LinkedIn has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a social media tool to help you connect with others in your industry. Now, LinkedIn has over 400 million users (over 100 million in the US) with 2 new users joining every second. Connecting to other professionals is still the core of what makes LinkedIn so great but after several years of establishing themselves as a serious resource for business professionals there are now expectations set in place for establishing yourself to the others in your network and beyond.
Whether you use LinkedIn for potential career leads or to grow your existing network, here are a few guidelines that can help make a huge difference for your profile.
- Your Profile Picture
Consider this, your profile picture is the first thing that anyone sees on your profile and you have 15 seconds to make a good impression with your image. Just as you want to maintain a professional image of yourself when you go out and network, go on a job interview, or meet with clients, this mentality should also be reflected in your profile picture. Remove the selfie of yourself at your sister’s wedding, or the photo of you standing next to Cinderella’s Castle that’s realllllly far away and get some professional headshots taken by a photographer who is experienced with corporate photography. Consider these headshots as an investment that will help you stand out amongst the sea of bad profile pictures. Your picture will also help people recognize you should they try to find your profile after networking.
- All About Headlines
Your headline will most likely be the next thing people see that should succinctly and accurately summarize what it is you do or want to do. You have a 120 character limit to work with which should be plenty of room to make someone love you with one quick read.
- Super Summaries
Your summary has a 2,000 character limit which is where you can stretch out a bit and go into the finer details of your career. Despite the larger character limit, you should keep your summary somewhere between 200-300 words that shows off your experience and makes you more credible to those viewing your profile. Write this the same way you would respond to the common interview question: “Tell me about yourself.” Stay away from describing too much of your personal life.
- Fill it Out!
LinkedIn will prompt you to fill in your profile with as much relevant info about yourself as possible. Think of it as your virtual resume (which you can import) that doesn’t have to be a page long. If you put your school, don’t forget to put what clubs/organizations/achievements you had a part in. Along with uploading a portfolio of your work, presentations you’ve given, media links, etc., you can also publish any written content you may have that you would like to be seen. Do you have a particular set of skills that are highly desirable? Put it up! All of this will help your profile be searchable to anyone looking for those keywords.
- Bring Order from Chaos
You may have A LOT of stuff to showcase on your profile and that’s great, however, LinkedIn has a great editing tool to let you change the order of anything you want to be seen first. This way, the most relevant/recent info about yourself will be at the forefront of your profile making it easier for visitors to get the information they are looking for immediately as opposed to playing hide-and-seek on your profile. This is perfect for those job seekers who need to tailor their profiles for a specific industry.
- Add Your Company
If you own your business then you can easily create a company page which will further bolster your social media efforts as long as you fill it out just as well as your personal LinkedIn profile. Here you can share any company updates you don’t want on your profile and connect with other LinkedIn company pages that are in your industry and any company who have previously/currently are working with.
- Connections & Endorsements
You will surely find that most of your e-mail contacts are also using LinkedIn. Add the ones who you feel are a valid and helpful connection to you. While networking, ask if they can write their LinkedIn url on their business card if they have a common name that may be hard to find. Start going through your favorite contacts and add an engaging comment on anything that they may be sharing through their feed. You can also offer endorsements to the skills that your contacts have listed on their profiles. They will then be more likely to offer you an endorsement for yours. These endorsements add even more credibility to your profile for other visitors to see.
- Update Regularly!
After everything is set up you still need to offer your connections meaningful and relevant content from your industry that they will find informative and helpful. Did you just update your company blog? Share it on LinkedIn by publishing a post! You can add searchable tags to your posts so that others outside of your connections will be able to view and comment on. Did you find a news article that is informative and speaks to your audience? Share that too! All of this, along with the above points, will keep adding fuel to your fire which will help others find your profile and on and on it goes. But beware not to spam! The best time to share content is either in the morning or in the late afternoon between Tuesday and Thursday. Stick with one update a day during those times to keep a good balance.
Sounds like a lot of work right? Understandably so. Regularly updating your profile can be a job in itself which is why we can help with your social media content curation and updates. If you would like more information on the services we offer please visit our site at HotDogMarketing and contact us today! We can’t wait to help.
I’m a Texan native and love living in Austin. I enjoy marketing because it gives me a chance to work in different industries and because no two days are the same. I have a knack for soaking up information and disseminating it for others. In my down time I devour TV shows, music, movies, and video games.