LinkedIn: 10 Tips to build a powerful profile
When I first created my profile on LinkedIn, 14 years ago, the platform was mostly a job board. Then, it evolved into a networking platform and lately into a (mostly) professional content platform.
LinkedIn is important for you if you’re:
- looking for a job
- creating and developing your personal brand
- working in business development
- an entrepreneur
- a human being who wants to have a relevant online professional presence
After working on my own brand and presence on LinkedIn and also working with hundreds of clients looking for jobs or entrepreneurs, here are my 10 tips for building a powerful presence:
- LinkedIn is a search engine. Just like Google, it has algorithms for indexing the content and delivering it to the people searching in it. And there are a lot of searches happening on LinkedIn. To make sure people finding your profile are the right ones for you, check-out your profile – your dashboard – search appearances. Are the keywords you find there relevant for you? By the way, if you see less than 500 views on your profile for the last 90 days, you’re practically invisible on LinkedIn and you need a lot of work. (I can help you with that)
- Photos are worth more than 1,000 words. First, make sure you have a professional, updated profile photo. According to LinkedIn data, a profile with a good photo receives 21x more views, 36x more messages and 9x more connection requests. Secondly, adding a background photo on your profile helps you add more information and get traction on your profile.
- The Headline content field is critical for Personal Branding. That’s where you need to have a brief description of who you are and what you do in the form of a short sentence or a sequence of relevant keywords. Think of yourself as a product – how would you best describe it to be relevant to your target audience? (Let me know if you need to bounce off ideas on this)
- The About section is where you need to have your ‘elevator pitch’. Expand your headline into a sequence of sentences that showcase the most relevant information, Key Performance Indicators and best skills that represent you as a professional. Numbers and metrics are important and drive the reader more interested in learning more about you.
- The Skills section is very important, as well. If you have more than 10 skills there, you’ve probably never paid any attention to this section and LinkedIn selected the skills for you. Make an inventory of the skills you find there and keep only the ones most relevant for you. Especially the top 3 skills that show-up before you click on ‘more’. Consider this: when you think of a product you love and use, can you point-out more than 3-5 major features of that product? That’s exactly how the skills work for your profile.
- Recommendations. Probably one of the most underrated sections, yet one of the most important. The recommendations you received from peers, clients, partners, bosses, etc. are the only pieces of content that qualify as “social proof”. They are the only ones that testify that you are who you say you are and that your expertise and experience are true. In a digital world full of fake news and information, this is critical.
- Always expand your network. You have less than a thousand connections? You’re invisible. Constantly connect with relevant people. Yes, quality is very important, however, you also need quantity. It’s very crowded on LinkedIn, you need greater exposure to be visible and stand out for your target audience.
- Engage with your network. Having an expanding network is great. Having a non-existing interaction level is not. The quality of your presence is the quality of your contribution to your network. And that’s done through interactions: engage with your connections’ content; like/share/comment.
- Create and share your own content. The engagement gives your profile a great boost in relevance for LinkedIn. It also tells people that view your profile that you are an expert in your field, you have solid opinions and generate quality content.
- Don’t copy/paste your resume on your profile or attach it to your profile. Your LinkedIn presence is not a placeholder for your job search. It’s your online professional reputation. You are not your resume. You are not your past, present or future job. You are much more than that.
I hope this helped you tune-up your LinkedIn profile and presence. I’m here if you want to chat about more specific insights.
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