LinkedIn Profile Tips: 10 Steps To Optimise Your Profile
Have you Googled yourself recently? What came up? That is often the first thing an employer will do as part of the hiring process, so delete any photos, videos, posts or comments online that don’t show you off at your best. With virtual selection becoming the norm, it’s essential to protect and enhance your personal brand, and social media is one of the first places to start.
As candidates and professionals, we have all the excuses: “I’m busy, it’s egotistical, I don’t need LinkedIn.” But there’s no getting around the fact that LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networking platforms in the world – in fact, it is estimated that one in every twenty users are in decision making roles. Your LinkedIn profile should act as the foundation for your personal and online brand. Follow our top 10 picks on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile and create the right impression with potential employers.
- Choose the right LinkedIn profile picture
Your LinkedIn profile picture is your calling card – make sure the picture is recent and looks like you. Use a close up, high resolution shot, wear what you would like to wear to work, and remember to smile!
- Make your LinkedIn headline work for you
There’s no rule that says the description at the top of your profile page must be just a job title. Use the headline field to say a bit more about how you see your role, what you do, and your aspirations.
- Use your summary to tell your story
The first thing to say about your LinkedIn summary is make sure you have one! It’s amazing how many people still leave this field blank when creating their LinkedIn profile. Your summary is your chance to describe your attributes – bringing to life why those skills matter – and the difference they can make to the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to invest some time in it, try a few drafts, and run your summary past people you know. This is your most personal piece of content marketing – and it’s worth the effort to get it right.
- Avoid overused buzzwords
Buzzwords are adjectives that are used so often in LinkedIn headlines and summaries that they become almost completely meaningless. Some of LinkedIn’s most overused terms are ‘specialised’, ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’, ‘experienced’, ‘passionate’, ‘expert’, ‘creative’, ‘innovative’ and ‘certified’ – so try to avoid these if you can! You can be these things, but you need to demonstrate them as well – both in the way you describe yourself and your accomplishments, and in the way you use LinkedIn profile features to show what you’re all about.
- Grow your network
Growing your network on LinkedIn can open the door to job opportunities, connect you with like-minded professionals and help you discover career-relevant communities. One of the easiest ways to do this is by syncing your profile with your email address book – LinkedIn can then suggest who to connect with. Beyond this, get into the habit of following up meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connection requests – it’s a great way to build out your network throughout your career.
- List your relevant skills
It’s the quickest win on LinkedIn – scroll through the list of skills and identify those that are relevant to you. Doing so helps to validate the description in your Headline and Summary and provides a platform for others to endorse you for those skills. Remember to pay it forward by sharing the endorsement love with others.
- Request recommendations
Recommendations take your endorsements a step further. They are personal testimonials written to illustrate the experience of working with you. A handy drop-down menu in the Recommendations section of your profile makes it easy to reach out to your contacts and request recommendations.
- Share media and marketing collateral
Sharing external relevant content and marketing collateral that you produce for your business can add an extra dimension to your own profile as well. Sharing case studies, white papers and other brand content helps to show what the business you work for is all about – and helps people understand what makes you tick. It demonstrates passion and commitment as well.
- Use publications to get credit for your thought leadership
The Publications section is one of the most under-used elements in LinkedIn profiles – and that means that you can really stand out from the crowd when you use this feature to draw attention to existing thought-leadership content. Have you helped to write an eBook or a white paper? Written a post on your company’s blog? The Publications section links your profile to these assets.
- 10. Add value through comments
Sharing is great – but that’s just the starting point. When you add comments to the content you share and express why you think a particular piece of content matters, you give yourself greater prominence within the feed. Well-expressed comments also enable you to share a broader range of content – it might be that you don’t agree with a point of view but still find it interesting, for example. Expressing your viewpoints through commenting starts to establish your thought-leadership and is also more likely to draw additional comments, which in turn raises your profile across LinkedIn. Bear this in mind when you’re writing your comment – make sure you’re saying something you’re happy for people to associate with you and that it resonates with your personal brand.
Getting your LinkedIn profile working harder for you doesn’t have to take up hours of your time. Try working through these ideas one by one and you’ll find that you can make
progress quickly, even if you’re just able to set aside a few minutes over your lunch break or in the evenings. Once you’ve optimised your LinkedIn profile you’ll be amazed what a difference it can make to both you and your career.
Read the full LinkedIn article here.
For advice on how to stamp your best self on the internet read our guide to Practising Best Netiquette here