In the World of Work today, your LinkedIn profile is just as important as (and perhaps, even more than) your resume. Consider this – where else can you potentially reach out to more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories? Your LinkedIn profile is your online business card, your personal marketing pitch and your online record of your career story and achievements. Whether you are in business or are employed, the first and easiest way to create a powerful personal brand for yourself is to have an all-star LinkedIn profile. Do you need more reasons to improve your LinkedIn profile? No, right? So pay attention to these tips and get started on building a kickass LinkedIn profile!
Pay attention to the details
Spend time in crafting out your profile, and pay attention to the details. Add a catchy headline, add an industry name – that way you will show up in all the potential opportunity searches which may be of interest to you. Use active keywords in your summary to help yourself be found in searches. It is also preferable to speak in the first person, while writing about yourself. Spend time in choosing the perfect profile picture, and remember that this is not Facebook. “A photo can go a long way to convey passion, energy, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that are hard to write about.” [The Muse]. And make sure you customize your default LinkedIn public profile URL to one that has your name i.e. “http://linkedin.com/in/yourfullname”.
Personalize your Profile
“How do you want the world to see you professionally? What kinds of work do you enjoy doing? Why are you on LinkedIn? Those are the questions you should think about when creating your LinkedIn profile, so it’s aligned with your personal brand. While marketing-speak like ‘personal brand’ feels fake to many of us, we’re really just talking about setting the right tone for your profile and positioning yourself for the kinds of opportunities you’re interested in.” ― Melanie Pinola, Author – LinkedIn In 30 Minutes. LinkedIn features allow you to add rich media like photographs, presentations and videos to your profile. Use these visual tools to enhance your profile. Add photographs of you in action, add relevant presentations and videos. Use these features to your advantage, to create your own personal brand, which sells!
Aim for at least one recommendation in a month (depends completely on your work exposure). If you’ve done great work for someone and want to showcase it on your LinkedIn profile, don’t hesitate to reach out and request for a recommendation. While requesting for a recommendation, be specific on what you would like your recommender to focus on, it makes things easier for him/her as well. A specific recommendation is much more useful than a generic one. However, if the recommendation you receive, isn’t the kind you had in mind (if it is far too generic or poorly written, and you don’t think it will serve you any purpose), you can always “hide” it, select Profile > Edit Profile and go to the position with which the recommendation is associated. Click Manage. Uncheck the box next to the recommendation that you want to hide, and click Save Changes.”
Be Active and Stay Engaged
Your efforts shouldn’t end simply after creating a profile. You need to establish your own identity in a world of 400 million (and counting as you read this) users. Create your own microcosm by joining groups and being active in them. Update your status regularly, not about how crazy last night was, but about your work projects and professional ideas. Publish/share/repost your own articles and those of your connections. You should review and refresh your profile at least once a quarter. You are more likely to show up in the LinkedIn updates if you regularly update your status and general profile.
Be Human, Be Generous
This beautiful Zulu proverb says it all: “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”- A human is only a human because of other humans. We’re all interconnected! Your Success on LinkedIn is assured and becomes more meaningful when you help others succeed. Don’t hesitate to reach out on LinkedIn – be of help and ASK for help. Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows. The more you give of yourself in anything, the more you get in return – especially when you give with no expectation of return. Too often, we build islands of ourselves cutting ourselves off from people who we can learn from, grow with and share life’s experiences. Do what you can for other people in your LinkedIn network – give recommendations and endorsements, hit like when you see someone post something you liked (it doesn’t cost you money), celebrate successes and milestones with your connections, encourage and go out of your way to help people looking for support. As Seth says – We long to connect, all of us. We long to be noticed, to be cared for, to matter. Generosity is the invisible salve on our wound of loneliness, one that benefits both sides, over and over again.
Note that if you are in the process of editing your profile, spare your connections every little detail of what you update. Turn off your activity broadcast temporarily, so that you can keep editing your profile silently. Once you are satisfied with your profile and will be editing it only occasionally in the future, you can turn on your activity broadcast, so that your connections are notified when there is a significant update on your profile.
In this highly competitive world that we live in, we have to ensure that we stay visible, leave a positive impression on as many people as we interact with and keep growing and improving the quality of our network. LinkedIn gives us the opportunity to do all this at one place but like anything else, LinkedIn is only as useful as you make it! So take the time to improve your LinkedIn profile every chance you get and impress the world!
Bonus Video: Check out these series of videos from Capella University on how to improve your LinkedIn profile in every section. There are some great tips, presented in a concise way, in here that you will thank us for.