How to build an all-star LinkedIn profile
With two new users signing up every second, if you’re a professional looking to build your network, find new customers, or increase your credibility in your industry, there’s no better network than LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an online directory of individuals and organisations, which is used for professional networking, business development, research and insight and job hunting/recruitment. A good profile makes a great first impression, whether you’re connecting with customers, putting yourself on the market for a new role or simply looking to connect with likeminded professionals.
So whether you class yourself as a complete newbie or a networking pro, here are some top tips to help you build your all-star profile and give your LinkedIn presence a facelift.
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Your profile picture is the first thing people will see when they search or come across you on LinkedIn, so it needs to make a good first impression; a cropped photo from a night out is not the best way to portray yourself! Your picture should be recent and should look like you. A head and shoulders shot against a plain background is ideal, but don’t be afraid to get creative and use shots from around the board room table, or where you’re not looking at the camera – these can often be the most eye catching!
Your background photo sits behind your profile photo is a great place to showcase your company – use something visually engaging in order to grab users’ attention.
The headline and summary section of your profile are a great place to show a bit of personality. The Headline section doesn’t have to just show your role – use it to explain a bit more about who you are and what you do in order to make your profile stand out.
The summary section is a great place to tell your story; don’t be modest! Try not to use buzzwords such as ‘excellent’ ‘motivated’ ‘leadership’ ‘experienced’ and ‘focused’ – they are so overused that they have lost a lot of their meaning and come across as fake. Instead, try and talk about your experience, how you add value, your USPs etc.
As well as listing out your previous roles and responsibilities and educational achievements, it’s also important to list your top skills. Your connections can then endorse you for these skills, adding real substance to your profile. These skills act as keywords, so make sure that instead of selecting all of them, you choose ones which are relevant to you, and more importantly, ones that you want other people to associate you with.
Getting recommendations is a bit more time consuming, but they can really help your cause; try sending out a message to connections that know you well professionally – and offer to write them a recommendation in return. Just like reviews – this type of third party content is invaluable to reconfirm what you’re saying about yourself.
You can start by importing your contacts list, which will give you a basic list of connections. LinkedIn will then start offering up ‘People you May Know’ to help you build up your network. Connections are more likely to be accepted if you include a personal note so take the time to explain how you know the person – or why you want to get to know them!
Once you’ve built your network – make sure you engage; like and comment on their posts, offer up opinions and thoughts and share posts with a note to explain what you found interesting about them. In doing this, more people will see your name, thus building your network and helping you to build a reputation of authority.
Once you’ve done this, you should start seeing much more activity on your LinkedIn account – be sure to keep up with it and keep an eye on what’s going on. Checking in daily should help you stay up to date. You can even start sharing original content through LinkedIn articles (underneath the status update box) – which allows you to effectively ‘blog’ through LinkedIn.
If you’re interested in learning how you can get even more out of LinkedIn, or how you can make it work from a business perspective, find out more about joining us for an exclusive LinkedIn Training session!