Wondering whether to create a LinkedIn Profile? Professionals everywhere have begun to lean on LinkedIn as a way to keep connected to the professional community. If you’re like me you have probably known a few people to even get job offers via LinkedIn. It is truly is an amazing platform for all professionals, no matter what field you are in.
If you’re like the 27 million other professionals in the UK or the 92% of Fortune 500 companies use LinkedIn, then you already have a LinkedIn login and you use it regularly. The real question is, are you using it to its full potential? When you create a LinkedIn account, it definitely isn’t as simple as it seems. I want to take you through how to optimise your LinkedIn profile to how to stand out to prospective employers. The truth is, to create a LinkedIn profile that stands out is a whole lot more than just a nice picture and catchy headline.
We will go over how to build a professional profile, how to network, how to use LinkedIn assets, and so much more. Think of this as the ultimate guide to LinkedIn as a social media tool. Every section is full of diverse information that will help you on your way to optimal LinkedIn success. Each section of this guide will work to create a LinkedIn account for business as well. What use is a good tool if you don’t take advantage of all its abilities? I’ll show you how to take advantage of every facet of LinkedIn to upgrade your profile to its full potential.
Create a LinkedIn Profile
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If you are like I once was when I first started on LinkedIn, your profile might seem a little boring, even to you. Your LinkedIn sign in was a dull experience and your feed was bland as ever. I didn’t even have a background! My profile was a simple photo I had taken on my phone, a very average headline featuring my job description, a summary that didn’t really tell a story, and a few jobs I had had recently.
While my previous profile might sound pretty normal (because it is) the reality is that you can create a LinkedIn profile that can be truly unique. LinkedIn provides an opportunity to dress up your profile with more than just information. LinkedIn has a platform for every profile to tell a story about the user as an individual.
Think about it like this, if you were a company looking for opportunities to reach out on LinkedIn, would you be inclined to choose a profile like the one I used to have or a profile that has details, obvious effort, and interaction with others on the platform? The answer is simple, you would pick the person you feel like you know and appears as someone who engages. You can do all that with a LinkedIn profile? Yes, you can!
Step 1: Learn the Basics to create a LinkedIn Profile
While you can hire a LinkedIn account creator to do the heavy lifting for you, I highly recommend setting up your profile in LinkedIn on your own. You are the expert on who you are, where you’ve been, and only you can speak in your voice.
The basics to create a LinkedIn profile that will stand out begins with photos. Don’t be afraid to use a professional photo. It doesn’t seem as stuffy as you think. I happen to have a kind photographer friend who was able to snap a few real, but very professional looking headshots for me. The appearance of my profile instantly perked up. It was like coffee on a 6 am flight. A professional photo can make all the difference in your LinkedIn profile.
Next, I invested time in a background photo that reflected my profession. A simple google search will get you free LinkedIn background photos that will add a sense of uniqueness to your profile while sharing information about who you are and what you do. Since it is the largest photo on your profile, it’s the best way to grab the attention of viewers and engage them.
Finishing off the top portion, your headline. Your headline does not have to be just a job title. Instead, make it about you and how you see your role. “Innovative Engineer with a Passion for Science” is more informative than, “Engineer at Engineer Company”. Let your headline do some of the talking, and then you can focus on storytelling in your summary.
Here are some excellent LinkedIn profile examples:
Step 2: Create a LinkedIn Profile with a Stand Out Summary
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The first rule of summaries, do not leave out your LinkedIn summary! Unlike Fight Club, you should talk about your summary. It’s the best way for a potential employer to get to know you and decide if you are a good fit. It sounds like a lot of pressure, right? Fear not, I have you covered. The first step is to relax, take a deep breath, and think about who you are and why you love your profession.
A summary on LinkedIn is an opportunity to share your story, so try not to list off former jobs or skills. Instead, breathe some life into it by describing your favorite past job experience and why you enjoyed it. Use the skills you acquired at each position to build on to the next experience. You can use the summary to tell your history in a way that is relatable and shows that you care.
Taking the time to create a LinkedIn profile and work on a summary is a commitment that will not go unnoticed. Employers will undoubtedly notice how unique and engaging your summary is, especially after sifting through about 100 other profiles. The best thing about LinkedIn is, nothing is set in stone. If you decide you want to change your summary, you can. If you need to work on it bit by bit, that is perfectly acceptable. Taking time to do this one step to the best of your ability can have a huge payoff.
Step 3: Networking on LinkedIn
The next step to create a LinkedIn profile, whether it is personal or to create a LinkedIn account for business, you will probably be prompted to make some connections. Do this! At first, I made the mistake of only connecting with people I actually knew in real life, similar to how I use Facebook. While you should use real-life connections too, establishing an online network is extremely important.
LinkedIn will suggest people in your field to connect with. once I began to request any and everyone suggested to me, my network grew and I began to engage with people that were knowledgeable in my profession and were well connected to other people in my field. You could say I swiped right on everyone, but I definitely didn’t regret it. While I did come across a few bots, it was worth it.
Networking on LinkedIn has the prospect of connecting you with people who share the same ideals and the same passions as you. Later we will go over engaging with posts, using endorsements, and mentions.
