Wondering how to optimize your LinkedIn profile? We are some key tips for you!
Most of us use LinkedIn quite frequently. Whether it is for job hunting or searching for new prospects, visiting LinkedIn is a regular feature of our professional career. However, very few of us check their LinkedIn profile daily. We go through so many changes in our careers – achievements, accomplishments, certifications, and upgrades. Yet, so many of us get stuck in the initial description and never update it with the latest achievements.
If you have an active profile on LinkedIn, people will look at your profile to judge you as a professional. If you don’t remember the last time you opened and edited your profile, you should be concerned. Every time you apply for jobs or a recruiter search for you, they are Googling you.
They are reading through your skills and summary section to understand how you have persisted in the industry for so long. By neglecting your LinkedIn profile, you are doing yourself a disservice and not showcasing all the hard work and achievements over the years.
The most significant benefit of a completed LinkedIn profile is that it can boost your chances of being noticed by recruiters and potential employers. It will not only help with your job hunt, but it will also make people more likely to want to connect with you because they have a good understanding of where you are in your career and can decide if connecting with you is advantageous or not.
That said, in this article we will explore how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and help you get started.
Tips On How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn has crossed half a billion members worldwide, so you never know who is opening your profile and where your next job offer will come from.
Even if you have kept up with the times and updated your profile throughout the changes, you can still do so many things to give your profile a professional touch. If an employer is contacting you from half the way across the world, you have to show the potential. You never know how many chances you are missing out on.
Let’s get straight into the tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Using Professional Headshot As Your Profile Photo
So, how to optimize your LinkedIn profile? Start with the profile picture. The profile picture is not just a filler. You cannot only upload any photo because you want to get rid of the default blue icon. Getting your headshot taken by a professional is not for industry leaders anymore.
You are your brand, and your headshot is one of the biggest elements in creating the persona and look you are trying to sell. Spend some time and money to find a photographer who can do justice to your headshot. Believe us; it will be worth it. There is a reason so many successful people use professional headshots.
How you present yourself to the world is exactly how they will see you. This means no photos by the beach, no selfies, nothing that does not strictly fit your industry’s standards. Even if you are starting and have minimal professional experience, there is no excuse for you not to use a professional photographer for creating the perfect headshot.
How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline
Think of your headline as the shortest sell pitch you are using to attract employers. The character limit is small, and it can be very limiting when you are trying to express yourself adequately. But it would be even more difficult for you to express yourself if you have not worked on optimizing this headline. By default, LinkedIn will use your current job title as the headline. This is incredibly limiting when your current position is not the only thing you are doing, or your job description is not inclusive of everything you can do.
Reflect your true self with the help of this headline. Do not just leave it as customer consulting. You can add a customer consulting expert focusing on people management, customer management, and relationships.
Don’t be shy to highlight your many skills. If there is anything worth knowing, this is a value add.
This will also act as a guideline and attracting feature for employers and recruiters to explore more by digging deep into your profile. If possible, try to keep the skills or titles around two or three. This is the proposal that highlights your value and captures the attention of anyone who visits your profile. Make sure that after reading your headline, people are interested to know more about you.
Explore Yourself In The Summary Section
The first rule of the summary section is that it should strictly follow the guidelines of your industry. This means, if you are from a traditional or conventional industry such as medicine, you have to keep it purely professional. However, if there is a little bit chance to explore yourself, get a bit creative. This section of your bio can give your headline the backup and context it needs to tell people how you came to be. You can expand on your experience, tell people your story, and create a person and people want to know more about.
In today’s world, professionalism is not about only what you write in your resume. People who are going to be working alongside you want to know more about you. They want to know who you are as a person. These are people who will spend 40 to 60 hours of their time working around you and mingling with you every week. If you can tell people how passionate you are, how relatable you are – it will instantly attract them to get to know you more and have you as a coworker.
Keep your summary within five paragraphs. Make it short and give people plenty of breaks to transition from one section to the next. Make sure you include a description of all the industries and all the qualifications you have. This is the main sales pitch of your entire profile. Based on what you have written in the summary section, the visitors will try to decide whether they want to connect with you or pass.
Make your profile summary compelling. Proofread it for all grammatical errors and mistakes and, by all means, ensure that it follows the standard set in your industry by other industry professionals.
Highlight Your Experiences
You’re working hard to show the roles you have played in organizations over the year. Consider this the basis of your LinkedIn profile. When you are writing your profile, make sure you follow the standard practices of resume writing in your industry. You can use plenty of statistics and results to show your accomplishments in the most concise way. This is one of the basics of how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
For example, improved the sales funnel conversion rate by 20% in one year – is a great way to tell people what you have achieved instead of merely writing down that you have worked on improvising the conversion process in your past company. The LinkedIn profile also lets you add plenty of multimedia where you can utilize infographics, audios, and videos to boost the presentation of your portfolio.
Ask For Recommendations
This is an important part of how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. You might have plenty of experience in your workplace and many colleagues who can vouch for your expertise. However, there is no way for others on LinkedIn to know that. Your sphere of influence has to be showcased in your profile through recommendations. And you will never get recommendations unless you actively ask for them.
This does not mean you can start randomly spamming people and beg for recommendations. You have to take charge of sprucing up your profile by connecting the key contacts who have been in touch with you in the workplace. These people have seen what you can do and what you have contributed to the company.
Make sure you go through your list of contacts and prospects well enough to list out a bunch of people who know precisely how well you have performed. This recommendation section should be providing a rounded view of your skills and abilities. If you are not very comfortable asking for recommendations directly, you can, in fact, offer recommendations to other people.
It is easier for you to offer a recommendation and then ask for it. This way, both of you benefit from the situation, and you also make solid contact on LinkedIn that you can depend on.
