LinkedIn is continuing to evolve at a fast pace, becoming an inevitable part of any professional’s virtual presence. Your LinkedIn profile is your professional website. Think of the time and energy that a marketing team invests to create a perfect company website, reflecting its mission and supporting its goals. Now ask yourself – have you spent any time creating and enhancing your profile? To make it easier for you, we made you a checklist for a perfect LinkedIn profile.
1. The right photo – be as professional as possible
There is evidence that individuals with a photo have a significant increase in click-through rate. LinkedIn has even reported that profiles with photos are 7x more likely to be viewed by others. Also, if you want to make a connection with someone, showing your face is kind of a prerequisite. You should wear something you would wear to work and make sure the photo accurately represents you. Also, don’t forget about your background photo. This should give more context to your profile, tell more about you, and help in setting your page apart from others.
2. Professional headline – an opportunity for branding
Make it more than just a job title, but leave out fluffy titles like ‘ninja’ or ‘guru’.
3. Professional summary and headline should be in perfect harmony
Your summary is your opportunity to tell your story – don’t waste it. Instead of just listing your skills, try to bring them to life by explaining why they matter and what you bring to the table.
4. Use professional titles only and explain your roles
Even if you’ve listed positions at companies that you previously held, it means nothing if you don’t have any job descriptions. These details are not to be left to the imagination.
5. Personalize your URL
Using a variation of your name, and perhaps of your professional brand, if your name is common. You need to make it easy to remember and find since you’ll share this URL with people.
6. Industry focus
Following relevant influencers for your industry as well as company leaders help to give context to your profile and demonstrate your passion.
7. Update your status regularly
When this feature was rolled out in early 2009, many were wondering what it is used for. Since then, posting updates of our lives has become common in our culture. Think of it as the only dynamic part of your profile which gives others the ability to see what’s on your mind. Sharing thoughtful, insightful, and relevant news that might interest your target visitor just once a day is a great way to keep your professional profile “fresh”. It is also a good way to engage with your network.
8. Connect the dots
Your professional LinkedIn Profile is about helping you get seen: it is an Inbound Marketing tool. That’s why it’s important to connect the dots with your past to allow as many people as possible to find you – and for you to be able to find them. So take a trip down memory lane and fill in every employer you’ve ever worked for and any educational institutions you’ve attended, including any study abroad programs. If you connect the dots, this can help you restore ties with valued professionals.
Search for keywords that you would like to appear in LinkedIn search results. Look at the profiles of those that appear in the top results. Examine the location and frequency in which they’ve placed those keywords. Now apply that information to your profile. The LinkedIn search algorithm is similar to Google – no one knows exactly how it works and it keeps changing. So instead of being fixated on the search results, consider focusing on a niche to differentiate yourself as much as possible. Keywords matter – SEO was invented for a reason.
10. Credibility – recommendations
This is the same as not having a photo or having too few connections – it means zero credibility. Recommendations are written personal testimonials that illustrate the experience of working with you. You need to humanize your profile and help people see what would it be like having you on their team.
11. Utilize whatever functionality LinkedIn provides you with
LinkedIn keeps getting updated. For example, the Publications section is one of the most under-used elements in LinkedIn profiles. It allows you to stand out from the crowd by drawing attention to existing thought-leadership content. Have you helped to write an eBook, a White Paper, an article, or a post on your company’s blog? The Publications section links your profile to these assets – as this is what they are: your assets.
12. Use visuals
Unless you’ve been living in a cave away from the Internet for the last year, you’ve witnessed the power of visual aids in social media marketing. This is the area to be as creative as possible. If you’re out of ideas, ask your creative marketing friends for ways in which you can help promote your brand by uploading visuals onto your profile. At least give your viewers something pretty to look at – it will humanize your profile further, and you never know the new opportunities that could arise!
13. Join relevant Groups
Groups are a great way to position yourself as a thought-leader and keep track of new industry trends. Even if you don’t have time to be active, displaying those group logos on your profile increases your exposure.
14. Be approachable
If you’re on LinkedIn looking for business opportunities, you need to make sure that you are approachable. Many potential employers won’t send a high-risk introduction or buy an InMail just to contact you. LinkedIn gives you the ability to include your contact details for anyone to see, like websites and Twitter. Of course, you do not need to show your phone number and email for spammers to take advantage of. However, try to make it easy for those who want to get in touch with you!
15. Do regular audits
Do a spring cleaning of your profile from time to time, as some skills might become irrelevant over time. Ask someone you trust to do an audit and give their feedback. It’s not about undermining your self-esteem, but about getting an objective opinion to make sure your profile truly reflects your unique personality.
No more excuses – get out there and be a pro! To keep up with LinkedIn’s trends and make sure you have a top-notch profile, LinkedIn Professional Marketer certification has you covered!
Find out some more tips on how to make a great LinkedIn profile –