KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
“The first step is to define who your key audience is,” explains Lauren Jolda from LinkedIn. “Then, craft a story focused on your contributions, your career journey, and the values that are important to you – all tailored to the right audience. For example, are your audience industry peers, customers or executives? Think about how you’d tailor your content differently for each and customise it.”
UPDATE TO YOUR INTRODUCTION
“Listing industry information – such as financial services or education management – leads to up to nine times more profile views and can help you get discovered up to 38 times more in recruiter searches, according to our data,” says Lauren. “Plus, adding something as simple as your location in your profile can help you get up to 19 times more profile views.” Start small by updating the introduction section of your profile to include your industry and your location. “Then, to take it a step further, add or refresh your profile photo and background photo, and be sure to add a headline – the one-liner that appears under your name,” adds Lauren. “These small steps can lead to big opportunities.”
WRITE A STRONG SUMMARY
“Many people ask me where they should invest their time when it comes to improving their LinkedIn profiles,” says Lauren. “My answer is always to focus on the Summary section. This is the first section everyone will see, and you want it to catch people’s attention. Use this space to make a bold first impression and draw others into your story.” Use it to showcase your skills, and how you want to add value in a particular job or industry. Focus not only on what you do, but also why it matters. To really stand out, consider adding a personal or purpose statement.
MAKE THE MOST OF THE VISUALS
Pictures are worth a thousand words – and then some, says Lauren. “It’s one thing for you to tell people what you do for a living, but it’s quite another to bring that to life with images. To help showcase your accomplishments, add rich media such as photos, videos, presentations and websites.” Consider refreshing your profile picture too. If it’s years old or doesn’t reflect the jobs you’re now hoping to apply for, it might not be the right fit. If you can afford it, consider investing in a professionally taken headshot to really make an impact.
By using targeted and relevant keywords, you’ll be able to increase the visibility of your profile. Think of them as words and phrases that recruiters might actually search for, along with variations you think might work. One of the easiest ways to find critical keywords is to browse LinkedIn job postings (just click on the Jobs tab at the top of the page). Take note of the unique words and the most frequently used terms in both the job descriptions and requirements. These are likely to be the most used by employers and recruiters to find qualified candidates. From there, weave these into your Job Titles, Headlines, Skills and Summary section to increase traffic to your profile.
CREATE YOUR OWN URL
By creating your own customised LinkedIn profile URL – i.e. without a string of random numbers and letters – you can easily share your profile and brand yourself more coherently. A customised profile link also allows you to differentiate yourself from all the other users, especially from those who might have the same name. To do this…
- Click the ‘Me’ icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and click ‘View Profile’.
- From there, click ‘Edit public profile & URL’, and wait to be redirected to the Public profile settings page.
- Under ‘Edit your custom URL’ in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL. It'll be an address that looks like: www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box. Click Save.
- Still not sure? Follow these instructions.
HARNESS YOUR CREDIBILITY
In Lauren’s view, what good is a compelling career story if you can’t back it up? By engaging with the Linkedin Recommendations section, your community can help validate your professional story by writing about what it was like working with you. “Request recommendations from a diverse group of people you’ve collaborated with across different roles,” Lauren suggests. “When asking executives or senior leaders for a recommendation, consider writing a first draft of the recommendation for them as a starting point and let them edit to fit their voice and tone. By giving them a starting point, you’ll help them narrow their focus on what you would like them to say and save them time.”
ADD A PORTFOLIO
Now that LinkedIn has introduced its ‘professional portfolio’ feature, it’s easy to share visual content and demonstrate your capabilities. From presentations to videos, you can now display your work on your profile by importing the content from a webpage or uploading your favourite pieces of work straight from your computer. Instead of telling potential employers what you can do, simple send them your personalised LinkedIn link for them to explore. Just make sure you have permission to show the work publicly and exclude anything confidential. You can also add files and links to your summary, under each past position in your experience section, and in your education section. Just go to edit your profile and look for the prompt to upload a file or link.
Statistics show that public LinkedIn profiles generate views from a far broader audience, whether you’re already connected to people within those communities or not. You can make your LinkedIn profile public under the privacy setting tab, where it’s also possible to edit what the general public (even those who aren’t connected to you at all) can view on your profile.
REMEMBER – DON’T CONFUSE IT WITH A RESUMÉ
“It’s important to paint a picture of what you do day in and day out in your current role,” says Lauren. “But to really make your profile sing, highlight the impact you’ve had, the change you’ve created, the initiatives you’ve led, and the results you’ve delivered. Once you’ve clearly articulated the impact and results, you can then explain how you got there.”
Want to know more? Visit LinkedIn.com