Ask For Endorsements
LinkedIn has a feature where you can add the skills you have collected through your work experience. But to validate that you have truly accomplished something with these skills, you have to get some endorsements from your peers.
Don’t add way too many endorsements because it can look a little spammy. Reach out to your peers you helped and worked with and ask them to provide a rating on your skillset. If you pick up any new skill, make sure that you add the same on LinkedIn. And then rinse and repeat the same process.
Just like recommendations, endorsements also come with some active networking on your part. Make sure you are connected with your peers from present and past workplace who personally have benefited from your skills. These are the people who can provide the best recommendations and validate your skills.
On the same note, take a look at your skillset. If you have had a change of careers, companies, and roles, you might have listed skills no longer relevant to your job profile. You can remove your irrelevant skill set and focus on adding a few skills boosting up your portfolio.
How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile URL
By default, LinkedIn gives you an URL that you can share with your prospects on LinkedIn and other social media. You can tweet, DM, or even ping your URL to other people so they can find your profile and get to know you better. However, LinkedIn’s standard URL looks a little bit hard to read with lots of numbers and digits. You want to customize it to make it your own. If you have a common name like John Smith, you can add your skillset to make it more customized, such as John Smith technical architect.
You can find the URL edit options by going to your profile settings. The edit button is right next to the URL where you can write your desired address. If you get an error message stating this URL is not available, it usually means it is taken. You might have to get creative and play around with the URL a little more to make it truly unique and relevant to your profile.
Once you have customized your URL, be sure to add it to your other social profiles.
If you send out a tweet talking about something in your industry, you can append the URL in the Tweet. Your Facebook bio and even Instagram can have their LinkedIn URL if they are relevant to your career goals, and there is a chance you can meet your peers on these platforms. Try to remove all the special characters, even if they are a part of your name. This is easier to read and will make it memorable so people can instantly recognize it as your brand.
Many people do not put a lot of importance on these finer details. However, if you want to succeed and show people that you will go the extra mile, it can make all the difference. This is an excellent way of setting yourself apart from the herd.
Ideal Workplace Details
Most LinkedIn profiles usually have all the previous workplace details. There is no need to add your entire workplace details and all the places you have joint unless relevant to your current career goals. You have to focus on the areas that highlight your experience and show your merits. The workplace detail section is not for being historically accurate. It is to provide you with the extra benefit of showing your accomplishments and achievements.
Every time you have a job change, revisit your workplace details to make sure they are still ideal for your situation. You might even want to leave out some of the skills, profiles, and job details from your workplace details to be more relevant to the times.
People only think of refreshing the job experience for their position once they have left the organizations or looking for a new job. But remember, the job descriptions work hard to make you visible to recruiters or prospects in the industry. If you are involved in something interesting, you want others to know so you can find out about more exciting opportunities. Being exceptional should be showcased as soon as possible, so you get more exposure and benefit out of it.
How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Certifications
The skill section shows that you have accomplished something in your career, but there is no proof for prospective interests and recruiters. They need to understand that the skills you are bragging about as actually being honed by you. Certificates are a great way to ensure people know that you have the skill you are talking about. Talent scouts or recruiters are always looking out for people who are experienced in analytics, marketing, sales, etc. Listing out your certification in these areas is just a validation of your skill that not even recommendations can provide. If you have added extra endorsements from your peers on this skill, it strengthens your resume even more.
You can frequent Google or HubSpot to pick out skills and personalize them by adding your name to the certificate. The certificates clearly state when they expire and the skill you have acquired. Some might even give you a license number for practicing as a consultant in this area. Do not leave the certification column in LinkedIn completely blank. If you have a valid certificate for the skills you have endorsed and showcased, make sure you add it for validity and proof.
You can also add a customized certificate URL in the last column so people can take a look at it if they want to. The URLs make it visible to third party users.
If you are experienced in your industry and want to establish yourself as a thought leader, there is no better way to do that than creating and publishing articles. Whereas you can share and link content all you want, it is nice to give people a break from all the pre-created content. When you publish an article, it explains your thoughts and viewpoints in the industry and shows that you have what it takes to be a leader, and you have your ideas that can add value to the company.
Remember, even if it might not be the best place to write articles because there is no excellent visibility, LinkedIn articles are still indexed by Google. If your profile is public, when people search for relevant keywords, they will get to see these articles through the search engine.
You can space out the articles for a few months and put your effort into something trendy and relevant to the industry. Ensure you have enough knowledge about it because there is nothing worse than publishing articles with halfhearted efforts. Other people can see through it, and when they comment or try to discuss the subject with you, you might be landing in a world of trouble for not knowing what you are talking about.
Writing the right articles at the right time can genuinely boost up your profile in a position where people take notice. You can add plenty of multimedia, so it has even more credibility and attractiveness. LinkedIn also allows you to add relevant hashtags. Pick out a catchy title that reflects your thoughts exposed in the article without going into too much detail.
LinkedIn’s organic search is not that great as Google’s, so tagging people and using relevant hashtags will give you the visibility you are looking for.
These are some of the finer points of LinkedIn many professionals overlook. It is easy to create a profile to speak about your strengths and accomplishments, but you have to look deeper if you want to get into the details. LinkedIn has an inbuilt search algorithm, just like Google or other search engines. This means you are not just playing to the interest of your peers; you are also playing for the bots.
For your recruiters and industry experts to find you and take notice of you, you first have to go through all the optimization to make yourself visible to the algorithm. A number of people are vying for attention in the same field, and they are accomplishing a lot more and are not shy to showcase it.
Hopefully, these tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile will help you get into the details of fine-tune your profile and make yourself into the thought leader and industry expert you are shaping up to be.
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