You probably decided that 2020 will be the year you will pay better attention to your LinkedIn profile. As much as you let the first two months of the year slip away, it's okay! For real, better late than never - it's time to get started.
LinkedIn is where you belong as a job-seeker and as a professional, you are one step away from finding yourself a great connection and applying for that perfect job. To get started you need to have two goals
- To be seen by the right person
- Be engaging enough for them to reach out to you
In Part 1 will talk about the first few sections of your profile and how you can best optimise it to achieve the two fundamental goals, so this article will all be about getting your basics covered.
You want to sound professional even when you are sharing your LinkedIn profile details with a connection. You should, and you can! At the time setting up your account, LinkedIn assigned you some random numbers as a part of your URL. To edit to something more professional, go to your profile page, click on the feature - Edit profile & URL, personalise it with your first name and last name - if you do have a common name, it might be taken so you could mix it up with your professional title.
E.g - www.linkedin.com/in/firstlastname - /fareenshaikh
www.linkedin.com/in/professiontitlename - /coachfareen or /fareen-HR
It's all about being presentable and approachable. Avoid cropped out images from your last holiday or from a party last night. Take the time out and click a professional photo where you're looking straight at the camera. The key is less distracting backgrounds and a happy you, so smile! A picture can tell a lot about you, the soft skills that you don't need to write about can speak for itself through just a picture.
If you want to test your profile picture - you can check its likability on www.photofeeler.com and then upload it.
Linkedin says members with profile photos can receive up to 21 times more profile views than those without profile photos.
LinkedIn allows you to get creative! It's a perfect way to optimize your profile. Move away from the default headline assigned by LinkedIn. You have 120 characters, including spaces that can speak for you. Here are some options on how you can go about it
Headline 1: Role | Recent Quantifiable Achievement e.g., B2C Sales Executive | Generated 1MM in 2019
Headline 2: Role | Years of Experience | Fun Fact e.g., Director of Talent | 10 years of recruitment experience | Dog Lover
Headline 3: Role | Industry | Unique value e.g., Project Manager | Remote Work | Certified Scrum Master
Headline 4: Main responsibility | Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 | Keyword 3 e.g., I help job seekers find jobs | Certified Career Coach | Resume Writer
It is advisable to avoid stating statements like actively seeking opportunities; recruiters look for the right candidates by keyword searches basis skills, so it's best to optimise your profile by leveraging that.
Keep in mind that your default email address is visible to your connections, so make sure to list out active email addresses. If you want to be contacted over a call, you can add your phone number as well. You can also choose to add your birth date and website details, if any. Make sure to add your most updated location details - if you've cities and countries, make sure you've updated it.
So you've managed to get the initial visual sections of your profile right - great photo, background photo, exciting headline. Great! But now it's about keeping your readers hooked - this is your elevator pitch where you speak about who you are, what you do and what is the value you can add if offered with a hint of your personality.
Test your storytelling skills. Write how you speak - say out it loud like you were addressing a crowd, if you don't like what you hear, change it till you get it right.
Remember to open up with a strong yet friendly tone. Describe your job in your own words and weave in the work you've done that paints the picture of the impact you can create - adding numbers to your achievement is more appealing than just stating them out. It's important to always end with a call to action, where can one reach out to you to talk further. Be smart of the keywords you add in the summary section; make sure they are industry-wide terminologies and park them under "Specialities."
People skim through profiles, so make sure to have adequate white spaces so that it's easy to read. Sometimes it's easier to explain your impact or achievement using an image, video, or an article — don't be afraid to add media to your profile.