that this is the first impression people will get form your profile. If you do not have a professional headshot to use, it is certainly worth the investment. With the huge numbers of individuals on LinkedIn, those without a photograph easily get pushed aside.
- Come Up with an Eye-Catching Headline
Your headline is positioned just below your name on your profile and will be the first thing that profile visitors read. The default settings will fill this with your current position and that is fine for starters, however, it can be whatever you want. You have 120 characters to work with. So, why not write something that pops for you? Think of it as a small advertisement for you and what you do. Rather than just including your job title, mention your speciality and exactly how you benefit your customers and company. Do not forget to keep your target audience in mind.
- Come Up with an Interesting Summary
Your LinkedIn summary provides you with the opportunity to tell your story. Your summary can be a longer form of your headline; here you get 2,000 characters to play with so you can dive in a bit deeper. Do not just focus on your previous experience, also mention what you do well and what you can bring to the table. Keep in mind that keywords are essential here, use words that you want to be strongly connected to in your field. Attention spans are rather short nowadays, so do not use all of the 2,000 characters. Rather, just use half or less and get creative and paint a picture of who you are as a professional.
- Highlight Your Experience
You can do much better than simply copying and pasting your CV onto your LinkedIn profile. You do not have the same two-page rule here, however, you do have internet readers with rather short attention spans. Be sure to include any jobs that you deem relevant to where you would like your career to go and use two to four impressive and interesting bullet points for each job you include. Also, use great action words to reveal not just what you did, but what you have accomplished in each position. The key is to demonstrate the impact you have made, the change you have enacted, initiatives you have led and what you have delivered.
- Make Use of Visual Media
Did you know that you can add a cover photo/background photo on LinkedIn just like on Facebook and Twitter? It is easy to do and it makes your LinkedIn profile stand out, so choose a theme that speaks to your personality or profession. LinkedIn also enables you to connect other media to your profile such as YouTube videos, infographics, you name it. Get creative with any relevant media and make your page demand attention and jump off the screen.
- Customise Your URL
Your LinkedIn URL is the web address for your page. The default URL will contain your name and some gibberish numbers. Why not make it something more relevant? On the right side of your profile, you will view an option to edit your public URL. Use that option to make your URL neat and more concise. It only takes a few minutes and it can make your URL more memorable.
- Begin Making Connections
It appears obvious; however, it can be easy to forget sometimes. You need to continue growing your connections as you meet people because of LinkedIn’s system of first, second and third-degree connections; having many connections helps you become visible to others. With that being said, while you can connect with those you do not know, it is preferable to connect with individuals you know personally, met in a professional capacity or have worked with them. If you choose to connect with individuals you have not met or do not have a direct connection to, send them a note with your request, explaining who you are and why you want to connect.
- Ask for Recommendations
This is a big one. Consider the people that you have developed a great working relationship with in the past. When you edit your page, there is a link to click that says ‘Ask for Recommendations’. Click on that and choose what you would like to be recommended for and you can choose a list of people from your connections. Then, send it out and hope that you receive some good feedback. Hiring managers and recruiters want to know that others have approved of your work. Write some for your connections in return for helping you out.
- Keep Your Profile Active
LinkedIn is much more than an online CV; it is a networking social media website. That means to get the very most out of it, you must remain active. Check out what other connections are posting, engage them with thoughtful comments and share and like posts that strike you as helpful. Additionally, you can join LinkedIn groups. Whatever your professional interests are, from accounting to marketing, there are plenty of groups talking about your field. Join one or two and begin to interact within that group. It is an excellent way to share ideas and meet new people.
- Check Your LinkedIn Profile Strength
If you look at your current profile, there is a gauge on the right-hand side that provides you with a ‘Profile Strength’ measurement. Essentially, this is telling you how completely you have filled out your profile. You should continue to add more until the gauge rates you as an ‘All-Star’. It is easy, but it can help you see if you have overlooked something.
LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool and on that is really simple to use and take advantage of. Make the most of it by optimising your profile to stand out from the other candidates, sell your skills and validate your accomplishments. You want your page to be visually appealing to visitor’s while making it easy for them to get a sense of who you are and what you really can do for them in a professional capacity. These tips are an excellent start for building your winning LinkedIn profile.