If you’re an entrepreneur, looking for a new job, a second career, wanting to become a recognized thought leader, but aren’t sure you’re profile is the best it can be, then read on!
I recently completed the Learning Linkedin online course through LinkedIn. Then used what I learned to help others update their LinkedIn profiles (even using my photography skills to take a few head shots!). I want to share some of what I’ve learned with you on what you need to do to have a complete and kickass profile.
Do you have an incomplete LinkedIn profile?
I hate to break it to you but quickly throwing up any old photo and doing the bare minimum in terms of completing your profile is not good enough.
If you want to have an amazing LinkedIn profile, first things first, take the time to complete it correctly. If you’re going to put yourself out there, then it’s probably a good idea to make time to put a solid professional foot forward. Make sure you’re the image and information you publish is how you want to be seen by others professionally.
(there are over 600 million registered members on LinkedIn btw, and a majority of recruiters use LinkedIn)
Just as important, LinkedIn operates as a search engine. The more complete your profile is, using relevant keywords and phrases targeted to your industry, the more you’ll increase your chances of being discovered by others.
Before we get started on some LinkedIn basics to get your profile looking profesh quickly, you’ll need to TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS so that your connections won’t get updated on changes you make! Trust me, this can be pretty embarrassing.
Alright, now that you’ve done that, here are some simple steps you can take to get your profile looking polished and ready to get noticed.
STEP 1: All eyes will be on the top 1/3 of your profile. Make sure this section is on point, so people want to learn more about you.
(a) Profile Photo: Make sure your headshot is a sharp, clear and professional-looking image. Notice I said “professional-looking” and not professional.
In my opinion, you don’t have to hire a professional photographer unless you want to (or use that as your excuse for using a photo that does not allow your beautiful personality to shine).
(b) Header: Change out that standard LinkedIn blue background header. You can use customize the header with your own image that aligns with your personal brand and will help your uniqueness shine.
Tip: You can use an app like Canva to find backgrounds that you can also customize to really get something that reflects your style and personal brand.
(c) Headline/ Tagline: You have 120 characters (each section has maximum word counts). Use the header to add relevant keywords or a tagline that tells the viewer something unique about you or the expertise you possess and not just your job title.
STEP 2: Take some time to write a kick-ass Summary
Complete the About section. The first two sentences should be attention-grabbing. You want to see the viewer on why they should want to keep reading. Here’s a summary of word counts for each section.
This section is a “Summary” so try to keep it concise.
The best part of the summary is that this offers the chance to use relevant keywords and phrases that prospective employers or recruiters are searching for.
What relevant keywords should you use? Look at the job postings for positions you are interested in, and you will be able to identify the appropriate keywords and skills that you should be highlighting. Keep in mind that you should highlight skills that you actually have and can prove examples of your work successes (accomplishment statements).
Another strategy for including additional keywords is to add a “Areas of Expertise” section following your summary. You can then list the relevant skills you possess that the prospective employer would be interested in.
STEP 3: Showcase some of the noteworthy accomplishments of your Work Experience.
Don’t just list your job title and move on. This section should line up with the information on your resume.
This provides yet another opportunity to provide searchable keywords and phrases while highlighting significant accomplishments or the relevant skills an employer would be interested in.
Include your previous work experience as far back as you think is sufficient.
STEP 4: Skills section
Be strategic in how you use this section. Make sure that if you are putting an “Areas of Expertise” in your Summary section then those skills should also be in this section.
STEP 5: Make sure you complete the other sections
To finish your profile, you’ll need to complete the rest of these sections. LinkedIn will reward you with an All-star status!
- Education section
- Volunteer work
- Certifications, Training, courses or workshops that would be relevant to the type of role you are targeted
- Add the Alumni page of your university
- Follow companies you are interested in (you can follow up to 50 companies)
TIP: It’s important to keep your profile updated and make sure your resume and profile information remain consistent as you make changes.
If you’ve followed these steps, you should have a nicely completed profile that you can be proud of.
I hope you find this information on LinkedIn helpful to get you started on how to set up your profile so that you put your best professional foot forward.