Your Linkedin profile is the first place your potential customers look. It is your business card that shows your experience and expert level in the industry. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a new job or clients for your business, a professional profile on Linkedin is the first step in creating a good impression.
A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that already 77% of employers use social networks (including Linkedin) for recruitment, which – compared to 2011 – means a sharp increase (in 2011 it was 56% of employers). As for the recruiters themselves, as many as 94% declare that they use social networks when looking for candidates for open recruitment.
There is no easier way to demonstrate your knowledge to a wide group of potential associates, make contacts and hire managers than through a well-built profile on Linkedin.
Do not leave your profile unfinished or with basic information. Everyone who visits your profile should have a full and clear picture of your education, skills and experience.
We have prepared 14 simple steps to improve your Linkedin profile.
1. Choose the right photo
It seems obvious, but many people on Linkedin don’t add any picture to their profile. It could be for privacy reasons, or they don’t have a photo of their own that they like.
The lack of a photo does not inspire confidence in users who visit your profile. On the one hand, it shows that you do not feel fully comfortable on social media. On the other hand, you can have doubts if there is a real person behind your profile. Your picture on Linkedin profile is the first impression you make. Make sure your first impression fully shows your professionalism and experience.
Remember to use the current photo. You may think you look better in a photo from 10 years ago, but when it comes to a face-to-face meeting, you will seem inauthentic.
A good idea for a photo is to use photos from your public speech. This gives you automatic authority and shows that others are interested in what you have to say. It builds your position as a leader in the industry from the level of the first impression that builds your profile on Linkedin.
If you do not have such a photo, choose a photo with natural lighting where your face is fully visible, you look cheerful and professional, and you are against a natural background.
2. Change your profile address
Take care of all the details of your Linkedin profile. Click „edit profile” and change the URL to: www.LinkedIn.com/in/yourname. Then, include this address in your CV, cover letter, and bottom signature line in your outgoing email. Consider creating a QR code that links directly to your profile. You can use free tools to generate a QR code. Be sure to add the LinkedIn QR code to your business cards and resume. Android phones come with QR code readers and free iPhone reader apps are available, so anyone can easily scan the QR code and send it directly to your LinkedIn profile.
3. Include a headline that gets attention
Your headline is directly below your name on your profile. By default, this place will be your current position. However, you can convey more information by creating a special headline that will get the attention of other users.
When recruiters and regular users search on LinkedIn, names, photos, and headings are displayed in the results. You have 120 characters to use for your headline. Use it well. Customize it to describe exactly what you do or what kind of job you are looking for. If you are not sure what to enter there, check how the Linkedin header is used by other people in your industry. Get inspired and use what describes you perfectly.
4. Join groups on Linkedin
Engage with LinkedIn groups related to your current job, college, former employers, or other interests. Comment on posts from others and add your own. Share your knowledge and show your position as an industry leader. You can also set up new groups yourself, thanks to which you can establish new contacts. Linkedin gives you the ability to manage 30 groups. In turn, you can be a member in as many as 100 groups. Don’t forget to post to groups regularly to stay connected with group members. The character limit for publication in groups is the same as for publication on private profiles: 1300 characters.
5. Use the opportunity to promote your other projects
Under your contact information, you can add links to other projects that you want to share with your contacts. You can include videos of the speeches or PowerPoint presentations.
6. Use the power of recommendation
Ask former colleagues, former bosses and clients to write a recommendation on your Linkedin profile. Try to get recommendations from people from different departments and in different positions. This will allow you to show that you can cooperate with people on different levels. In this way, you will build an image of an expert in the industry with whom it is worth establishing cooperation. The best evidence of your work will be the testimonials of your colleagues.
7. Make recommendations yourself
Since you’re asking your contacts for recommendations, take the initiative by giving out a few to get you started. Connectedin contacts that receive recommendations from you will be more likely to issue a feedback recommendation.
8. Complete your employment history
Show what’s behind your career. Complete as many previous positions as possible and spare no details and descriptions of previous positions. This way you will give visitors to your Linkedin profile a full picture of your history. Do you want to build a market leader position? Show me how you came to this position.
9. What are your skills?
List recent certifications and courses on your LinkedIn profile. Show off your knowledge and skills. Thanks to this, potential customers will be sure that you are a person worth establishing a long-term cooperation with. If your Linkedin profile is geared towards recruiters, the completed skills will give them confirmation for the information contained in the CV. Especially if some of this information is confirmed by your other contacts on Linkedin.
10. Show what you do outside of work
You can put your volunteer experiences on your profile. You will talk about the role you played, what was the reason for your involvement and in what organization you were a volunteer. You can also include important social issues in this section, such as animal protection, the environment, or education.
11. Watch what the competition is doing
Browse the LinkedIn profiles of other professionals in your industry and see how they describe their work and how they maintain their profiles. You can find ideas for keywords you want to include in your summary description, interesting headlines, ideas for updates, and interactions with their contacts.
12. Go beyond the box
You can rearrange your current positions and education posts to highlight something more prestigious or something you are especially proud of. If you are just starting to collect recommendations on your profile, move this section down to the bottom of your profile so as not to draw special attention to it when visiting your Linkedin profile. On the other hand, if you can boast numerous recommendations, it is worth moving it to the beginning of your profile.
13. Make contacts
If you only have a few contacts, the prospective employer or client will feel like you’ve just joined the network. Show that you are active on Linkedin and you will be a valuable contact. When you reach 50 contacts, LinkedIn will start suggesting people to connect with, which will help you build your network of potential business contacts faster.
14. Personalize your messages
Do not use the standard contact invitation that appears automatically after clicking „Make contact”. Try to match the message to the type of contact you want to make.
Incorporate these 15 tips into your Linkedin communication and you’ll see that you’ll make valuable business contacts.