Claim your customised URL - after all you’re a name, not a number
Have your name (or the closest version of it, depending on what has already been taken) rather than LinkedIn’s automated default URL with a name and random number combination. It looks a lot better on a business card, CV or email footer and builds personal brand consistency with any Twitter or Facebook accounts, personal websites or blogs. It also makes it easier for people to find you and after all that’s the objective! To do this - click the small cog next to the existing URL displayed under the space for your photograph. This takes you to your public profile page. At the top of the right hand side of this page you can customise your public profile URL.
Headlines – this is your chance to get noticed
Use the headline wisely, think about what you want to be found for and what keywords people may use in their LinkedIn search. Through your headline people need to quickly identify who you are and what you offer. Simply adding your current job title is too limiting, add a little flair with an engaging description to attract opportunities and connections.
Photo – it’s your chance to get ahead (pardon the pun)
The dictionary definition of faceless is remote and impersonal, which is not what you are aiming for, so adding a photo is a must. First impressions count and rightly or wrongly, people will form an instant opinion from someone’s picture. Keep it simple, there’s no need to book a photo shoot, if it’s too professional it could appear a touch self-focused. Just get someone to take a picture specifically for LinkedIn (keep the holiday or wedding photos for Facebook). A headshot is always best, wear something ‘smart casual’ and have a plain or simple background. The aim is to look approachable, positive and likeable, so remember to smile. Our additional tip is to take your cue from Herb Ritts (after all he knew a thing or two about portrait photography) and opt for black and white; it’s more distinctive, stylish and flattering. Remember to update your photograph every few years, no-one looks 21 forever. Adding a header is a relatively new LinkedIn addition; used well it can be advantageous, just consider your audience and message.
Summary – the most important part of the whole page
This is the place where you can really differentiate yourself and demonstrate the value you can add. The tone and balance is everything; you want to spark interest, be engaging and impress (without any exaggerated sense of self-worth). Remember to sprinkle it with keywords and consider using mini paragraphs or bullet points to make it visually more inviting and easy to scan. Highlight things that a recruiter or company will want to quickly see. Whilst the third person is always preferred in a CV, writing in the first person works well in this particular instance. The reader wants to hear your voice and gain an insight into your personality and character.
Skills and Experience – time to broadcast your best bits
This section needs to be given thought; a copy and paste from your CV just won’t cut it. A LinkedIn profile isn’t a CV so you can afford to be more selective. For example, remove early employment roles as your career progresses or edit your student work experience so a first from Cambridge isn’t lost as eyes are drawn to a series of eclectic summer jobs. Pick key highlights by job and focus on achievements rather than duties.
Recommendations and Endorsements – credibility counts
Getting recommendations is a highly effective way to build credibility. One or two recommendations from peers are fine, however a glowing note from the boss (ideally several superiors) is what you really want. Endorsements are easy for people to give, so they are often quicker to gain; think carefully about the ideal range of skills to display and edit any unsolicited/unhelpful ones.
Contact and Call for Action – be accessible
Choose how you want people to reach you and who can see your contact details (by adjusting your privacy settings). If you are active in the job market we recommend adding a call to action/invitation for people to get in touch for advice. It shows that you are open to approaches, therefore making it easier for individuals to contact you.
Finally, something further LinkedIn profile tips to think about….
LinkedIn offers other additional areas and tools to make your profile stand out, you can include links, videos, photographs, slides, publications, projects and volunteering work. Depending on your sector, role and objective, these can definitely add value, be careful though that your profile doesn’t become too large – it’s a fine balance, otherwise it could prove counter productive. Make sure that your education section is complete, even if it is now a distant memory. Having honed your perfect profile you can congratulate yourself (for now), but remember LinkedIn is a constantly developing site and your page is an active document.
We love creating a LinkedIn profile, so should you find that your copywriting skills are eluding you or you simply don’t have the time, call us, we’d be delighted to help!
You may wish to read our post on how to use Linkedin as a new member for further LinkedIn profile tips.
Post by: Jenny Hargrave
Join LinkedIn it's a must!