Step 4: Creating Posts
Creating engaging LinkedIn posts can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember to be authentic and use your storytelling skills to draw the reader in. While you might see some posts with flashy videos or an intense montage of photos to click through, this is not the best practice. When I think about social media, I think quick. Scrolling, liking, occasional comments, moving on. Profiles LinkedIn can showcase the best are active profiles.
By using text as the main star of your posts, you invite the reader to engage on their level. Providing a link for more information is the way to go for all social media postings. Social engagement is down by 50% in the last few years, but basic text posts are generating more comments, likes, and views on LinkedIn. Simple can be better, so don’t worry about making your posts complicated or fancy, just be yourself.
Step 5: Skillset Assessments
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Here it is, the dreaded skillset assessments. I know, tests aren’t that fun, but these tests will be posted to your profile and make you look like the knowledgeable professional that you are. Additionally, candidates with verified skill sets are 30% more likely to be hired. Displaying that you are skilled in a measurable way is a great way to get noticed on LinkedIn.
If you’re an expert in:
- Google Ads
Or any other skillsets, take the quizzes. If you’re going for a topic you aren’t as confident in, keep in mind you only get 2 chances to complete the quiz and earn a badge. You definitely want to make sure you are focused when you take the quizzes. Badges will be displayed on your profile and available for other connections to endorse. Skillsets ensure you will create a LinkedIn profile that no one will pass up.
Step 6: Create A LinkedIn Profile With Great Endorsements
An endorsement is one of the useful LinkedIn tools that isn’t utilised nearly enough. Endorsements increase your credibility to people who view your profile while highlighting services or skills that you excel in. When you create a LinkedIn profile without endorsements, your profile can end up looking bland. So, how do you get endorsements?
Go through your network and look for connections that you’ve worked with that you can endorse. It’s really that simple. Once you endorse connections that you feel have proven their skills, they might just turn around and endorse your right back. If you haven’t worked with many of your connections, you can also reach out to people who have used your services and politely ask for endorsements. The worst thing they can do is say no, but the best thing they can do is say yes! It’s worth a try for the credibility and the chance to stand out.
Step 7: Recommendations
Recommendations are similar to customer reviews and testimonials. They can really bump up your profile from simply being you talking about yourself, to others showcasing what they think of you and your work. These testimonials can really illustrate what it’s like to work with you and can generate more interest than a simple headline and summary.
You can receive recommendations by using the drop-down menu in the recommendations portion of your LinkedIn profiles that will suggest specific connections to ask for a recommendation from. Think about who would have the most knowledge of your services and reach out to them with a personalised message. It really can make all the difference and chances are, they will write a lovely review for your profile.
Step 8: Following Inspirational Companies and Influencers
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When you create a LinkedIn profile, be sure to seek out companies you find inspiring and influencers in your field. This is the best way to keep your feed engaging and to find posts you want to share with your network. That’s right, you don’t have to come up with all original content. What a relief! Engaging with influencers and companies will also get you noticed by other people that follow them. It’s a wonderful way to meet even more connections with similar interests.
To be honest, I don’t just follow people in my field. There are also other avenues to journey down like experts in other fields like:
- Job searching
- Personal Branding
While following people in your field is important, it can get a little overwhelming. Adding other types of content into the mix will keep your feed from becoming stale and you can share different types of posts from time to time.
Step 9: Commenting and Mentions
You absolutely want to comment on relevant posts. It is essential to getting your name out there and connecting with even more people that share your professional interests. That being said, always make sure you are commenting something that you are comfortable being associated with your brand. You don’t want to post a comment that you will later regret. It happens to us all, but being mindful is a good way to avoid post comment regret.
Using mentions is something LinkedIn will prompt you to do as well. You can mention a connection in a post or comment on someone else’s post. This is an excellent way to keep up with networking and generate conversation, all while ensuring you are engaging on the platform. You can always mention someone with a quick comment to start a conversation on a post or you can create a post with a specific connection.
Step 10: Assess Shares and Comments
Once you have been active in your network regularly, you can use the information you gain from shares and comments to see which posts and comments have gotten the most attention. Use this information to showcase skills or services that have been received as the most positive within your network.
By utilising this information, you will be able to cater directly to those in your field and employers that are searching for specific skills and portfolios. While it might seem like a small task, it’s actually quite important and can lead to more success on LinkedIn.
Presenting Your New and Improved LinkedIn Profile
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I hope this guide gave you some useful advice on how to create a LinkedIn profile that stands out. I know that this might seem like a lot of information at once, but don’t be afraid to take your time implementing each step. The more care and time you take building your profile, the better chance you have at presenting your best profile for LinkedIn.
You now have the knowledge to
- Utilise professional photos
- Write a killer headline and summary
- Showcase Skillsets
- Create engaging posts
- Use all comments, recommendations, and endorsements
Your profile now has the potential to showcase your true skillset, which will be extremely valuable to companies looking to hire new talent. The endorsements and recommendations will be essential to get noticed. Learning to use comments and posts to engage with your network might take some time, but it can make a world of difference.
If you are interested in learning more about building your professional presence on social media, check out the Social Selling Coach Blog for videos and tools on how to use LinkedIn to improve your Social Selling Index score. Get your score for free! If you’re also interested in how to create a LinkedIn COmpany profile ready our useful article here How to create a LinkedIn Company Page that will get you noticed.
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