In this article we explore how to stand out from the crowd on LinkedIn with 5 key elements of your LinkedIn Profile.
Next time you’re at a friend’s place or the local library, grab a computer, google your name and see what comes up. I’m hoping it’s your LinkedIn Profile, because it’s the biggest professional networking platform in the world, and where many important conversations can be started. Your LinkedIn Profile is more than likely to be where potential clients or hiring managers research you when they want to learn more about you.
Who is on LinkedIn in Australia
Sensis data tells us that LinkedIn is used by 81% of large Australian businesses, 41% of medium and 35% of small businesses. It is not social media and the behaviours and etiquette are somewhat different to those you may be familiar with on Instagram and Facebook.
4 out of 5 Australian professionals use LinkedIn for many reasons, including to get their industry news, to learn from thinkers around the globe, to start new conversations, to continue conversations from conferences and events, to get a new job, to get a new client, to build connections, to add value to their community and, occasionally, to look up old flames (a rookie mistake for those who have not turned their profile viewing options to anonymous).
Review Your Own LinkedIn Profile
If you have the LinkedIn App on your phone, or if you’re reading this article from your computer, now is a great time to look at your LinkedIn Profile so you can assess your LinkedIn profile as I share my tips with you.
What do you want to be known for?
Who are you trying to influence?
Really think about your answers, and use this thinking to inform how you update your profile over the next little while. Once you can answer these two questions, use them as a filter to review the following elements of your LinkedIn profile.
1. LinkedIn Profile Photo
Please make sure you have a professional looking headshot photo that looks like you at work. A LinkedIn Profile with a photo gets 14x more views than one without a photo. You wouldn’t wear a paper bag over your head to an event or Zoom meeting, so you should have a profile photo.
What do we find when we look at your photo? Is it you you enjoying your last holiday, or perhaps it’s you looking very sharp at a recent black tie event, and your partner has been cut out of the picture. Or maybe it’s a picture of you and your child or your fur baby.
And what about your LinkedIn Profile background image?
You can add any copyright free image. Consider adding a background image that is consistent with your personal or organisational brand. Deciding to have no background image may also be suitable, depending on your role and goals for LinkedIn. Unsplash is a great source of copyright free photos and Canva allows you to customise the size of the background photo to LinkedIn’s image specifications.
2. LinkedIn Profile Headline
This is where you have 220 characters below your name to describe yourself. This section is highly searchable, so think ‘keywords’ or job titles, core skills and industry focus when you craft this section. The default headline is your role title and first company listed in your experience section. Take some time to look at other industry leaders and see what they’ve written in their profile headline.
And if you don’t want them to see you looking, avoid that rookie mistake and change your viewing options to anonymous in your privacy settings.
Read more here about How to Browse LinkedIn Profiles Anonymously.
3. LinkedIn Profile Summary (About Section)
This section of the LinkedIn profile is often missed. Your LinkedIn Profile is not your resume. Imagine LinkedIn is a virtual room. This means writing about yourself in the first person, as if you were introducing yourself. First person means you, talking about you, so bring your personality to the summary and give the reader a sense of who you are, what you do, what you believe and the problems you solve for your community. Make the most of the 2000 characters available to give people a sense of your professional approach and to learn more about you.
Read more here about How to Write a LinkedIn Profile Summary (About Section).
4. LinkedIn Profile Education Section
Please take the time to list your educational institutions correctly, so LinkedIn can recommend other alumni to you. Re-order your education and list the most relevant qualification first, as this can be featured in the top section of your profile. I recommend you list your undergraduate, post graduate, diploma and certificate qualifications in the education section.
5. LinkedIn Profile Recommendations
Recommendations are as powerful as a client testimonial on your website or a written reference on your CV. If your recommendations are more than 3 years old, it’s time to ask the most senior and relevant people (based on your goals for LinkedIn) to recommend you.
You request a recommendation from another LinkedIn member you need to be connected with them on LinkedIn. Recommendations are like social proof or a product review and show that other people think you’re wonderful too!
Read more here about How to Add Recommendations to Your LinkedIn Profile.