Pimp my profile: How to create an all-star LinkedIn profile page
In today’s world of digital interconnectivity and increased networking, your online presence represents an extension not only of your personal brand as a communications professional but that of your employer too.
Boasting over half a billion users worldwide, and nearly 30 million in the UK alone, LinkedIn has fast become the most widely-used professional networking tool. But, with the average user spending only 17 minutes on the site each month, how can you ensure your profile helps generate leads in your network, cements you as a thought-leader in your industry, and helps you stand out from the crowd?
A picture is worth a thousand words
When you visit a LinkedIn profile, what’s one of the first things you notice? The profile photo. Having a photo on your profile allows you to stand out in searches, showing you are active and engaged online. But what kind of photo? Leave the selfies to Instagram, and the blurry group pictures to your Facebook albums. Having a tasteful and high-quality headshot is best for LinkedIn. You can tweak the level of professionalism versus fun depending on your industry.
Read you like a book
Think of your profile as telling a story; start at the beginning. Include your education, to the highest level, the languages you speak, and any qualifications earned over your career. Use the experience section to build your story of where you have been and how it is getting you to where you are going. Where have you worked before your current role? What promotions did you receive? List the value you provided and the difference you made. Creating a visual narrative will show your passion and progression through your career journey.
Adding volunteer work and causes you care about will round out your professional identity. Any relevant Board or Executive positions are important to mention too.
Jack of all trades, master of none
LinkedIn will give you an abundance of skills to choose from and add to your profile. As much as we may love to shout about our teamwork abilities and proficiency in Microsoft Office, think carefully about the core skills that you feel have been the key to your career success. Rate them in order of importance, have friends and colleagues endorse these skills, and ultimately endorse Brand You.
Connect the dots
Once you’ve sorted the basics, consider who you want to see your profile. Join relevant groups and follow industry pages to stay tuned-in to current content and events. Having your education listed will make it easier to connect with alumni networks. Run a quick search and reach out to colleagues (past and present), peers, clients, and people you’ve met at events and through networking. Send a personalized connection request and extend your online network.
What are you sharing with your growing network? Take this opportunity not only to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable in your field but help attract talent to your business too. Post relevant industry content on your page, share some insight alongside a recent story that has caught your eye, or any awards or wins for your company.
Most importantly, regularly update your profile, and take the time to engage with your peers’ content - be the driver for thought-provoking conversation in your field.