Whether we want to come to terms with it or not, in the career world, LinkedIn is THE SHIT.
It is the go-to, the standard, the holy mecca if you will, of bringing professionals together. If you want to get work or stay in work, you need to get on LinkedIn and you need to get on it right.
In my travels, I’ve seen some great profiles, some good enough profiles, some average profiles, and some seriously craptastic profiles. Most profiles that I’ve seen fall into the “good enough” range. I personally spend much of my social media time on LinkedIn, have a large network, and continuously tweek my profile to ensure my profile is as easy to find as possible by potential clients.
Don’t get intimidated by LinkedIn. You don’t need to spend hours a day on it. You can gradually make small improvements to your profile until you get it to the point that you want. But there are some parts of your LinkedIn profile that you’ll want to prioritize. Here are my top 5 tips for how to spend your time improving your LinkedIn profile.
1. Show your mug
This seems to be a major area of fear for people, and I have felt that same fear myself. Recently, I didn’t want to get headshots taken because I had gained weight and didn’t want to put my fuller face on display. But my business coach said it best “If people can’t see you, how can they trust you?” and the exact same reasoning applies to LinkedIn. Not showing your face on your profile makes potential employers wonder if your profile is actually that of a human, if they can trust you, and what else you might be hiding. So even though you may be hesitant, you need to show your mug if you want to leverage the power of LinkedIn.
2. Hype up your Headline
Most people miss the mark here. LinkedIn defaults to showing your current position and employer as your headline. This is a major YAWN. Even people with stellar profiles have crappy headlines. You want to use the shit out of your headline. Treat it as your marquee! This 120-character box is where you hook people into clicking on your profile to read more. So use eye-catching language. You’re not a “Client Services Representative” you’re a “Client Advocate”! You’re not a “Business Analyst” you’re a “Business Solutions Guru”. You get the drift.
3. Sweeten up your Summary
Once people have clicked your hot headline, show them that you have an even sexier summary! This is another area where profiles are often lacking. This is the place were you get to brag! This is also a critical area of your profile where you will want to include key words and key search terms for how you’d like to be found. So say you’d like to get a job as a business analyst with another firm, make sure you include key words like, business analyst, specifications, testing, quality assurance, etc. Make yourself as easy as possible to find by refining this section.
4. Show some Endorsement Love
Social Media is very much a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” sort of world and LinkedIn has this awesome feature where you can endorse others’ skills. So if Mary is great at customer service, throw her a bone and endorse that skill on her profile. It’s likely that she’ll return the favour. The more endorsements for your key skills, the more you’ll appear to be an attractive prospect to potential employers.
The whole point of LinkedIn is to connect with others, so when I see profiles with very few connections, I’m baffled. LinkedIn is a numbers game. The more people you connect with, the larger your network, and the easier it is to be found by potential employers. Also, when you receive connection request from people you don’t know, take a second to check who they are before you ignore the connection request. If they are in a similar line of work as you, or are a recruiter, there is value in accepting the connection even if you haven’t met the person before.
If you spend even 5 minutes a day working on the above priorities, you’ll be able to enjoy the visibility and connection benefits of having a really slick LinkedIn profile.
Quick Fixes to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Unsuck
Resume Writer | LinkedIn Consultant | Job Search Strategist