I’ve been getting a ton of connection requests on LinkedIn lately and I really enjoy meeting new people from around the world. But what I see in some profiles could really use some help. Here are some tips that will help you create a LinkedIn profile that gets noticed.
Here are my top 10 quick tips on improving your LinkedIn profile, starting at the top of the page.
How to create a LinkedIn profile that gets noticed
- Use a picture of yourself. Not a flower. Not your pet. And please, not a selfie! Use a current photo (within the last few years) that was taken by a professional photographer. LinkedIn is a professional networking site and that’s how you want to portray yourself. Relegate the candid shots to your personal social media pages.
- Use your first and last name (at least). If there are a gazillion people who share your name, you may need to add your middle name or initial, but put your full name out there. If you are a married woman, you may want to also use your maiden name so you can be found by people who knew you when. Don’t use just your first name and last initial. People will think you’re hiding. And if you’re hiding, why are you on a professional networking site?
- Your name, Part 2: Use capitals and lower case. Please don’t use all lower case. It looks like you don’t care. If you don’t care, why should anyone else?
- Your name, Part 3: LinkedIn is a U.S. company and its computers are set up to recognize that what you input first is your given name and the second word is your family name. In some countries, the family name comes first.
- Make your headline sing. You’ve got a limited amount of space to appeal to your prospective customers or employers. Use plain language – say what you do and how you help others.
- Get rid of the initials and acronyms in your headline. Realtors are notorious for this. They are understandably proud of their professional designations, but the general public has no clue what they mean. All they do is take up valuable space you can put to better use. You can add those acronyms in the summary, with a full explanation of what they are.
- Use keywords. This relates to your headline as well as to the body of your profile. Imagine you are looking for someone with your qualifications and experience. What would you search for? Pepper those keywords (three to five) throughout your profile, including your headline.
- Fill out as much as you possibly can on your profile. You never know what will resonate with a reader. Maybe you went to the same school or belong to the same fraternal organization or grew up in the same city. Your goal is to connect on a personal level; people do business with (and hire) people they know. You want people to know as much about you as is appropriate. Emphasis on “appropriate”… I would not include kinky sexual practices, for example – you might like watching Lynda Leigh in lesbian mode, and good for you, but it doesn’t need to be on your profile.
- It’s not about you, it’s about them. Your summary should contain about three paragraphs about who you are, written in first person; the rest should focus on who you serve and how you can resolve their pain points.
- Use plain language throughout. You may be killer at MSCA and submitting HCS codes, as well as generating OKOS demonstrations – but what does that mean? What does a supply chain manager do, anyway? Use terms that the general public will understand and in a way that shows your underlying skill set. This is especially important if you are looking for a new job in an unrelated industry.
These are just a few of the ways to create a killer LinkedIn profile, but it’s a good start. What’s one thing you can do today to improve your LinkedIn profile? Please share in the comments!