A good LinkedIn profile is not necessary only when you are looking out for a job. Maintaining your LinkedIn profile should be a very important task as it helps you to build your personal brand.
If you have a brand, it can help you ‘stand-out’ from the crowd. With time, LinkedIn has grown up to be much more than just recruiters’ playground as it was previously thought to be.
It is that place where:
- you can meet like-minded people from your industry,
- you can network – find new customers, investors or partners,
- build up your industry knowledge,
- showcase your strengths,
- benefit others with your knowledge,
- be the brand ambassador for your present organization,
- be recognized as a thought leader in your niche.
90 million senior-level influencers and 63 million decision makers use LinkedIn. – 99Firms
Who knows, you can be the next LinkedIn Influencer!
Without much ado, here are the 7 tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
Use a high-quality headshot, professional-looking close-up.
The stress is on professional, as it should not be a pic from your last housewarming party, visit to a religious place, your family outing with kids or your marriage!
Make this picture visible to everyone. It should be of 400X400 px in size. You can refer to the pic given as an example here.
Mind your background picture.
You should also add a high-quality background picture of size 1584X396 px. It should represent your organization, something you work for, maybe datacenter for example, or something of your interest. Check with the marketing team and they should give you something that is a professional image for the background.
Have your own URL.
You’ll see “Edit public profile and URL” in the upper right corner of your profile. Use it to personalize your URL. This will make it easier for people to find you via search engines.
Check Visibility options.
You can control your profile’s appearance for people who are not signed into LinkedIn. When you go to the right-hand side corner and click on “Edit public profile and URL”, you get this option too. Refer screengrab
With it, you can decide if you wish to make your profile photo visible to only your 1st-degree connections, your LinkedIn connections or to all LinkedIn members. When you choose ‘Public’ you make your content visible to all public – on or off LinkedIn, and on search engines like Google, Bing, etc.
Write a clear LinkedIn Profile summary.
Your LinkedIn profile has to be written by you. No one else can write it for you. Include some substance and give it your style. It should reflect your personality. ‘It is basically who you are’ so you can take help to get it grammatically correct but maintain your tone and style.
Talk about what excites you professionally.
What makes you tick except that paycheck at the end of each month.
Describe what you are doing in your present role. Keep your job terms and jargons aside in this one. Simply explain what problems you solve and how, with what skills, tools, your industry knowledge, etc. You may connect to the company which employs you and may add a brief profile of the company too.
Discuss your (relevant) past.
You can highlight what you think you did brilliantly well in your job history and leave out or decrease the effect of not-so-good happenings. You may also show how these not-so-good things later became your strengths or maybe helped you achieve success later in life. Make sure that you connect the dots.
Discuss your future.
This is the latest trend emerging on LinkedIn. You should give a glimpse into your future plans, talk about your goals, objectives, and ambitions in a line or two.
Focus on your successes.
Mention your accomplishments. Focus on what you consider as your life’s successes that your experiences have given you.
Show your true personality.
Show your human side. We all are humans first and professionals second. Be honest and show your that side also. If you are a manager or a leader, you will have stories to share. Weave them in your summary.
Discuss what you do outside work.
You can share what you do outside work. It could be your volunteer work or hobby. Such passions if related to your work can act as positive reinforcements and help you in networking with like-minded professionals.
Add some keywords.
Add relevant keywords highlighting your top skills to boost your search rankings on Google and other search engines. You can view job descriptions and other profiles to get relevant keywords.
PRO TIP: Add a HEADLINE for your profile. Include keywords in there. It is a key to optimize your profile using keywords.
LinkedIn also provides various other ways to make your profile stand out from the rest.
If you have some published work, you can add them via Publications.
If you have done something innovative and have some patents to your name, you can showcase them through Patents.
There’s no age for learning. Keep yourself updated as per the industry trends. If you are pursuing a course, you can list it in your profile in the Courses section.
Update any projects that you are working on here in the Projects section.
You can also list any honors and awards received here, in addition to mentioning them in the summary.
In addition, you can add test scores, languages and organizations you support to make your LinkedIn profile more wholesome.
Ask for recommendations.
Recommendations are important as they allow people to understand how you are as a person from someone else’s perspective. They work like reviews work for an organization.
The system of getting recommendation works in two ways – you can either ask some selected LinkedIn contacts of yours to write a recommendation for you or you can write one for them and sit back waiting that they will return the favor.
Publish your articles and do some activity.
Don’t be inactive on social media. If you have joined a social media platform like LinkedIn, take some benefits and give some benefits – as they ultimately show in your profile.
If any of your industry peer or if you find any topics that are very interesting to you that you have read and if you find others may find it useful, do share them on LinkedIn. Add hashtags so that the topic if relevant for others can appear in the search results appropriately.
Also, you may add comments to any of those articles/posts that are interesting, and it can create a brand recall with the author of the article/posts.
If you are part of any professional groups in LinkedIn (e.g. Cloud), you may get a notification to make your company be part of that conversation and officially engage and contribute. This could also help you show yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert in the relevant topic.
Wish to add more tips to the list, let me know.
Jyotsana Gupta – the content and communication head, is an engineer by education and a writer at heart. In technical writing for 8 years, she makes complex topics interesting to general audience. She loves going on long drives in her spare time.