9 Things You Need to "Get Right" on Your LinkedIn Profile Before Looking for New Jobs and Opportunities
Whether you’re a student looking to start your career off strong or a seasoned professional trying to pivot or grow your career, optimizing your LinkedIn profile will help get you to get noticed by more of the people you want quicker.
The more you complete (and keep up to date) your LinkedIn profile, the more likely you will be discovered and contacted. A professional photo alone will get you 14x more views than an empty or non-professional-looking photo.
When creating your LinkedIn Profile, you will want to do your homework by building a profile that draws the right people’s attention, sounds professional, and showcases keywords that will connect you with the network that can advance your endeavors.
If you’re looking to take your professional ambitions to new heights, follow these Linkability-proven steps.
The header includes your banner, profile photo, and headline. Since these are the very first things seen, it is essential that you visit this section first, rather than leave it as an afterthought. This section will represent who you are as a professional; your value, skills, and professional identity should be well defined here.
Profile Photo: When you’re updating your Profile, the first thing you need to look at is your profile photo, as you want to make a great first impression. Your image should exude confidence, friendliness, and professionalism.
Remember, LinkedIn is a network of professionals. It’s not Facebook or a Tinder account. So if you wouldn’t hang it on an employee wall outside your boss’s office, don’t use the picture for your LinkedIn account.
When choosing your profile picture, here are a few tips to remember:
If feasible, you can hire a photographer to take a professional headshot. On average, this service runs $100-$250 per hour, depending on your location.
Choose a current photo. You may like that photo from 5-10 years ago, but chances are, a few things have changed since then. You want future employers or clients to see you for who you are today.
Don’t choose a dark, blurry, or pixelated photo. Ideally, you will want an image that is 400x400 pixels.
You want your potential candidates to know exactly who they’re connecting with, so be sure to be the only person in the photo. You will also want to pick an image that is above the waist.
To change your profile picture:
Click on the circle where your profile photo goes -> Click edit -> Upload your image.
You don’t get to make a first impression twice, so make the first one count.
Although it may not seem like much, your LinkedIn banner is an integral part of having a well-rounded profile, as it has the power to draw a person’s attention instantly.
When you include a graphic, you are 11x more likely to be viewed.
When choosing a banner, you want to be sure that it synchronizes with your goals and mission. For example, if you’re promoting your business, you will want your banner to represent the company’s goals, vision, and how you solve your client's problems. However, if you’re looking to represent your personal page to gain new clientele or market yourself to recruiters, your banner should marry you to your brand and/or who you are as a professional.
LinkedIn provides users with a handful of banner options, but you will create a more substantial impact if you create one unique to you and your target audience.
Here are some tips to consider when creating your LinkedIn banner:
Canva, Adobe, and VistaCreate are a few websites that offer free graphic services.
When creating your banner, set the dimensions to 1584x396 pixels.
The profile photo circle slightly overlaps the banner on the left, so don’t add key pictures or text where it will get covered up.
This is like a billboard for your company/career, so stay true to your brand.
If you want to be contacted, include your contact information in your banner.
Use easy-to-read fonts and colors.
Monterstat and Aileron are 2 of our favorite, easy-to-read fonts.
What do you want your banner to say about you?
To add a LinkedIn banner:
Go to your Profile -> Click edit profile -> Choose add a background photo.
Your headline is where you input keywords that highlight your skills, located right underneath your name. When creating your headline, you want to be strategic in your word choice so that you appear higher in a LinkedIn search while also engaging your audience enough that they feel inclined to learn more.
LinkedIn automatically creates your headline to include your current company and job title. Still, by personalizing your headline, you will improve your LinkedIn search algorithm, which provides you a better chance of being found by other professionals.
If you were to come up with a phrase or a few keywords to describe what you bring to the table in 150 characters or less, what would they be?
To add a LinkedIn header:
Go to your Profile -> Click on the pencil located on the right -> Scroll down to the headline.
Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most valuable pieces of professional real estate you have on a digital platform. More than a resumé, it helps to establish trust with your audience while providing an insight into who you are as a person, without being limited to a one-page limit.
Your LinkedIn summary is where you can highlight your proudest accomplishments, your passion, your “why,” and your dreams. It’s also a place to highlight your hobbies and your inspiration. When creating your LinkedIn summary, you want to keep it professional but also original and fitting to your personality.
The objective is to give your audience an authentic, personalized view of who you are and what unique attributes you bring.
Sharing your best attributes in a professional yet friendly and personal manner can seem like a huge undertaking. Here are a few key tricks to creating an interesting summary that draws people in:
Talk in the first person: LinkedIn is meant to facilitate conversations. By writing your summary in the first person, you remind people that they are connecting with a real person, creating a deeper connection.
By default, only the first two lines will appear before you expand it (220 characters on desktop; 92 characters on mobile), so be sure to have a compelling opening sentence.
Highlight the professional accomplishments that you want to be known for. Have some impressive statistics? Share them. Helped a company launch to success? Let’s hear it! Built and led an outstanding team? We want to know!
Incorporate SEO keywords related to your industry throughout without being redundant.
Include client or employee testimonies or awards that you may have received
Make use of whitespace by breaking up the summary into sections so that you don’t have one long run-on paragraph. (Making use of your whitespace also makes it more visually appealing).
Keep it concise. This isn’t an autobiography. You want to share what is most important about your professional accomplishments and what makes you stand out.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when filling in your summary. Answering these questions will help you in your writing journey.
Who is your ideal client, or who do you most enjoy working with?
What are you passionate about?
What types of services or products do you provide?
What or who inspired you to get into this particular line of work?
Where can they learn more or connect with you?
What is your unique selling proposition? How are you different than your competitors?
When concluding your summary, provide a CTA or Call to Action. This is the next step that you want your reader to take. How can they contact you? Do you have other platforms that they can check out? How can you assist them further?
To edit your summary:
Go to ProfileProfile -> Click on Add profile section -> Scroll to summary
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR PART 2 FOR NEXT-LEVEL INFORMATION!
The Moving Forward Newsletter is a bi-weekly advice column by Kim Peterson Stone, the CEO of Linkability.us where we give you a peek behind the curtains into what it takes to put together campaigns that help you grow your business and career on LinkedIn and in Real Life.
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