With over 875 million users worldwide and approximately 80% of business connections made on social media taking place through the platform, LinkedIn isn’t something you should ignore if you’re looking to expand your network or look out for new job opportunities. Your profile is going to be the first impression for everyone looking to connect with you, from potential employers to peers in the industry, so you want to make sure it reflects the best version of you and looks sharp while you’re at it. So, let’s go through the best way to get a winning LinkedIn profile.
1. Add a headshot
When it comes to first impressions, there’s nothing more impactful than your profile photo so you want to be looking your best. You may be tempted to go with the selfie from a night out that you know you look great in but remember this is a professional setting, so it is worth investing in a professional headshot. A grainy, low-quality photo taken on a phone doesn’t have the same impact as a professional standard headshot, and going that stage further reflexes your professional and personal standards.
2. Create an attention grabbing headline
Next to your photo, the headline on your page will be the first thing that people see on your profile, so you want it to pack a punch. By default, this will be your current position, but you should take it up a notch. With 120 characters, you can already start to create the narrative you want for your profile. Remember to keep your target audience in mind. Who are you trying to attract and impress? Industry peers, customers, or head-hunters?
3. Tell your story
The summary section is the perfect place to really convey who you are. While the rest of your profile will be dates and facts, here is where your personality can really shine through. With so many people using LinkedIn, you’re not going to stand out in the crowd just describing yourself in generic words like passionate, focused, or driven. Instead, be specific about what you personally bring to the table. What are your achievements, key skills, qualifications? Phrase it in your own words. You can use colloquialisms as long as you maintain a professional manner.
4. Customise your URL
Don’t just settle for the default URL you’re given. You’re typically given your first and last name with alphanumeric characters after, but you can edit this and remove those extraneous letters to make for a more professional and memorable handle. Simply go into your settings and select the ‘Edit public profile & URL’ option.
5. Update your location
Having a specific location on your page makes you far easier to search and gives much more accurate results. This isn’t just beneficial for those looking to be recruited or search for clients, but also can help for offline networking. You can make connections with people in your area who might open local networking doors in person.
6. Get testimonials
Testimonials are a great way to boost your profile. It’s a way of verifying and adding credibility to all the things you’re saying about yourself and also give further perspective of you as a person/candidate that you might not consider (or feel comfortable saying about yourself). Don’t be shy in asking former or current colleagues, managers, supervisors or even former classmates for a testimonial or recommendation.
7. Show off your skills
The skills section is the perfect way to lay out all your top qualities in a clear and concise manner. Keeping it up to date also proves you’re still hungry to learn more. Think carefully about the in-demand skills for your industry and curate your skill list to best show this off, while also including all those extra things that give you the edge. You can also have your connections endorse your skills to really add credibility.
8. Make it readable
Be conscious of how you format your information. Heavy blocks of texts are far less likely to be read than easy to digest bullet points or shorter paragraphs. Be aware of leaving too much empty space though!
9. Be visual
Add visuals to your profile to really tailor it to you. You can change the background to a picture that speaks to your profession or personality, which is an easy way to make your profile stand out from the pack. You’re not just restricted to photos either, LinkedIn allows for many different types of media to be shared - video, gifs, infographics. Get creative and make your profile pop!
10. Keep active
The best way to grab attention is to use LinkedIn! It’s not just an online resume, it is a networking site, so network! Like, comment and share are great ways of staying active if you don’t have anything to post yourself. You can also join groups to share ideas and meet new people! Be wary of posting for the sake of posting, however. You want your profile to be the best reflection of you with the most relevant and informative content possible.