You NEED your LinkedIn profile to stand out because that sea is wide and deep.
To do that...
It needs to be both ENGAGING and INTERESTING.
The best thing to do is realize it's a HUGE marketing tool because you're TOTALLY selling yourself here, pure and simple!
You only get a few seconds to grab the attention of an interested recruiter, client, or potential collaborator so you need your profile to be SUPERCHARGED.
Right now, is your LinkedIn profile a bit bare bones?
Worse yet, maybe it's not anything you'd really consider to be all that special?
Well, that's about to change!
Here are 5 steps for creating a killer LinkedIn profile that you can be proud of.
Step 1 - The Basics
The very first thing people see are your headline, picture and name. That means you need to make sure your headline's appealing and ensure your profile picture is as professional as possible.
- Uhhhh, use your real name and don't misspell it? Not many tips necessary for this one.
- Make sure the headline is catchy but descriptive: How to Turn Your LinkedIn Headline from Blah to Memorable
- Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the space
- SMILE - I mean REALLY smile. People can tell from your eyes if it's a fake smile and that rubs people the wrong way
- If you can't hire a photographer try this trick: On a sunny day stand directly in front of a window (facing it). You want the window behind the phone. This will evenly light your face and doesn't cost a dime
- Try to make sure there's nothing weird or attention-grabbing behind you. You want to be the main focus.
- Position the phone slightly above eye level aiming down towards your face. Look directly into the lens, not at your image on the screen. It will appear more natural and psychologically appealing to the viewer because it feels like you're looking right at them
- Make sure your picture actually looks like you. You don't want someone doing a double-take when they meet you. This means no 20-year-old pictures of you in a banana hammock. No photos from your heyday when you weighed 50 lbs less. Don't wear tons of makeup if you only really use it for special occasions. This should be a fairly REAL representation of you
- Wear clothes that are typical of your day-to-day - no bikinis or wife-beaters. And remember that solid colors usually look better on camera
Add a background photo
- Click Profile->Edit Profile and select "Add a background photo"
- Make sure the file is under 8MB and has a resolution of 1584x396 pixels
Step 2 - Whip Out Your Elevator Speech
This is a great time to use your elevator speech/pitch that you've spent so long perfecting.
Make sure it contains plenty of keywords. Remember that everything in your profile must be worded well (using power words and industry specific keywords).
But don't make it sound like it was written by an alien or a robot. Use basic copywriting skills to make sure you're relatable, yet professional.
Also, keep in mind that LinkedIn is a text based search engine so you want to give yourself every POSSIBLE chance to come up in a search.
Using keywords increases your chances of popping up when recruiters are looking for a candidate with a very particular set of skills to fill a new position.
Pro Tip: Find people who are in the field or job you WANT to be in and reviewing THEIR profiles. Use this to create a template for your own profile. Make sure the terminology and keywords you are using are similar to theirs but do not copy them. Stealing's not cool, man!
Step 3 - Fill...Out...Every...Section!
LinkedIn uses a search algorithm.
This is how you end up being seen by recruiters and hiring managers when they do searches for candidates.
Make sure to fill out ALL of the description sections that are applicable to you.
Many of them allow up to 1000 characters. So, don't hold back or worse, just add titles and pretty, fluffy nonsense.
Give them REAL stick-to-your-ribs information!
You'll want summarize your work skills.
And if you have anything that's quantifiable slap it in there because it highlights your amazing talents with numbers.
Recruiters and hiring managers love metrics because it's relatable and gives them a way to define and measure success.
Ex: "...reduced spending by 25%" or "Increased revenue by $20k/quarter, etc)
If you have any digital examples of your work you should definitely upload it natively to LinkedIn itself or link to it as long as you have permission to share it.
Add video, images, documents...ANYTHING that will show you have experience and prove you have completed projects.
Warning: Make sure you're not violating any confidentiality agreements or uploading anything proprietary.
I cannot reiterate enough - FILL OUT EVERY SINGLE SECTION THAT APPLIES TO YOU!
You want your profile to fill in any of the gaps that are left by glancing at your resume.
This is what makes you stand out from the herd!
Any relevant skills or experience related to your field should be included.
Even a 2-hour lecture you attended at your public library.
Leave no stone unturned.
Step 4: Make Strategic Connections
Once your profile's complete you can strategize.
Whenever you make a new connection who you want to network with (personal, old classmate, new co-worker, people in the field or industry of your choice) send them a LinkedIn Connect request and a nice, short message with a brief mention of your initial meeting.
Don't get worried if you don't hear back from someone immediately because a lot of people don't log into LinkedIn every day.
I mean...how often are you on there?
If people are sending you connect requests review their profile and see if they'll actually be a good match.
Don't just add people solely to bump up your numbers.
This will only come back to bite you if you're adding people willy nilly.
LinkedIn (and social media at large) is not a popularity contest!
Pro Tip: Make note of the influencers and connectors you want to add to your top 10 and nurture those relationships.
Step 5: Supercharge Your Profile
Now it's time to supercharge your profile with these 4 tips which are the cherry on top of your success sundae!
- LinkedIn has a "Get Introduced" tool where you can request one of your 1st connections to introduce you to one of their 1st connections. Use it!
- Never use generic LinkedIn messages when sending a connection request. Remember to offer them something, even if it's just to ask how you can help them. Don't make it all about you and your needs. (Give a little, get a lot!)
- Customize your LinkedIn profile url so that it's more user friendly
- Create a Public Profile Badge to add your own personal website or blog