6 Ways to Improve your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile page can be the foundation of your personal brand. At minimum, it is often the first way that other professionals encounter you. With new features added regularly to enhance LinkedIn’s capabilities as a personal marketing platform and to showcase your skills and motivations better, it is always worth regularly updating your profile. Below are 6 suggestions of ways you can keep your page fresh and inviting.
1. Choose the Right Profile Picture: First impressions are everything. That means your profile picture must be just right – professional, approachable, and genuine. While there are some great posts explaining how to pick the right profile picture on LinkedIn here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Make sure you choose a recent picture of yourself that looks like you in real life.
- Check that your face takes up about 60% of the image, as long-distance shots won’t make you stand out
- Wear clothing that you would wear to work
- Smile with your eyes – it gives a good impression!
2. Ask For Recommendations: Endorsements give people viewing your profile a quick sense of what you are valued for in your industry. Recommendations, however, take things a step further. Recommendations are personal testimonials describing the experience of working with you. LinkedIn provides you with a drop-down menu in the Recommendations section in your profile which makes it easier to reach out to specific contacts and request recommendations. Before you request, think about who you would most value a recommendation from, and personalise the request to them. The extra effort is worth it.
3. Make Your Headline More Than Your Job: There’s no rule saying that the description at the top of your page just has to be your job title. Use the headline field to talk about your role, why you do it, and what makes you tick. If you have sales reps at your company who are skilled at social selling, look at their profile headlines for inspiration – we guarantee they are likely to have more than their job titles.
4. Turn Your Summary into Your Story: It is amazing how many people still don’t have summaries on their LinkedIn profile and waste a valuable opportunity as a result. Your summary is your chance to tell your story – beyond your skills or previous job titles. Talk about why the skills you have matter and how they make a difference to your colleagues. Invest some time, write a few drafts, and get some friends to proofread it. Your summary is your most personal piece of content marketing, and it will be worth the extra effort.
5. Declare War on Buzzwords: Buzzwords. You know them – the adjectives that get used so often on LinkedIn profiles that they become completely meaningless. The regular rankings of the most overused buzzwords include terms like ‘passionate’, ‘expert’, ‘creative’, ‘innovative’, ‘specialised’, ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’, and ‘certified’. These are impactful words and you can absolutely describe yourself as these things. However, using these words won’t convince people that you have these qualities – you have to demonstrate them too. Show them in the way you describe yourself and in the way that you use LinkedIn profile features to present yourself to the world.
6. Grow Your Network: One of the easiest and most relevant ways to grow your LinkedIn network is by syncing your profile with your email address book so LinkedIn can suggest people to connect with. And who doesn’t want to grow their network? Such a simple syncing action can result in surfacing relevant people you can reach out to. No connection requests are sent without your permission, so you can vet everyone. Beyond sending these requests, get into the habit of following up meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connection requests – it’s a great way of keeping your network up to date and vibrant, and a win-win for everyone.
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