The days are far gone where ‘just’ having a LinkedIn profile is enough. Ever since Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 – there’s never been a more crucial time to create and bring to life your digital reputation. This platform is no longer just an internet resume site dangling around with profiles in hopes of opportunities finding you! LinkedIn can be your secret weapon if used properly. Here are 9 tips to get you ahead of the pack.
1. Create an effective background
Yes, I’m referring to that GIANT blue space plopped back behind your profile picture. In the digital world, this space on LinkedIn is your own personal billboard – USE IT! This is where some skills might come into play, tools such as Photoshop, Canva, or stock photo searches like Pixabay can give you design and functionality to your background.
2. Find a powerful tagline that describes who you serve and how
LinkedIn has historically framed the tagline (the statement below your name and profile picture) as a simple place to put your title and company. Sadly, this is very basic. Your tagline is your value proposition to your network. It is a concise way 2 explain who you serve and how you serve them. For example, the tagline for Forrest Unlimited would be “Helping business professionals unearth their potential through LinkedIn.”
3. Write a compelling summary making you sound unique and authentically human
The summary is typically where basic LinkedIn users will write a blurb about their previous jobs perhaps a few skills and what they currently do. However, advanced LinkedIn users will use the summary to tell a captivating story of how they have evolved throughout their career and who they impact. Another way of utilizing the summary is to answer the question as if you’re being interviewed, “…so tell me about yourself?” This question is more powerful than you think, for me it is actually how I landed one of my tech jobs. My boss later told me how I answered it set me apart from other candidates immediately.
4. Sharpen the descriptions in your experience section to align yourself as a subject matter expert
If you’ve never heard the term wordsmithing, then I highly suggest you take time to learn about it briefly. The same way a Blacksmith crafts his tools is the same way we should craft our descriptions. The method we use communicate things can significantly change the impact our digital impression has. Your experience should illuminate the reader’s mind and put them in a visual scene of you in a previous role. What was your day-to-day like? What difficult challenges did you overcome in that role? What skills did you gain from that position? These are just a few questions to answer as you sharpen this section of your profile.
5. Identify the max amount of skills you can honestly list to help with search ranking
LinkedIn gives you 50, find a way to identify all the relevant skills you have and max them out on the platform. The search engines loves these and treats them as keywords for searchers to find your profile.
6. Observe each section of your profile to see where keywords can be added to make your search relevance more prominent
This coincides with the skills. Your profile needs to find a way to naturally present all the terms you want to be found for. The key areas to check are in your tagline, summary, experience and skills section. Putting together a keyword strategy can be very helpful as your brainstorm ways to optimize your profile.
7. Enhance sections such as volunteer work or accomplishments
This section really sets power users away from the pack, because it is one of the most human and empathetic areas of your profile. These sections definitely can’t be skipped because it gives your audience a peek at the causes you care about and milestones you’ve reached throughout your career whether business or personal. The first tech job I landed came from interest they had in my answer to the greatest professional accomplishment I had up to that point in my life – to their surprise it was within my local church and not a work award. Be human, it matters.
8. Determine if you have an appropriate profile picture, if not, find affordable solutions to address it
If your profile picture is currently not one you’d be willing to put on a corporate bulletin board, then it needs fixed – asap! With smartphones increasingly getting more advanced and able to produce high resolutions – there’s no reason not to have a presentable profile picture. If yours isn’t the best, ask a friend to help take it with theirs and send it to you. Advanced users will typically get a professional head shot taken.It’s $50 well spent if it lands them their next big opportunity.
9. Check for cohesiveness and flow of your profile to make sure it paints a clear picture to your target market
Always view your profile through the lens of your ideal viewer. If you’re seeking employment, think about how many thousands of profiles a recruiter might look at in a day. Would your profile as a whole stick out? Or maybe you’re in sales, does your profile speak to your ideal customer well? These are all reverse psychology tactics you must keep in mind as you paint your digital masterpiece. If you could use some help to get there, let’s talk.