How effective is your LinkedIn profile?

I like writing LinkedIn Profiles. My popular service – The LinkedIn Profile Makeover helps clients to have an effective online presence. I spend time and money on my education for this. Keeping up to date with best practice and I need to certify each year.

Some people ask if they need one.  Most people do. When you apply for a job or meet someone, they look you up and it is now a bit suspect of you don’t have an online presence.

LinkedIn is business focused. You only share what you need to share. Whilst you need some of your personality you do not need to share any information you consider private.

It’s a great way to be found by recruiters and useful for networking. People get job offers through LinkedIn!

Here’s some tips for you to use as you review your own LinkedIn profile, and if you would like a more detailed assessment you can complete the LinkedIn quiz, and I’ll follow up with a personalised report.

Headline

By default, this is your current job title, but you have 120 characters and you can use this to demonstrate your ‘brand’.

Key Words

Before you write any of the sections on your LinkedIn profile you want to be clear on both your career objective, which could be to get a new job, get promoted, change careers or something else. To be found you need to identify key words and then make sure these are used at least twice within your profile.

About

A place to summarise what you’ve done, interesting information and where you are heading. When I write this for clients I use ‘their voice’. It must read as if the person has written it themselves, not that they have used a professional service.

Whilst there are 2000 characters available, you don’t need to use them all. Our attention span is dropping, down to 8 seconds, less than a goldfish, apparently, but can’t find a source to quote, so it could be a myth! So make every word count and when you read it ensure it takes less than 30 seconds. The aim is to get people to want to read on.

So much is down to search engine optimisation so include key words. Make sure that the reader understands how you add value, where your career is heading and details of your skills, strengths and talents.

In this section, and all others it should be easy to read, avoiding jargon and without spelling and grammatical errors.

Photo

Yes, you need one, and it should be head and shoulders so crop down if necessary. Whilst many people have a professional photo, I’ve recently changed mine to reflect the change in me following my Vision Quest. So I’m out in the woods in my trekking clothes.  I’m looking up, not directly at the reader or down into my page, which is my preferred way so next time I’m out with a photographer friend I’ll get another one done. A profile with a photo gets much more attention than those without so get a photo up.

Personalised URL

By default there is a combination of your name and numbers, no very memorable. So claim your name. Guidance can be found online. When done it will look like this www.linkedin.com/in/yourname and can be included on your CV/Resume and email signature.

Experience

You are missing out when you just copy and paste achievement bullets from your CV. Take each job and include specific details on what you have done, including your key words.

Additional sections

You can add more – accomplishments, skills, volunteer experience, certifications, expertise which can increase your chances of being found.

Education

List as much as you wish. It can help to join alumni groups for your university.

Skills and Endorsements

Look at mine and you will see 99+ against many of my skills. You want to get your top skills endorsed, so ask your network to endorse you. Often best to endirse someone else then message them to say what you have done and ask for them to endorse you. You can also ask for specific ones to help the top ones rise to the top.

Recommendations

You can both give and receive. Contact people you have worked with and ask them.

Groups

There are so many groups … to begin choose a few, maybe 5 and be an active member. To begin read and get a feel and then make a comment or ask a question. This is a great way to meet people who you can then connect with.

Status Updates

You don’t have to write long form posts/ articles, unless you want to. What is easiest is to share new via an update. Share what you have been doing, industry announcements and links to articles you think others may be interested in.

So, review your profile, get a personal review using the link at the bottom of my home page, and if you want professional help, please get in touch.

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