Essential Guide To LinkedIn: How to Create A Strong & Complete Profile For Business Growth
LinkedIn has been a notorious social media platform to search for jobs and connect with people in the career field you desire. If you’re not on the search for a new job, then why even bother with LinkedIn?
There are actually quite a few reasons such as to simply build a network, find interesting and new opportunities and expand your knowledge. It is crucial to invest time into this platform to build a solid online resume.
LinkedIn has more than 350 million profiles from individuals seeking employment or employees. To really stand apart from the competition, your profile has to be an eye-catcher. Your number one priority is to have your basic profile elements sharp and on point.
With all of LinkedIn’s new features, putting in a bland headline and dull picture just to say you have a profile is obsolete. You need a strong and complete profile to attract networkers and businesses, and here’s how you do it.
Create a Memorable Headline
Gone are the days where your headline must be the job title at your company. This area right below your name is the perfect spot to present your most valuable skills and tell your audience what makes you so unique from the competition. You have 120 characters to capture the attention of potential employers or customers, use it wisely.
Always write one to three sentences that will benefit your viewer. You can even use symbols to create a catchy headline. Always remember to think about your target audience before creating a strong headline. For example, a marketing professional would want to be more creative whereas a technical representative would want to match the personality of their audience.
Creating your own URL may benefit for SEO purposes, plus it looks good to employers. Connecting your LinkedIn profile to your personal URL and name will make it easier for connections to find you through a Google search. Your unique URL will be in a light box above your displayed name. You can easily click the edit button and revise the set of numbers to just your name or catchy slogan.
It is not professional to have a photo of you holding up a peace sign or posing with your best friend. For your LinkedIn photo, choose a friendly, appropriate and professional photo that will encourage people to talk to you. If possible, display yourself in the process of your work or career. Make your image proactive and show your target audience what you can’t say in words.
Pictures are worth a thousand words and your first impression will always be your profile picture. Professionals care about your looks, no matter what industry you represent. If possible use a professional headshot or image of you in action within your career. You want to appear personable; just you, not your friends, family or animals. When you select a profile photo always have a neutral background so that it doesn’t distract viewers from your face. Studies show that having a professional photo can result in 14 times more profile views!
Three to five short paragraphs describing your key skills, passions, work experiences and unique qualifications shouldn’t be hard to write. However, this summary is your prime-time chance to present your professional brand. You can put a creative twist on your personal story and use it as a strategic piece of content to attract your audience. Break down your skills with examples from projects, personal interest and experience and more. If possible, use multimedia to showcase your work, multimedia usage such as LinkedIn videos, photos, or even slideshow presentations are becoming increasingly popular.
We all have our own reasons for working, our own inspirations, and our own definitions of success. Whatever you’re in it for, we’re in it together. This is an on-going campaign which has gained traction online via the platform seeing thousands of people coming together to share why they love what they do -another great reason to complete your profile and perhaps include this type of information.
Education ties into the big background feature on LinkedIn but it is also a basic element that can make your profile rock! It’s essential to include information about the degrees you have acquired and the schools you have attended. This provides viewers a chance to make other connection within the alumni which will impress employers, and potentially give you an insider into the company you dream of working for.
Your name, headline, URL, picture and education are all very important factors that recruiters and viewers will instantly jump to if they are looking for a qualified candidate. It takes someone 20 seconds to realise if they will stay on a page and read it, make sure your profile is worth more than a few seconds! Listed above are the basic elements to make your LinkedIn profile really stand out. There are more detail-oriented aspects that we will cover in another blog.
When recruiters are on the hunt for a new employee, they search for high performers on LinkedIn. Action words should always be used in your accomplishments and subsections. The subsections of accomplishments on LinkedIn include:
- Honors and awards
- Test Scores
This gives your audience a more detailed look at your background and allows you to get creative and use key words to attract eyes. It’s important to stand out from the competition and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
The skills section on LinkedIn provides a space for you to list up to 50 skills. It’s important to list only the skills closely related to your dream job. The algorithms that LinkedIn possess rewards the number of endorsements you receive for particular skills, this in turn, puts you up top for discoverability. A good rule of thumb is to search the positions you are interested in and pull keywords from the descriptions to list as your skills, as long as you actually have them!
