Make a lasting impression with these simple and easy tips to improve your LinkedIn profile.
Whatever the business you’re in, it pays to invest the time and effort required to build a robust LinkedIn Profile.
Along with Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is now a cornerstone of social media networking. In fact, many business owners use LinkedIn without the other networks, preferring the platform’s professionalism and more commercial approach to online connectivity. The network now boasts over 259 million monthly active users.
There are many great tips online to update your LinkedIn Profile. Here are a few to get you started.
Use a professional photo
Unlike Facebook or other social networking sites, your LinkedIn Profile photo should be all business. It’s a big mistake to use that photo a friend snapped while you were skiing, scuba diving, or out partying. You only have a second to catch the attention of a visitor and convey a positive first impression.
You don’t have to hire a professional photographer to take a good picture (although that may be ideal). Get a colleague or family member to take a few pictures of you, using a quality camera in a well-lit area. The image should capture you from the shoulders up.
Complete all sections of your profile
LinkedIn encourages you to complete all sections of your profile by giving you a “Profile Strength” rating on the right side of the screen (your goal should be “All Star” status). While there are other profile sections you should complete, start by filling up the key sections of Summary, Experience and Education. Add some information under Organizations (clubs, groups or associations you may belong to), Honours and Awards (those trophies on your shelf), and Volunteer Experience & Causes (to demonstrate how you give back to your community). For ideas on best practices, visit the profiles of other people in your industry.
Create your own LinkedIn URL
LinkedIn assigns a random number to your profile address, but you can elect to create a customized URL to include your name. It’s a good move because you may want to include your LinkedIn profile address in your email signature, businesses card and website.
In “Edit Profile”, click on the “Edit” link beside your profile URL (which appears under your photo) and then click on “customize your public profile URL”. If available, use your full first name. You want to end up with something like ca.linkedin.com/in/janedoe.
Aim to secure at least one recommendation for each job, business or project listed in your experiences section. It will help to add third-party credibility to your self-written profile. Hit the “Edit Profile” button and click on “Ask to be recommended”. Be careful to invite people whom you think will provide a positive and thoughtful recommendation. Don’t worry about what they might return because you have the chance to accept or reject each recommendation.
Except for perhaps lying about an experience or accomplishment, nothing discredits your LinkedIn Profile like a spelling mistake. Similar to a typo on your resume, a spelling or grammatical error may suggest to the reader that you don’t really care about accuracy, details or doing things properly. A little misstep here will distract the reader from the impressive words about your work experience, qualifications and community involvement. Carefully proofread all sections – and consider asking a colleague or friend to double-check spelling for you.
Add a bio video
One of the best ways to help make your profile stand out is to add a bio video. About 60 seconds in length, a bio video is you talking informally about your background, your passions, your experiences and your ambitions. It adds needed dimension to all those text sections. And, a bio video is an exciting feature to share with your connections and will help to pull them to your profile.
You can make a bio video yourself, or hire a videographer to work with you. Just make sure it looks professional.
Click on “Edit Profile” and scroll down to the section where you want to add video. The editing tools will appear in blue next to the headers for each section. Click on “upload a file” to add a video, image, document or presentation. Be sure to hit “done editing” when your upload is complete.
While making these changes, turn off activity broadcast
Don’t forget that LinkedIn likes to share your activities – and that includes edits to your profile. You can update your LinkedIn Profile without triggering updates to your connections by simply turning off your broadcast activity temporarily. It’s a wise move when you are making a lot of changes at once. LinkedIn Help Centre offers these instructions to show or hide activity updates.
It doesn’t take much to keep your LinkedIn Profile fresh and effective. Go online to pick up other tips, study what other people are doing with their profiles, and access the help offered by LinkedIn itself to maximize your results from this very powerful networking and marketing tool.
As an entrepreneur, what is your LinkedIn strategy? Please share your thoughts with the YouInc community below.