The older I get the faster the years seem to pass. And so when new clients or colleagues apologise to me when they finally decide to engage my services, I smile. Because I understand how busy life is and that LinkedIn is on your important, and not urgent, to do list.
I’ve written today’s article to help those who’d like to fix their LinkedIn Profile, but are not sure where to start. These are 5 easy steps, and they should not take you too long.
It is increasingly important to consider your personal branding more seriously, and take the time to ensure your professional story reflects your achievements and future goals. I like to call this ‘tending to your LinkedIn garden’. A current LinkedIn Profile helps you get found online (which is where many potential clients and employers will be searching) and gives you the confidence that you are maximising Australia’s favourite professional networking platform.
With LinkedIn’s mobile app, you can make the changes I’ve suggested below on the go. However, LinkedIn provides the greatest functionality via the website and is where I suggest you’re best to make the simple changes I recommend. By tapping on the “Me” tab you can add your recent skills, update your experience and even upload a photo while on the go. These are the some of the first things recruiters look for in your profile, and critical to connecting you to people, opportunities, and skills that can help build your career.
1. Upload a Suitable Professional Photo
LinkedIn calls your photo your ‘virtual handshake’. When deciding which photo to upload, choose one that aligns with your role as a professional, but that makes you approachable. LinkedIn reports that members who include a profile photo receive 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages. You can upload directly from your phone, but make sure it’s good quality and includes you only, not your pet or significant other. For some inspiration, please visit Think Bespoke’s Pinterest Board dedicated to LinkedIn Headshots I’ve collected from across the globe.
It is essential to make sure your current position is up to date and includes your title, company name, and tenure. LinkedIn reports that members with positions that are kept up to date are discovered up to 18x more in searches by members and recruiters. Make sure you show the year in the date field, so for example “2015 to present.” Also check if the current organisation you work for (and the past organisations you worked for) have a company page on LinkedIn. This enables you to feature their logo on your profile in the experience section and saves you explaining what the organisation does (as the logo is clickable and takes the reader to the company page).
2. Maintain a List of Relevant Skills
LinkedIn gives you the option to list up to 50 skills on your LinkedIn Profile. Take control of this feature and make sure the top 3 are the most relevant because these are the main ones people see. Maintaining a relevant list of skills on your profile will help others understand your strengths and match you with the right opportunities. Depending on what stage you are in your career you should try to add at least 5 skills. LinkedIn reports that members with 5 or more skills listed are contacted (messaged) up to 33x more by recruiters and other LinkedIn members, and receive up to 17x more profile views. One tip, check your skills are listed in order of the strengths you want to be known for, and LinkedIn will do the rest by targeting endorsers for those top skills you’ve prioritised. Importantly, the more endorsements you have for your skills the higher you rank in search results.
3. Add your Location
LinkedIn reports that more than 30% of recruiters will use advanced search based on location, so the more details you have the more likely you will be found and connected to your next opportunity. Potential clients may be looking for your skills and experience based on location and former colleagues may want to reconnect if they have recently relocated or are travelling for work.
4. Summarise your Experience and Goals
This is probably the hardest part of your profile to write. Think Bespoke has built a business on helping individuals find their voice and tell their story on LinkedIn. We provide a variety of DIY and done for you tools to help make this last step as manageable as possible. I encourage you to give it a go, and then check back in if you’d like our help.
The LinkedIn Profile summary feature is often overlooked on LinkedIn and is your opportunity to tell a story of who you are, your experience, the type of things you are interested in, and goals you would like to achieve. LinkedIn reports that a summary of 40 words or more makes it more likely to show up in search. You may also like to consider calling out your specialities for keyword search. Inject your personality into what you write and give people a sense of the unique you.
5. Tend to your LinkedIn Garden
If you imagine LinkedIn is like a virtual room, then your LinkedIn profile is your 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ambassador. I encourage you to tend to your LinkedIn garden and take the time to update your LinkedIn Profile.
Making these small changes now to reflect the work you do will increase your visibility in your industry, and will give recruiters, potential clients or connections more insight into who you are and what you do. So let your profile go to work for you!
References: LinkedIn Official Blog
As one of Asia Pacific’s Top 10 LinkedIn Experts I share fortnightly news with my global email community and run monthly online Lunch and Learns to teach professionals how to unlock LinkedIn. Sign up to my newsletter to help you learn LinkedIn – the right way!