It’s no secret that if you want a social media platform to serve as a tool for your career development, you go to LinkedIn. They have it all: a chance to meet valuable connections, space for businesses and individuals alike to showcase their accomplishments, and valuable advice from leaders in the industry. But to truly take full advantage of the various benefits LinkedIn offers, you need to start with your profile. And as luck would have it, you’re just reading a piece that will help you do exactly that.
I sincerely hope that if you have had a LinkedIn account for more than an hour, your profile picture is not a John Doe – just the default, non-descript image. But it doesn’t end there – you also need to have a good profile photo. Don’t go looking through your photo album from when you were sweet 16 and make sure to avoid pictures that are in poor resolution – this is your first chance to make an impression on someone, so make it count. The safest bet is having a picture that was taken by a professional. It usually costs less than a month’s worth of Netflix subscription (especially now that the prices went up again) and you can use it for quite some time.
Your headline on LinkedIn is practically an elevator pitch of who you are and what you do. You have 200 characters to convince your target audience to click on your profile and learn more about you. That’s not a lot to work with, so make sure every word counts. Consider leaving out cliché buzzwords such as “Strategic, result-driven, passionate, go-getter, or industry-shaping” unless they truly convey an important message. The general formula that helps you cover all the bases is your title and position followed by your selling proposition. If the character limit allows for it, feel free to sprinkle in something personal that defines you. For example, “I am a content manager at Bora Design. I help cybersecurity companies reach their audiences and create valuable content for them. I love outdoor sports.”
Okay, so now that you’ve got people to click on your profile, this will often be the first section they will want to go through. Use this part of your profile to showcase yourself in a more detailed manner. Try to make things clear and concise for the readers – the average adult attention span is just a bit shorter than that of a goldfish. I suggest you divide this into three sections:
Don’t repeat yourself here – chances are whoever got here has already read your headline. Instead, you can focus more on your background and try to enhance the information stated in your headline. Try to aim for a couple of sentences and move on.
Now it’s time for a little bit of bragging! Give the readers a chance to admire your illustrious past. The best way of making your achievements stand out is to list them in form of short bullet points. 4-5 are enough to dazzle your about-to-be fans.
You’ve talked about what you do, who you are, and what you’ve done. Now it’s time to talk about what you can do for your clients. Give yourself as much space as you need here – identifying the niche in which you can make their life better is the key to getting the right people to talk to you.
One thing many people on LinkedIn don’t realize is how the Skills Section works. Sure, it’s there for you to showcase what you know, but it’s also a pivotal part of your profile section for recruiters. They often search for candidates by skills and keeping this section updated and in mind with what you are trying to achieve makes a huge difference – especially if you’re looking for a new job. Even though you can list up to 50 skills here, keep your skills aligned with your profession. Does it really matter you have adept woodworking skills as a lawyer? Maybe – but chances are you’ve just wasted a slot for something pertinent instead.
Activities on LinkedIn are any interactions through content such as posting, sharing, and engaging with other people’s posts. This is a neat way of creating engagement. Getting the hang of content on your profile will turn you into an unstoppable powerhouse that attracts more and more users. But be mindful of negative interactions as these might put people off. Users can see every comment you make, every bond you break, every step you take, and they’ll be watching you.