Your experience and work history are extremely important, but to add more credibility to these elements reach out for recommendations. A solid combination of skill endorsements and recommendation can help start conversations faster than anything. There is a difference between endorsements and recommendations. Endorsements are less specific and are not credible when it comes to recommendations. Recommendations are written by other people about your most important former positions within the industry and are seen as high quality on LinkedIn. You want your recommendation section to range between 5 and 10 and LinkedIn will show the two most recent recommendations.
You can easily manage and ask for recommendations from friends by going to the Privacy and Settings tab, manage your recommendation and then a tab will direct you to your next action. There is even n option for customizing your message for recommendations rather than an auto-generated one.
LinkedIn has set a minimum of 50 connections as the basis for a professional profile. Connections can be very valuable to your job search. Having people willing to connect with your is an endorsement that could potentially turn into a recommendation. Interacting is an important process on LinkedIn and some professionals give a rule of thumb that your connections should be 100 times your current age.
It’s important to find people and groups with the same interests as you and in the same industry. Connections are only as valuable as you make them to be. If you connect with someone, don't just use the basic connection text - personalise this invitation for maximum results! Get involved with groups and learn what others are talking about. Who knows, your knowledge and comments may get you noticed!
Growing Your Connections
When you’re networking at events remembering names and keeping hold of all the business cards you’re given can be a pain, as can giving out your own. LinkedIn now offer a feature on their app that lets you get right past that. If you find someone who you want to make a connection with on LinkedIn, you just open to app on your phone and it creates a QR code. When that code is scanned the other phone will go straight to the correct profile page. It makes it quick and easy to build your LinkedIn professional network. The app works on iOS and Android so it really is must have.
While you are at a conference and have your phone out ready to make connections, you can use the new Find Nearby feature on LinkedIn’s app to find other people who are at the same location and as also interested in making connections.
You have to opt into the feature so don’t forget to turn it on the next time you are at a conference and keep an eye out for like-minded individuals who are going to help you drive your business forward.
Contacts Export and Import
If you have a large number of contacts in your LinkedIn Profile then you may be interested to know that it is possible to easily get them all out in one neat list. It takes a little bit of digging through some menus but it’s not too hard, the instructions can be found here. You can get the data sent to your email address or as a CSV file which you can then upload into a different account. This is really useful if you have multiple accounts that you want to merge or if you just need to share contacts with a colleague, central CRM etc.
A great way to stand out from the competition is by using multi-media and creating a strong visual content section. Embed video, add images or create small slideshow presentation of your previous work. Everyone would much rather see what you can do than just read about it!
It’s shocking that only 51 percent of LinkedIn users have completed their profiles 100 percent. One of the main reasons to complete your profile is to ensure that it appears in search engines and on LinkedIn results. Social networking sites change every day and LinkedIn is one of the top most used channels and is updating its features every day. It’s important to stay in tune with the developments and to ensure your profile is 100 percent complete. This act alone will cause you to be top of the line in search engines!
Keep a Consistent Updated Status
While Facebook posts are more for personal use, LinkedIn posts are for professional and strategic marketing use. If you write blogs, share your articles. No matter what your field you are interested in, there are professional pieces of advice to share to your audience. LinkedIn conducted its own research and found that if you post every day, Monday through Friday, then you will reach 60 percent of your audience!
LinkedIn in on the top performing social media platforms in the world. It is essential to have a professional profile and online resume to refer to when job searching or presenting your online digital-self to customers and suppliers.
A strong and fully complete profile can bring a lot of opportunities to you and open the door to a new professional life.