Easy and effective ways to optimise your LinkedIn profile
It’s time to face facts. You need to show your LinkedIn profile some love. The good news is that transforming your profile into something that knocks spots off the competition and wows new connections needn’t take all night. Here are simple, effective ways to optimise your profile to help it stand out in a crowd of 430 million.
Dream scenario: you put your feet up while recruiters, employers and clients come to you. But thanks to LinkedIn’s search algorithm, that’s not going to happen unless you’ve filled in the necessary bits and bobs that LinkedIn asks you for. The more complete your profile, the better your chances of being found. So while you may not think it matters where you went to school, LinkedIn reckons otherwise. Sweat the small stuff.
Your summary is the most important part of your profile. It makes sense to get it right. Do yourself a favour and drop the buzzwords and business jargon. Be yourself. Sprinkle your summary with your personality and identity - it will make your profile far more engaging and enjoyable to read. Try to share some recent achievements. If you can quantify them, even better. (E.g. Led a team that increased sales by 25%.)
It’s not all about words. LinkedIn allows you to include photos and videos in your profile summary. This is prime real estate for showing snippets of your work or images of projects you have worked on. It breaks up the words. It adds credibility to your profile. And it engages your reader. Show them what you’ve got.
In terms of getting found by recruiters or clients, the Current Title field is absolutely key. If you leave it blank, it’s extremely unlikely you will be found. Between jobs? No problem. Just state your profession and add something like “in training” or “looking for a new opportunity” to the Company field. You’ll end up with a current title like: Animator in training” or “Design engineer looking for a new opportunity”. Done.
If you don’t have a profile picture, you need one. Your profile just looks weird and unloved without it. That’s not to say any old thing will do. LinkedIn is strewn with profile pics that have obviously been taken on a uni night out or in the throes of some debauched holiday in Magaluf. It doesn’t exactly scream professionalism, does it? If you are unsure of what sort of thing to go for - or even what you should wear - have a snoop around other profiles belonging to professionals in your sector and do something similar.
Ever tried sharing a link to your LinkedIn profile? You don’t have to settle for that weird string of numbers and letters. You can tweak your profile URL, replacing the random alphanumerics with whatever you choose - e.g. linked.com/elsiedoesdesign or linked.com/robmakeslamps. Go to edit profile. Just below your profile photo, in the tiniest font size ever, will be your profile URL. Hover over it and click the settings icon. Away you go.
Another way to get noticed on LinkedIn is to make some noise. LinkedIn allows you to publish your own content - or share blog posts that you’ve written. It’s a great way to comment on the latest news and developments in your industry and establish yourself as an expert - or at least someone who knows their stuff and stays in the loop. Way to boost your credibility! Just remember to keep it relevant. There’s enough white noise out there without you telling your entire network about the new sandwich shop across the road from your office.
Groups are ten-a-penny on LinkedIn and give you a great way to make new connections with fellow professionals. You can join up to 50 and get busy gossiping about the latest industry news. Or your insufferable client who still hasn’t paid you. You choose.
LinkedIn automatically updates your network when you change something about your profile, such as your photo. If you’re conducting a major overhaul of your profile and would rather keep it on the down low, go to settings and find the link in your privacy controls to disable activity broadcasts.
Ready to go?
Creating a rock star LinkedIn profile needn’t take any longer than half a day. Tops. Whether you are a freelancer trying to attract new clients, a graduate trying to find a job, or simply want to make the right impression with people who are already in your network, a well-watered LinkedIn profile can do a lot of the legwork for you - showing you off as the drop-dead awesome professional that we all know you are. Go get ‘em!