It takes most geeks 12 minutes to update all these things on their LinkedIn profile… Do it. Do it right now!
LinkedIn is a massive tool to help you get a job. It’s your living, breathing CV (or resume).
With so many people now using LinkedIn to get employed and further their career, you need to stick out a little to get noticed.
The more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of being on LinkedIn.
So here are our 8 ways you can improve your LinkedIn profile today by becoming more visible, more interesting, and stick out more – in a good way.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is public
A rookie mistake is to leave it as private. You can make all or some of your LinkedIn profile public – chances are you want the whole thing to be public so people can find you based on keywords and roles. Recruiters are searching and you want to be found.
Have a custom LinkedIn URL
Whether you’re looking for a job, or building a business, your name is your personal brand. Claim your name, and set a custom Linkedin URL with these instructions. If there’s lots of your name on there, pick something that works for you and what you do like I did. (Curse you other Robin Bates AND your puppy school)
Choose a great profile picture
This is all about managing your personal brand, what d’you want your picture to say about you? Serious? Quirky? Creative? Dependable? Disruptive?
LinkedIn’s own business pages provide some advice on choosing a profile pic for maximum professionalism.
If you have multiple professional photos, use the same photo on each one and make sure it looks like you.
Mine probably needs updating…
Add a Background Photo
You can customize the space at the top – what will you use it to show? It sets the scene for who you are and what you’re about, it adds some flavor and context. You want to be memorable and you want it to suit you.
Lord Simon Jacobs’ is certainly memorable and fits his ‘professional weirdo’ approach well, but it probably wouldn’t suit a city banker.
Get the basics updated
It doesn’t look good if your profile is no longer up-to-date and accurate. You never know who is looking or what they’re looking for.
Go and check on these three things now:
- Location and Industry – People need to know where you are and what sort of thing you do.
- Headline – This needs to capture the attention of the person reading it. You should start with your full name (it really helps with search engine optimisation – you’ll be more easily found) and what you are, what you do, or what results you get for people. Creative types can have more fun here; throw some emojis in, tell a story, get flashy.
- Most Recent Job – add in any recent wins, successes, training; keep it fresh and new.
Doing these three things will keep you visible, and more people are likely to find you. An old profile is a dead profile, so freshen it up.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Your groups are displayed on your profile, so join some groups to show that you’re participating in relevant professional networks.
While you’re there get stuck in, join in the conversation, comment on posts, start topics.
Don’t be a spammy seller; you’re cultivating that personal brand.
Whether you choose groups relevant to your field or niche, or some by large publications, or anything else, go spend a few minutes taking part.
Ask for recommendations
Recommendations sit on your profile and have real people you’ve worked with recommending you – round the clock. Chances are no-one will do this unless you ask them to, so don’t be shy.
Scroll down and hit ‘ask for recommendation’ and choose your targets wisely.
Ask them to cover specific skills or experiences to help guide them; if they’ve never done it before they might not know what to do so some pointers are a big help.
Give some out too, if any colleagues have wowed you, or if you’ve been a client for anyone who’s been brilliant, let them know with an unsolicited recommendation – showing that you give praise is a good thing.
Get media rich
Created anything visual that can go on your profile? Any presentation, videos, pictures? Any marketing materials, photos of you at that convention, product images?
Add them into the relevant job listing – and review what’s there.
Deleting any dead links shows you’re keeping it all up to date.
8 things you can do to improve your LinkedIn Profile today. Right now. Go do it!
So, how long did it take you? And there, isn’t that better?
We’ll return to this.
Robin Bates – makes sure your LinkedIn profiles and CVs are looking sharp