Learn how to improve and enhance your LinkedIn profile and presence with these
twelve top tips for creating a standout LinkedIn profile that increases your influence and expands your network, on the number one social media platform for career development and recruitment.
In this video, I'm going to give you twelve top tips for signing up for a Linkedin account, creating your Linkedin profile and improving your Linkedin presence.
With nearly 600 million registered members, Linkedin is the most important social media platform for professional networking and career development. So it's essential that you ensure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and you understand how to use Linkedin as a networking and job-seeking platform.
As the go-to platform for recruiters and HR managers, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool for marketing yourself to prospective employers, HR managers and recruiters who have roles to fill. When you apply for any executive role, your Linkedin profile is guaranteed to be reviewed by recruiters and HR managers, so it’s important that it’s current, consistent with your CV or resumé and aligned with the career path that you’re looking to pursue.
Any discrepancies between the information on your CV and that which appears on your LinkedIn profile could easily scupper your application before you even reach the interview stage. So, here are twelve top tips for signing up for a Linkedin account, creating your Linkedin profile and improving your Linkedin presence.
01. Complete Your Profile & Become An All-Star
Although it might be tempting to sign up for LinkedIn and only spend a few minutes creating a basic profile, the reality is that it’s worth putting in some extra time and effort to create a profile that effectively showcases your skills, experience and expertise to recruiters.
LinkedIn has nearly 600 million registered members, so ensuring that your profile is complete and up-to-date is key to standing out and creating a strong first impression. So, make sure you fill in all the sections, making it easy identify your key skills, achievements and relevant experience.
Linkedin will actually help you in this process, by tracking your progress and offering suggestions of additional steps you can take in order to become a LinkedIn All Star.
02. Add Professional Photos
There are two key photos on your linkedin profile - your profile photo and your cover photo, which is the banner that appears at the top of the page.
Your profile photo should be a recent, high quality head-shot. Your expression should show that you're friendly and approachable, so look at the camera and try to smile. You should also be dressed professionally and appropriately for your particular industry.
Your cover photo or banner photo is an opportunity to reinforce your professional approach. Ideally you could feature an image of you in a professional setting, such as speaking at a conference or leading a workshop. Alternatively, search a stock photo site such as unsplash.com for a royalty free business image that represents your speciality or profession.
03. Customise Your Headline
The headline appears at the top of your profile and should be used to clearly describe what you do in 120 characters of less. There are various different approaches that you can adopt when completing your headline. You may want to use your current job title and industry or identify yourself as a specialist in a particular field or arena.
The key thing is to ensure that your headline is catchy, specific and relevant to your goal or objective. It should also include keywords that will make it easy for the right people to find you. So, focus on your speciality and avoid generic phrases that could apply to anyone and lack context.
04. Write A Compelling Summary
The summary is your opportunity to explain what you do, showcase your personality and explain the impact that you have through your work. It should address who you are, who you help and how you help them. Summarise your key skills, knowledge and expertise, as well as what interests and drives you to do the work you do. Highlight the problems you solve and the unique value you add.
Importantly make sure your summary is well written, consistent with your CV and that you include your email address, so that people can easily reach you.
05. Add Your Contact Details
Ensure that the contact details on your profile are accurate, up-to-date and, most importantly, visible to recruiters. If a recruiter can’t easily find your contact information, then they’ll quickly move on to the next candidate, so ensure that your email address is accessible and that a phone number is available, so a recruiter can easily get in touch.
Don’t forget privacy though. Whilst it’s important for you to be easily contactable, maintaining digital and security is always important. So, use a professional looking gmail address that’s separate from your work email and use a free Google Voice number instead of listing your work, home or mobile number.
06. Summarise Your Work Experience
The work experience section should be used to generate interest in your profile and attract job opportunities, by clearly summarising who you are and who you help. It should mirror your CV, but not be an exact replica of it.
Start with a descriptive title and add the company name, which should link you to their page on LinkedIn, if they have one. When listing your work experience you should keep it short and succinct, front load your achievements and use plenty of action words like ‘managed, ‘grew’, ‘scaled’ and ‘reduced’. Add context to these action words by quantifying specific achievements. For example, if you increased sales then be specific about by how much over what period.
Sparingly use bullet points to summarise key accomplishments and achievements and include important keywords, quantifiable metrics and measurable KPIs where possible. You can also add photos and videos to your work experience to help provide some visual interest.
07. Add Your Education & Memberships
Adding details of your education to your profile is a great way to extend your network and connect with alumni and classmates from the colleges and universities that you’ve attended.
It’s also amazing how willing people are to help members of their in-groups and tribes, so make the most of it by adding details of any degrees or courses you're currently undertaking, as well as information about any memberships of professional organisations, clubs and institutes.
08. Include Volunteer Experience
Adding details of relevant volunteer experience to your profile is a great way to demonstrate that your interest and passion for a particular area or field of work goes beyond the usual sources of extrinsic motivation, such as money.
Recruiters and companies do actually take note of this section, so if you’re lacking relevant work experience for the roles that you are targeting, then you can use it to highlight relevant activities that you’ve undertaken outside of the workplace.
Volunteer work can help showcase your purpose and the impact that you want to have in the world. It also shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile, which can be very appealing to potential employers.
09. Add Skills & Endorsements
Adding relevant skills to your profile is a powerful way to showcase your talents, abilities and professional skills and significantly increase visits to your profile.
So, politely and personally ask colleagues and contacts to endorse you for skills that are relevant to the work that you have conducted with them. Be sure to thank them for their help and reciprocate by endorsing them.
10. Ask For Recommendations
Receiving recommendations will add significant impact and credibility to your profile. Recognition and acknowledgement of your abilities by third parties will reassure recruiters, as it provides independent evidence of your knowledge, skills and experience.
However, it’s important that this evidence has authority an weight, so where possible invite recommendations from senior stakeholders and bosses, rather than co-workers and peers. Always add a personal message context to your request for a recommendation and never forget to say thank you if someone takes the time to recommend you.
11. Customise Your URL
Having put so much time and effort into creating your LinkedIn profile, it’s time to let people know that you’re online and start sharing it. The good news is that like other social networks, LinkedIn allows you to create a personalised URL that will make your profile easier to reach. Just click the Edit Public Profile & URL button in the top right corner and then edit the Edit Your Custom URL box.
Keep your custom URL as simple and professional as possible. If it’s available, use your full name or a variant of it. Once you have your URL, you can then easily add it to your CV, email footer, business cards or website, in order to make it as easy as possible for recruiters and contacts to find your on LinkedIn.
12. Join Groups
LinkedIn Groups enable you to interact and connect with fellow LinkedIn members in dedicated forums about specific business subjects and topics. As well as enabling you to connect with people who aren’t your first contacts, groups also present you with the opportunity to gain visibility and credibility, by posting content and comments that other members find valuable or insightful.
There are over two million groups to be found on LinkedIn, so spend some time researching which active groups are most relevant to your needs and objectives. For example, it might be that there are key people in a specific industry that you're looking to connect with, so identify and join groups to which they belong.
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