LinkedIn is a unique social media platform, which requires users to take up an air of professionalism in their conduct, content, and communication. To help make this process easier, we have listed some handy LinkedIn profile tips which will help portray your profile in the best way possible.
Previously, we wrote an article relating to social media manners, with LinkedIn being mentioned in further detail. However, after grasping the social etiquettes of LinkedIn as described within that post, your main focus should certainly be on creating a more professional LinkedIn profile.
Why Do I Need LinkedIn Profile Tips?
Despite being a social network in every sense of the word, LinkedIn is also an excellent way to market yourself, your services and your business. Your profile should always be in a state in which it’s appealing to potential co-workers.
It is also vital that the content you communicate to your connections is both relevant and beneficial.
However, all too often, LinkedIn profiles are overlooked or cast aside by potential business partners or employers due to a number of unprofessional practices carried out within public profiles. To help alleviate these mistakes, you should definitely take a look at our 15 LinkedIn profile tips below.
1. Perfect Your Profile Headline
Whilst browsing LinkedIn, the first thing users will notice is your profile headline. Your name, profession and location are highlighted, followed by your immediate past, education, and number of connections.
This information is crucial. Ensure that within your LinkedIn profile settings your information is correctly spelled, up to date and set out in a readable fashion. Anything less than perfect will tarnish your profile – if users even bother to investigate at all.
2. Write About Your Past and Present Roles
Listing your current and past roles is usually not enough information to get your message across. Whether you have worked for different companies, or have simply switched roles within the same company, it is a good practice to detail your responsibilities within each role.
Mentioning and detailing your current role will naturally put your profile in a position which is appealing to potential connections and colleagues. Yet at the same time, making mention of past jobs and roles – even when they are unrelated to your current role, will be of benefit to others who wish to investigate your employment history.
3. Include a Call to Action
Aside from general communication and content sharing, one of the main goals of using LinkedIn should be to convert connections and profile viewers into customers or co-workers. To do this, you’ll need to incorporate a call to action somewhere within your LinkedIn profile.
You could easily make use of LinkedIn’s pre-set website linking feature, but a more effective method would be to incorporate specific links within a body of the text, asking your reader to “Click Here” for more information about your product or service.
4. Source and Offer Testimonials
A great way to focus on your skills and attributes within your LinkedIn profile is to source co-workers or past employers to write you a short testimonial. Testimonials can be inserted into your profile, making it look full of relevant, well-rounded content.
Additionally, writing up testimonials for others can be a great benefit. Users who visit profiles where you have a testimonial published will automatically assume you that you are an authority figure in the given field, or are at least professional enough to have given a through testimonial of somebody else.
5. Create & Take Part in Groups
One of the many social features of LinkedIn is a group discussion. Users can create and join groups related to their specific industry or interest, and discuss the issues or advancements of that particular topic.
In order to engage with LinkedIn users who are interested in your industry, it is vital that you actively participate in such discussions, by either creating new groups or joining an existing one. The results will speak for themselves, as you will find yourself deep in discussion with a number of people who may wish to connect or even work with you in the future.
6. Find and Connect With Classmates
Connecting with old classmates can substantially increase your connections count, and may even be of benefit in terms of business. Also, you may be able to find an old friend who works in an industry like yours.
To track down an old school or college buddy, head over to the LinkedIn Classmates page, where you can enter the name of your school or college, along with a time filter to focus on the years you attended. You can then freely browse through the list until you see a familiar face.
7. Mention Upcoming Projects
Many LinkedIn users prefer to stick to the past. They mention a long list of their earlier posts and roles, yet often forget to even mention any upcoming projects or aspirations. Mentioning your future plans on your LinkedIn profile will stir up interest in that particular plan, as well as paint you in an ambitious light.
LinkedIn provides its users with a section named “Projects”, where you can list, detail and link to any upcoming project, businesses or websites you may have under construction. This can be especially useful for those looking for employees, partners or investors for future business endeavors.
8. Use Relevant Keywords
Like almost any other internet based search engine, users and content can be quickly found by anybody searching for specific keywords or phrases. Naturally, for greatest effect, these keywords will be directly related to your niche, skills or industry.
It would certainly be worth your while to browse profiles within the same industry as yours and pick out the keywords which they have commonly used. You can then selectively and tastefully add these keywords to your profile within a body of text.
9. Don’t Lie
The same rule applies to LinkedIn as it does to any résumé or social networking profile. The Internet is a vast place, and thus lies are usually always found out. Not to mention, many of your connections will be friends, family or co-workers, who will immediately realize that you have been untruthful.
Not only are lies about your past or current role misleading and unhelpful, but they will create an air of distrust among your connections, and indeed among your peers in real life. Sticking to the truth is integral to growth and prosperity both socially, and financially.
10. Use LinkedIn Badges
Promoting your LinkedIn profile on other platforms is a great way to drive traffic to your profile, increase connections and even convert a customer, client or business partner. Thankfully, LinkedIn makes it extremely easy to do just that.
Within the LinkedIn Badges page, you will notice 10 variations of buttons or text links which can be embedded into your website, or anywhere else across the Internet. Large and small buttons are provided, making it easy and convenient to share your profile with others.
11. Use an Appropriate Profile Picture
Your profile picture is one of the first things noticed by LinkedIn users. Always make your picture appropriate and of a high quality. Nothing is worse that a badly sized, low-quality image of you from a late night out.
It’s important to remember that your image should be presentable, yet at the same time, relevant. If you are a Car Mechanic, for example, a picture of you in a tuxedo would look out-of-place.
12. Quality Over Quantity
Although it is good practice to list and detail you current and earlier posts, it is vital that you maintain a good balance between content quantity and content quality when talking about yourself.
LinkedIn is the perfect environment to pitch your product or service, but do it in a way which is casual and brief, whilst keeping it all related to you as an individual. After all, nobody wants to read through marketing content on a social networking website.
13. Mention All Education
Many LinkedIn users prefer to keep their listed educational accomplishments to a minimum, keeping it strictly relevant to their current job or role. However, building up a list of all your qualifications can be very beneficial, especially for other professionals who wish to know more about your past.
Qualifications/Achievements which relate to previous job roles should certainly be listed, as well as any qualifications which you hope can open up opportunities in the future. Listing your qualifications will also help you get found in the search engines for those specific keywords. This will, in turn, drive more traffic to your profile.
14. Avoid Buzzwords
A common trap which many LinkedIn users fall into, is the overuse of buzzwords. These include words such as creative, motivated, responsible, etc. These words are used far too often by far too many LinkedIn users. Thus, their impact is minimal, at best.
In fact, using such buzzwords can even detract from the professional image of your profile. Stick to explaining what you do, instead of how you do it. Keep descriptions about your personality to a minimum, and avoid common buzzwords throughout your introduction text and profile.
15. Make Personal Connections
Making Connections on LinkedIn is one of the foundations of the social network. When making your connections, it is advised that you take some extra time to personalize the message that your intended user will receive their notification.
Leaving a personalized message makes you seem more proactive and helpful, which will not only increase the chance of your connection request being accepted but will also give the user a good impression of you, even before they visit your profile.
Applying some professionalism to your LinkedIn profile is an absolute must if you want to appeal to those who surf the popular social network in search of a business partner, colleague or employee. Avoiding common pitfalls will make the difference, and allow your profile to stand out from the ever-growing online crowd.
By closely following the 15 steps listed above, your LinkedIn profile will be looking more sophisticated, eloquent and professional in almost no time at all.