LinkedIn has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a social media tool to help you connect with others in your industry. In fact, let’s take a look at some stats about LinkedIn (as of September 2021)
- Over 740 million users and 55 million businesses
- 37% of adults that use LinkedIn are between 30 and 49 years old
- Half of all US adults with degrees use LinkedIn
Connecting to other professionals is still the core of what makes LinkedIn so great. However, after years of establishing themselves as a serious resource for business professionals, there are now expectations in place for establishing yourself to the others in your network and beyond. Gone are the wild west days of LinkedIn where you could private message CEOs and expect a response or post your most recent article and expect many people to see it. Eventually, platforms grow up and gain popularity – and as they do, the space becomes more crowded. This often means there is more spam and fewer genuine interactions. Although, by employing a few great tips, you can stand out on the platform and have those meaningful connections we’re all searching for.
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 3 seconds to make a good impression with your image. Sure, you may think “It doesn’t matter how I look–skills and experience are more important.” Yes and no. We’re all human (well, maybe not all of us reading this), meaning that visuals are an important heuristic through which we assess our environment. People are naturally going to make judgments or assumptions about you based on the way you look. Whether that’s right or wrong is a different topic.
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. Go get professional headshots taken by an actual photographer experienced with corporate photography. You’ll be glad you did. 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.
Side note: Don’t forget the background image! Use a professional stock background or make your own that looks consistent with the story you want people to associate with you.
- 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. Keep it short and interesting – there is absolutely no reason to use up every 2,000 characters. Include some bullet points or short facts you want people to know about you 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. Remember that it will likely be an actual person looking at your profile, so don’t write your summary like you’re talking to a robot but at the same time, don’t write like you would a text to your best friend. Inject some humanity here and use conversational, professional language.
- 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 only one 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! A few years ago, LinkedIn added the ability to add some certifications to your profile. LinkedIn typically provides a certification badge if you complete one of their LinkedInLearning courses, but other online education organizations will offer badges as well. 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. Don’t make it difficult for recruiters or hiring managers to find the relevant/important info about you on your profile, because let’s face it – we know they don’t have the time to search.
- Add Your Company
If you own your business then you can easily create a company page that 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. As I mentioned earlier in this post, there are many businesses on LinkedIn. In fact, many job seekers will look to LinkedIn for open roles or learn more about your company. Keep your company profile up to date so that potential customers and potential employees will be informed.
- 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.
Hot Dog Marketing helps expert service providers and tech companies build their brands at the same rate they’re growing their businesses. We have deep expertise in branding and online marketing for both business-to-business service companies and local consumer service businesses.