Standing out in a very crowded social network isn’t easy. Here’s 6 tips for a LinkedIn profile that commands attention and gets you noticed by the right people.
1) Tell Your Story in the first person
When people or brands look for valuable connections or potential candidates on LinkedIn (or anywhere for that matter) they’re looking for an individual. They’re not interested in a profile full of text copied and pasted from various ‘How To’ articles.
The internet’s made many things slightly less formal. Your summary should be told by you, as you, not as a third person reporting on your career and personal attributes and achievements. When you meet people in person or interact on other social networks do you talk in the third person? No, so why write your bio as one on LinkedIn?
2) Think about your target audience
Think about where it is you want to take your career, everything from location through to any specific brands that interest you should be in mind when creating your profile. If you’re in a creative industry, or looking for a career in one then listing skills such as spreadsheets probably isn’t the best use of the space allowed on LinkedIn.
There’s nothing wrong with researching profiles of others in a similar role to yourself to see what they’ve included, just don’t create a carbon copy of another users profile.
3) Highlight key achievements
Specifically stating what you’ve achieved in your career is important. People may have all the qualifications in the world but never achieve anything. Potential employers want to quickly see what benefits you would bring to their organisation.
4) Avoid buzzwords but carefully include keywords
Using buzzwords such as driven and expert may sound OK but they are both in the top ten overused words on LinkedIn and don’t stand out. Think about your specific industry or role and carefully include keywords that you feel are important and you would search for to find contacts. Don’t overdo it though, as it will just look like obvious keyword stuffing.
5) Use media
LinkedIn profiles can now include media such as imagery and links to articles or sites your associated with. Using media not only adds extra interest to your profile but also allows you to direct people to a whole host of different examples of your work.
6) Don’t let it stagnate
Continually updating and optimising your profile is key. Make sure that new projects, achievements, qualifications or any other news about you is added and showcased on your bio. If you write a blog or run your own site then make sure that you link to new content rather than articles that were written years ago.
Sharing relevant content regularly with other users and joining groups will also help to keep you coming back to LinkedIn, encouraging you to update your details.
7) Stop using a comical or poor quality profile photo. Please.
Just stop, leave this sort of thing for Facebook. Have you ever seen a LinkedIn profile tips article advising the use of a ‘funny’ profile image?
8) Get your headline right
The first thing that new connections, recruiters or potential employers will see on your profile is your headline. Getting it right is important to catching people’s eye and getting the right attention. Your headline should be specific and angled at your intended audience, it should quickly tell people what you can offer and why they should stay and read more about you.